New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 01:14 PM

Islamic World News ( 10 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Gaddafi regime accepts African Union peace plan: Zuma

France bans the burqa

Taliban’s Suicide Squad Commander’s Killing Confirmed

War in Afghanistan is destabilising Pakistan: Zardari

Political leadership united against challenges: Gilani

Regional cooperation essential for effectively fighting terrorism: Pakistan

Pakistan says seven militants killed in Swat

Blast kills Afghan tribal elders

Jama’at to back Left in Kerala

Pak prosecutors seek more time to serve warrant to Musharraf

China rejects reports about troop presence in POK

Malaysia: Imam sued for fatwa

Libya rebels fight Gaddafi forces for strategic town

NATO says it struck 25 Libyan tanks near Ajdabiya, Misrata

Explosions rock Libya’s Ajdabiya battleground

Iraq’s Christians, Lebanon’s shame

Israel, Palestinians reach truce after spike in killings

Egyptian demonstrators defy Army order, continue protest

Israel vows ‘most harsh’ response; ceasefire in sight

Mubarak breaks silence: welcomes investigations to clear his name

President Saleh demands Gulf initiative be amended

“Yemen will put an end to terrorism if revolution succeeds”

Obama dispatches top aide to visit Saudi, UAE

I am victim of defamation: Mubarak

Gulf ministers meet to review Yemen mediation

Egypt's ex-President Mubarak denies abuse of power

Turkey denounces Israeli attacks on Gaza

Syrian Army mobilizes in Banias after killings: activists

More Lebanese expats fleeing Ivory Coast arrive in Beirut

Beirut sees fourth anti-sectarianism protest

Egypt's Tahrir Square goes from battle ground to forum for debate

Ex-Premier Nazif sentenced to 15 days in jail, pending investigation

Revolutionary Youth Coalition suspends dialogue with military council

Deadly shooting in Banias, Syira: witnesses

Envoy asks Turkey to convince Hamas

Turkish FM Davutoglu holds talks in Egypt as protesters defy army

Violent crackdowns in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden leave thousands injured

Ben Ali brother arrested in Tunisia, says report

Hundreds of families flee fighting in Tirah valley

Iran expels Kuwaiti diplomats in tit-for-tat move

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-regime-accepts-african-union-peace-plan--zuma/d/4433

 

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Gaddafi regime accepts African Union peace plan: Zuma

April 11, 2011

TRIPOLI: Muammar Gaddafi has accepted a roadmap for ending the conflict in Libya, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday after leading a delegation of African leaders at talks in Tripoli.

"I have some commitment which is compelling me to leave now but we have completed our mission with the brother leader (Gaddafi)," Zuma said after several hours of talks with the Libyan leader at his Bab al-Aziziyah compound.

"The brother leader delegation has accepted the roadmap as presented by us. We have to give ceasefire a chance," he said, adding that the African delegation would now travel to the eastern city of Benghazi for talks with anti-Gaddafi rebels.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-regime-accepts-African-Union-peace-plan-Zuma/articleshow/7939222.cms

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France bans the burqa

April 11, 2011

France, home to Europe's biggest Muslim population, on Monday officially banned women from wearing full-face veils in public places. Other European countries have drawn up bans on the burqa and the niqab but France is the first to risk stirring social tensions by putting one into practice. T

he law comes into effect at an already fraught moment in relations between the state and France's Muslim minority, with President Nicolas Sarkozy accused of stigmatising Islam to win back votes from a resurgent far right.

French officials estimate that only around 2,000 women, from a total Muslim population estimated at between four and six million, wear the full-face veils that are traditional in parts of Arabia and South Asia.

But many Muslims and rights watchdogs accuse the rightwing president of targeting one of France's most vulnerable groups to signal to anti-immigration voters that he shares their fear that Islam is a threat to French culture.

Police on Saturday said they arrested 59 people, including 19 veiled women, who turned up for a banned protest in Paris over the ban, while two more were detained as they attempted to travel to the rally from Britain and Belgium.

Some critics worry the law may be hard to enforce, since it had to be drawn up without reference to religion to ban any kind of face covering in public and since police officers will not be allowed to remove women's head coverings.

Anyone refusing to lift his or her veil to submit to an identity check can be taken to a police station. There, officers must try to persuade them to remove the garment, and can threaten fines.

A woman who repeatedly insists on appearing veiled in public can be fined 150 euros (216 dollars) and ordered to attend re-education classes.

There are much more severe penalties for anyone found guilty of forcing someone else to hide his or her face "through threats, violence, constraint, abuse of authority or power for reason of their gender."

Clearly aimed at fathers, husbands or religious leaders who force women to wear face-veils, and applicable to offences committed in public or in private, the law imposes a fine of 30,000 euros and a year in jail.

Foreign extremists, including fugitive Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden have used the ban to argue France is at war with Islam, and have called for attacks.

Belgium's parliament has approved a similar law, but has yet to enforce it. In the Netherlands far-right leaders have proposed a ban, and in Italy the right-wing Northern League is lobbying for a ban on the French model.

It is hard to gauge the mood of the bulk of veil wearing French Muslim women, but two who agreed to speak -- who gave their names as Aya and Umm Isra -- said they would not challenge the ban in the street.

But, they added, if they can't wear their niqabs they will likely go out far less often, suggesting the ban could create a hidden underclass.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/France-bans-the-burqa/H1-Article1-683781.aspx

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Taliban’s Suicide squad commander’s killing confirmed

April 11, 2011

After much mystery about his death, at last asiadespatch.com can confirm the death of dreaded Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan suicide squad chief Qari Hussain Mehsud alias Qari Sahib despite the persistent denial by TTP high-ups in a US Drone strike last year. He was targeted by a US Drone in October last year in Mirali, North Waziristan where a secret meeting was underway between him and some German Jihadis about the future strategies of Al-Qaeda and TTP nexus in Europe. Sources within Taliban told us on condition of anonymity, “We couldn’t announce his death in order to avoid a possible downturn of morale within our ranks as we were in preparation to take on security forces in Mehsud inhabited South Waziristan.” He was among the founding members of Tehrik-e-Taliban, ran his group suicide squad and was commonly known in militants’ ranks as “Ustad-e-Fidayeen” (trainer of the suicide bombers). The description was also written with large white stones on the hill top behind his stone house in Kotkai, South Waziristan, when a AD team visited his camp in March last year. When asked about the possible drone attack, he laughingly said (even as predators loomed overhead) “I have no option but to remain fearless as my mission is to kill or to be killed”. He was among the top 3 most wanted persons for Pakistan law enforcement agencies with a price on his head of Rs50 million. Before launching operation, “Rahe-e-Nejat” (the Path to Salvation) by Pakistan army against TTP’s South Waziristan chapter he was the Amir (leader) of Kotakai and Spinkai Raghzai divisions of South Waziristan Agency. Then he fled the area and was given refuge by Hafiz Gul Bahider linked militants in the second largest division of neighboring North Waziristan, Mirali. Qari Mehsud was considered a mastermind for orchestrating almost all the suicide attacks across Pakistan and was a cousin of current TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud. US authorities blacklisted him too under its Executive Order 13224, for allegedly training forged CIA spook, a Jordanian doctor, Humam Muhammad Abu Mulal al-Balawi and organizing the December 30, 2009 attack on CIA camp in Khost, Afghanistan which killed seven agency officials including its station chief. US authorities have also accused him of indoctrinating and launching 2010 Times Square car bomb plotter, Faisal Shahzad. After the demise of the founder and leader of TTP, Baitullah Mehsud, this will be viewed as a second devastating blow to TTP inflicted by US. Despite launching a number of operations across north western Pakistan, Pakistani security forces have always failed to hunt down or kill TTP top leadership. On several occasions, Qari Mehsud’s death was announced by Pakistani authorities but latterly all these claims were proven wrong. Once he was even proclaimed dead by influential Pakistani interior minister Rahman Malik in an intra-Taliban vendetta over the designation of the successor of Baitullah Mehsud but later Qari contacted local media outlets and termed the news as fake.

http://www.asiadespatch.com/2011/04/talibans-suicide-squad-commanders-killing-confirmed/

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Libya rebels fight Gaddafi forces for strategic town

April 11, 2011

Ajdabiyah is the gateway to the rebels' stronghold of Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, and has been the launch point for insurgents during a week-long fight for the oil port of Brega further west. Rebels said Gaddafi's forces killed at least four rebel fighters in the second day of fighting for Ajdabiyah.

"I saw the four this morning. Their throats were slit and they were all shot through the chest and dumped on the road. Their car was also riddled with bullets," said a rebel, Mohammed Saad, at a checkpoint on the eastern edge of Ajdabiyah.

Insurgent Hassan Bosayna said eight Gaddafi fighters and four rebels were killed in fighting on Saturday, with one of the rebels shot in the forehead by a sniper.

Another rebel, Muftah, said: "There are Gaddafi forces inside Ajdabiyah in sand-coloured Land Cruisers and we know there are Gaddafi snipers in civilian clothing in the city as well."

A Reuters reporter near Ajdabiyah's eastern gate heard shooting and artillery fire and saw plumes of black smoke, suggesting Gaddafi's forces had pushed towards the centre. The mostly untrained rebels have tried to reorganise and re-equip but were unable to hold ground last week against Gaddafi's better-armed forces in the fight for Brega.

A high-level African Union delegation led by South African President Jacob Zuma was due in Tripoli on Sunday to try to kindle peace talks between the two sides.

South African officials said the delegation, which also included the leaders of Mauritania, Congo, Mali and Uganda, would meet rebel leaders in Benghazi after talking to Gaddafi.

Western officials have acknowledged that their air power will not be enough to help the rag-tag rebels overthrow Gaddafi by force and they are now emphasising a political solution.

But a rebel spokesman rejected a negotiated outcome in the conflict, the bloodiest in a series of pro-democracy revolts across the Arab world that have already dethroned the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Gaddafi has been in power for 41 years.

"There is no other solution than the military solution, because this dictator's language is annihilation, and people who speak this language only understand this language," spokesman Ahmad Bani told al Jazeera television.

Analysts predict a long, low-level conflict possibly leading to partition between east and west in the sprawling North African Arab country.

The fight for Ajdabiyah followed pitched battles on Saturday when rebels fought off a heavy assault by government forces on the besieged western coastal city of Misrata.

One insurgent said 30 of their fighters were killed but another said there were eight confirmed dead and 10 unconfirmed.

Rebels in Misrata, a lone rebel bastion in western Libya which has been under siege for six weeks, hailed more muscular NATO operations against Gaddafi's besieging forces.

The alliance confirmed an increased tempo of attacks and said it had destroyed 17 government tanks between Friday and Saturday, 15 near Misrata and two south of Brega.

Gaddafi's forces appear bent on seizing Misrata and crucially its port, which some analysts say is vital if Gaddafi is to survive because it supplies the capital Tripoli. Rebel spokesman Mustafa Abdulrahman said by telephone that Saturday's Misrata fighting centred on a road to the port, where a Red Cross vessel brought in badly needed medical supplies earlier in the day.

A government-organised trip to Misrata revealed deserted streets and many heavily shelled buildings in the city's south.

As fighting raged on for the coastal town, where conditions are said to be desperate, a buoyant Muammar Gaddafi made his first television appearance for five days on Saturday.

Wearing his trademark brown robes and dark glasses, he was shown smiling and pumping his fists in the air at a school where he was welcomed ecstatically. Women ululated, one wept with emotion and pupils chanted anti-western slogans.

Gaddafi looked relaxed, confirming the impression among analysts that his administration has emerged from a period of paralysis and is hunkering down for a long campaign.

NATO's commander of Libyan operations said the alliance, which took over air strikes against Gaddafi on March 31, had destroyed "a significant percentage" of his armoured forces and ammunition stockpiles east of Tripoli.

Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard also accused Gaddafi's forces of using civilians as human shields, adding to similar charges made by other Western commanders.

"We have observed horrific examples of regime forces deliberately placing their weapons systems close to civilians, their homes and even their places of worship," Bouchard said in a statement on Saturday.

"Troops have also been observed hiding behind women and children. This type of behaviour violates the principles of international law and will not be tolerated."

Rebels say people are crammed five families to a house in the few safe districts in Misrata to escape weeks of sniper, mortar and rocket fire. There are severe shortages of food, water and medical supplies, and hospitals are overflowing.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/9697/World/Region/Libya-rebels-fight-Gaddafi-forces-for-strategic-to.aspx

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NATO says it struck 25 Libyan tanks near Ajdabiya, Misrata

April 11, 2011

NATO warplanes destroyed 11 regime tanks on the road to the eastern Libyan town of Ajdabiya and another 14 tanks near Misrata in the west on Sunday, an alliance official told AFP.

"As of noon today, NATO air strikes have taken out 11 tanks on the road to Ajdabiya and strikes will continue through the day and tonight," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Clearly the situation in Ajdabiya is desperate and Gaddafi forces are attacking the town with heavy weapons," the official said.

Loud explosions rocked the battleground town of Ajdabiya for a second day Sunday as rebel fighters advanced cautiously after suffering a major reverse at the hands of loyalists.

Another 14 regime tanks were destroyed near Misrata, the rebels' last major bastion in the west, besieged by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces for more than a month, the NATO official said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/9722/World/Region/NATO-says-it-struck--Libyan-tanks-near-Ajdabiya,-M.aspx

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Explosions rock Libya’s Ajdabiya battleground

April 11, 2011

Loud explosions rocked the Libyan battleground town of Ajdabiya for a second day today, as rebel fighters advanced cautiously after suffering a major reverse at the hands of loyalists.

An AFP correspondent in rebel-held territory east of the town heard some 10 massive blasts in the space of minutes as the two sides disputed the strategic road junction on the east’s coastal and desert highways.

“There is intense shelling of the town from the west,” resident Hafeth Zwai told AFP on telephone.

He said he had no idea what casualties or damage the artillery bombardment by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi was causing as he was afraid to leave his home.

On Saturday after advancing towards the oil refinery town of Brega, some 80 kilometres further west on the central coast, rebel forces ran into a loyalist counter-offensive that saw them pushed all the back to the eastern edge of Ajdabiya.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/330776/Explosions-rock-Libya%E2%80%99s-Ajdabiya-battleground.html

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War in Afghanistan is destabilising Pakistan: Zardari

April 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the war in Afghanistan is destabilising Pakistan and seriously undermining efforts to restore its democratic institutions and economic prosperity after a decade of military dictatorship.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with the Guardian in the imposing presidential residence in Islamabad, Zardari also pointed to widespread concern in Pakistan at the slow pace of efforts to end the Afghan conflict, and said some US politicians showed limited understanding of the impact of American policies.

"Just as the Mexican drug war on US borders makes a difference to Texas and American society, we are talking about a war on our border which is obviously having a huge effect. Only today a suicide bomber has attacked a police compound in Balochistan. I think it [the Afghan war] has an effect on the entire region, and specially our country," Zardari said.

Asked about harsh criticism of Pakistan's co-operation in the "war on terror" published in a White House report last week, Zardari said Pakistan always listened to Washington's views. But he suggested some members of Congress and the US media did not know what they were talking about when it came to Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13954

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Political leadership united against challenges: Gilani

April 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said that all the political leadership is sincere and united to tackle the challenges confronting the country, Geo News reported.

Talking to media after addressing the inaugural session of the three-day Energy Conference convened by Petroleum Institute of Pakistan to highlight, Gilani said to resolve the issue of raising petroleum prices, all the political parties would be consulted in the upcoming budget.

Referring to his meeting with MQM Chief Altaf Hussain and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif in London, Gilani said the political leadership of the country is united to tackle the challenges faced by the country.

To a question, the Prime Minister said POL prices have risen in the international market but Pakistan government is still providing Rs35 billion subsidy on it.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13931

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Regional cooperation essential for effectively fighting terrorism: Pakistan

April 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said regional cooperation and trans-national linkages are essential for effectively fighting terrorism and South Asian countries have a collective responsibility to frame strategies to rid the region of militancy.

Zardari made the remarks during a meeting with visiting SAARC secretary general Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed.

"It was, therefore, national and collective responsibility to make sincere efforts and implement strategies to rid the South Asian region of terrorism and militancy," he said.

The two leaders discussed matters related to terrorism, drug trafficking and socio-economic cooperation among member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Zardari said that each act of terror "reminded us of the gravity of the issue of terrorism which transcended national boundaries and considerations of ethnicity, religion and civilizations".

Pakistan is opposed to all forms of terrorism, regardless of where they originate or where terrorists struck innocent people, he added.

Pakistan has embarked on a plan to reform education as part of a long-term strategy to fight the militant mindset, Zardari said.

He called on SAARC countries to actively cooperate with Pakistan in this regard.

SAARC should also develop a comprehensive and holistic regional strategy that includes sharing of best practices in agriculture, technology transfer and efficient irrigation systems to effectively preempt any future food crises, he said.

"Regional cooperation in South Asia is the only realistic way forward for which the SAARC should be made more relevant and visible," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Regional-cooperation-essential-for-effectively-fighting-terrorism-Pakistan/articleshow/7928406.cms

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Pakistan says seven militants killed in Swat

April 11, 2011

Pakistani officials said troops yesterday shot dead at least seven militants who infiltrated the northwestern district of Swat to escape an offensive in the neighbouring tribal belt.

The gunfight took place when troops intercepted the group trying to enter the Dherai area of Swat, where Pakistan carried out a sweeping military operation in 2009 that brought to an end two years of local Taliban control.

The military said the insurgents were reportedly fleeing Mohmand, where Pakistan is waging an air and ground offensive against homegrown Taliban blamed for near-daily bomb attacks in the northwest.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=181333

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Blast kills Afghan tribal elders

April 11, 2011

A Taliban-style bomb attack blew up a vehicle, killing three Afghan tribal elders in the west of the country yesterday, police said.

The group were attacked in the western province of Farah, a troubled region packed with Taliban-linked insurgents and bandits waging a guerrilla war against the US-backed administration in Kabul.

"An IED (improvised explosive device) blast in Bala Buluk district of Farah province killed three and injured two civilians," said Abdul Rauf Ahmadi, police spokesman for western Afghanistan.

Provincial government spokesman Naqibullah Farahi told AFP that the victims were "local elders en route to Farah city from the district."

President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the bombing and described the attackers as "the enemies of Afghanistan" a term Afghan officials use to refer to Taliban and other insurgents.

Afghanistan is in the grip of an increasingly deadly insurgency now into a 10th year. Led by Taliban leaders who were in power between 1996 and 2001, the insurgency is fighting to bring down Karzai.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=181320

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Jama’at to back Left in Kerala

VR Jayaraj | Malappuram

April 11, 2011

After days of maintaining suspense, the Jama’at-e-Islami has finally decided to support a majority of the Left Democratic Front candidates in the Wednesday Assembly election in Kerala. Interestingly, it will also back Congress-led United Democratic Front nominees in over a dozen seats.

While the Jama’at will boost the prospects of the LDF in 124 of the total 140 Assembly seats, it would support the UDF in 15 other constituencies. No decision has been taken on whom it would back in the Eranad seat in the Muslim-majority Malappuram district.

The Jama’at’s decision to support the Left in majority of seats follows a secret meeting between its leaders and Kerala CPI (M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in Alappuzha recently. The two organisations, who had been allies for more than a decade, had fallen out after the Marxists termed the Jama’at as “anti-national” and “extremism-oriented”.

Among the seats where the Islamist outfit would support the Left, Beypore in Kozhikode district evokes particular interest as the LDF candidate there is CPI(M)’s Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem, whose adamant stand on implementing a road development project, which the Jama’at opposed, had led to the breaking of the alliance.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/330877/Jama%E2%80%99at-to-back-Left-in-Kerala.html

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Pak prosecutors seek more time to serve warrant to Musharraf

April 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani prosecutors have again sought more time from an anti-terrorism court to serve an arrest warrant issued for former President Pervez Musharraf for not cooperating with investigators probing the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Prosecutor Chaudhary Zulfiqar, who appeared on behalf of the Federal Investigation Agency in the court, sought more time for serving the warrant on Musharraf, currently living in self-exile in Britain.

The court subsequently adjourned the case till April 23.

During the hearing held in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail for security reasons, the judge asked the prosecution about progress made in serving the warrant issued in February.

FIA Director Wajid Zia told the judge that the British home department had failed to serve the warrant.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-prosecutors-seek-more-time-to-serve-warrant-to-Musharraf/articleshow/7929428.cms

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China rejects reports about troop presence in POK

April 11, 2011

BEIJING: China on Thursday dismissed reports about the presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan occupied Kashmir as "baseless and ridiculous".

The statement comes ahead of the planned meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese president Hu Jintao in mid-April.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hong Lei brushed aside a statement by a Indian army general, who recently expressed worry about the China-Pakistan build-up with Chinese troops being present in POK areas. The issue is likely to come up during the meeting of leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of the BRICS summit to be attended by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in the Chinese coastal city of Sanya in April 13-15.

The Indian government had formally raised the issue with China last year after reports in the US media suggested a large presence of Chinese forces in the Gilgit-Baltistan areas of POK.

Beijing reacted by saying that its personnel were present in POK only for the purpose of providing relief to victims of massive floods that affected the areas.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-rejects-reports-about-troop-presence-in-POK/articleshow/7905590.cms

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Malaysia: Imam sued for fatwa

April 11, 2011

An imam of a mosque has been sued on charge of giving a questionable fatwa (religious edict) that triggered a clash, leaving seven people injured on the premises of Sardar Bari Jame Masjid in Gournadi upazila under Barisal district on Friday.

Esahaq Melkar, of Kamalapur village under Gournadi upazila on Saturday lodged the case with Gournadi police station against eight people including Maulana Sobhan Sheikh, imam of the mosque, and Fazlul Huq Sardar, local leader of Tablig Jamaat, said Mezbahuddin, officer in charge of the police station.

Maulana Sobhan recently announced a fatwa banning circulation of Azan of the mosque over loudspeaker and this created sensation among the local musallis (practising Muslims), goes the case statement.

As Esahaq Melkar protested the fatwa, the imam and his associates injured him by beating after the Juma prayers on Friday, the complainant alleged.

Later Esahaq's supporters rushed to the spot and engaged in a clash with the imam and his associates in the afternoon.

At least seven people from two groups including Esahaq Melkar, Syed Melkar, Zahid, Sohel Melkar, Fazle Huq Sardar, Khokan and Shipon were injured in the clash, locals said.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=181341

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Iraq’s Christians, Lebanon’s shame

Peter Durkovic

April 11, 2011

Iraq’s Christians are a dwindling minority, one that may soon disappear from the Middle East. But you would not realize the seriousness of their plight from the way Lebanon has dealt with them.

Whether it is the state, churches or their Lebanese coreligionists, all have done little to help the community confront its myriad problems.

Today, the number of Iraqi Christian refugees in Lebanon is estimated to be around 5,000. However, since 2003, when the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, more than 20,000 have come through Lebanon. Most have resettled in the European Union, the United States or Australia, while a mere 1 percent has returned to Iraq. Those in Lebanon have remained because their request to resettle in third countries has been denied by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

A majority of the Iraqi Christians, some 65 percent, are from the Chaldean Catholic Church. The rest include Assyrians, Syriac Orthodox, and Syriac Catholics. Yet no matter to which church they belong, the Iraqis all face similar problems: the absence of official refugee status; difficulties in obtaining adequate accommodations, education and medical assistance; and abusive labor practices.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Apr/11/Iraqs-Christians-Lebanons-shame.ashx

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Israel, Palestinians reach truce after spike in killings

April 11, 2011

JERUSALEM: Israeli and Palestinian officials floated a ceasefire on Sunday to end an upsurge of violence in Gaza, as Israel warned of a still stronger response if rocket fire from the coastal strip continues.

In Cairo, the Arab League said it would call on the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that continued rocket fire by Gaza militants would be dealt with harshly. "If the criminal attacks against the Israeli military and civilians continue, Israel will respond with even more force," he told reporters at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.

But both Israeli and Palestinian officials expressed support for a potential ceasefire, after days of rocket fire from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli air raids that have killed at least 18 Palestinians.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Israel-Palestinians-reach-truce-after-spike-in-killings/articleshow/7940777.cms

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Egyptian demonstrators defy Army order, continue protest

April 11, 2011

Egyptian protesters ignored a military order to leave Cairo’s main square on Sunday, a day after two persons were killed as Army tried to disperse demonstrators demanding the trial of Hosni Mubarak and a quick transition to civilian rule.

Protesters staged an overnight protest at the Tahrir Square — the centre of the 18-day uprising that ousted Mubarak in February — despite military enforced a curfew between 2 am to 5am.

They barricaded the square with barbed wire and chanted against military chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who has headed the country since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.

There were no reports of action by Army or central security forces on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/330778/Egyptian-demonstrators-defy-Army-order-continue-protest.html

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Israel vows ‘most harsh’ response; ceasefire in sight

Harinder Mishra

April 11, 2011

Israel on Sunday vowed to respond “most harshly” if Gaza-based militant outfits continued to fire rocket and mortar shells in its southern territories, as an informal ceasefire between the two sides appeared in sight following the death of 19 Palestinians in Israeli pounding of the coastal Strip.

“The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) hit Hamas and the terrorist organisations hard over the weekend,” Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday in Jerusalem.

“If attacks against Israeli civilians and the IDF continue, the response will be most harsh,” he asserted.

The Israeli Premier was backed by by deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Ellie Yishai, who called on the Cabinet to agree to taking “less routine” and more “stronger” action against the Gaza Strip, to curb the onslaught of rockets.

Yishai said that he was not envisioning “another Cast Lead” operation, referring to the war between Hamas and Israel more than two years ago, but rather “an expanded air operation”.

“A ground operation is completely useless. We need to do something stronger and not stay apathetic as we have been, in order to bring calm to the area,” the deputy Prime Minister said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/330761/Israel-vows-%E2%80%98most-harsh%E2%80%99-response;-ceasefire-in-sight.html

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Mubarak breaks silence: welcomes investigations to clear his name

April 11, 2011

In a short recorded exclusive speech to Al-Arabia TV, Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak broke his silence by claiming that he and his family members have had been wrongly accused of illegal profiteering.

“I have been suffering great pain as a result of the false accusations my family and I have faced,” Mubarak said in his usual confident tone. “There is a smear campaign aiming to tarnish my reputation, dignity and my military and political history.”

“I opted to step down as president, putting the best interest of my nation and its people above all, and chose to move away from political life.”

“However, I spent a lifetime serving my nation in an honest manner and I cannot remain silent amid such smear campaigns and attempts to destroy my reputation and that of my family.”

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/9737/Egypt/Politics-/Mubarak-breaks-silence-welcomes-investigations-to-.aspx

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President Saleh demands Gulf initiative be amended

April 11, 2011

In a step described as “uncalculated,” the Yemeni government has recalled its ambassador to Qatar after President Saleh dismissed a GCC proposal to put an end to the political crisis in Yemen. The president rejected the initiative because it included preconditions that contradicted the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) party position and the constitutional legitimacy that grants the president the right to remain in power until 2013.

President Saleh has reiterated in a speech on “concord Friday” before crowds of his supporters at Al-Sabeen Square his willingness to sacrifice his life for the constitutional legitimacy bestowed on him by the people. He asserted that Yemen did not need any mediation to settle the crisis in Yemen, because it was initiated by parties that belong to opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). The JMP welcomed the Gulf proposal and considered it a key to end the stalemate in Yemen.

Saleh, who sounded furious while delivering his speech, attacked the Gulf initiative in general and Qatar’s role in particular. He repeated his rejection of the initiative four times. “Our power comes from the power of our great people, not from Qatar, not from anyone else,” he said. “[The initiative] is rejected, rejected, rejected, rejected,” he shouted.

He described the Gulf undertaking and Qatar’s position as a “blatant interference in Yemeni affairs,” rejecting what “is brought by Qatari initiative and the Al-Jazeera channel.”

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35886

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“Yemen will put an end to terrorism if revolution succeeds”

April 11, 2011

Judge Hamoud Al-Hitar, the former Minister of Religious Affairs who chaired the government’s dialogue committee with Al-Qaeda in 2006, told more than one million pro-democracy protesters on Friday that Yemen would soon be free of terrorism if President Saleh agreed to step down.

He explained that, “The real size of Al-Qaeda in Yemen does not exceed ten percent of what is being portrayed by the state-owned Yemeni media, but Saleh uses the Al-Qaeda card to blackmail Arab and foreign countries so as to get more assistance.”

Al-Hitar urged Gulf countries to support Yemen’s “popular revolution”, assuring them that, “Yemen will remain an active partner in counterterrorism within the international community, in accordance with Yemen’s constitution and international legislation.”

There have been many US air strikes carried out in various Yemeni governorates against alleged sites of Al-Qaeda operation that have only resulted in the mass killing of civilians.

Yemeni officials have long asserted that these attacks were carried out by Yemeni – rather than American – forces, but at the end of 2010, a secret cable dated January 2010 and published by Wikileaks revealed that Yemen’s President Saleh had assured the US’ General David Petraeus that his government would “…continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35889

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Obama dispatches top aide to visit Saudi, UAE

April 11, 2011

US President Barack Obama is sending a key foreign policy aide to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates amid concern over the wave of popular protests sweeping the Middle East.

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will leave on Monday (today) on a three-day trip to the key US allies and will meet Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan in Abu-Dhabi.

"The National Security Advisor's visit underscores the importance of our relationship with these two key partners," a White House statement said.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=181357

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I am victim of defamation: Mubarak

April 11, 2011

CAIRO: Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak said he was a victim of defamation and threatened lawsuits in his first comments since he was ousted in a popular uprising, aired on Sunday on Al-Arabiya television.

The former president said he was prepared to assist any investigations into his family's alleged assets abroad, as pressure mounts on the ruling military to try him for corruption and other crimes.

Mubarak said he and his family were the victims of "unjust campaigns and false claims that seek to ruin my reputation and challenge my integrity and my... military and political history," he said.

The 82-year-old added he was prepared to assist the "public prosecutor to ask the foreign ministry of Egypt to communicate with all foreign ministries in the world asking them to reveal our assets abroad," he said.

Mubarak criticised the media for reporting that he had "large properties" abroad, and denied he had foreign bank accounts.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/I-am-victim-of-defamation-Mubarak/articleshow/7934803.cms

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Syrian Army mobilizes in Banias after killings: activists

April 11, 2011

NICOSIA: Syrian troops encircled Monday the flashpoint coastal town of Banias, where weekend shootings left 13 dead and scores wounded, a human rights activist said.

“Seventeen tanks were deployed [to Banias],” the activist told AFP, adding that the army had encircled the northwestern city and electricity had been cut off.

“The army is shooting sporadically to provoke people but not a single demonstrator has fired. There are calls from the minarets of the mosques asking the army to stop its fire,” the activist said.

He added that three soldiers had tried to defect and join the demonstrators, after refusing to fire at them, but superior officers opened fire, wounding the soldiers.

Meanwhile, Syrian human rights organizations demanded Monday an investigation into the bloody clashes in the city that had taken the previous day when at least four civilians and nine military were killed.

They called for the creation of a “neutral, transparent and independent investigative committee,” in order to “sanction the perpetrators of the violence.”

“We firmly denounce all forms of violence, regardless of its origin,” said the rights watchdogs in a joint statement.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Apr/11/Death-toll-in-Banias-ambush-rises-to-9-SANA.ashx

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More Lebanese expats fleeing Ivory Coast arrive in Beirut

April 11, 2011

BEIRUT: Over 400 Lebanese expatriates arrived in Beirut Monday from Ivory Coast on board two Middle East Airlines flights as the Lebanese embassy in the war-torn country stepped up efforts to expedite its evacuation procedures.

One MEA flight arrived directly from Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, while the second one flew from the Ghanian capital of Accra, where earlier evacuations had taken place.

Each flight carried 244 Lebanese, mainly women and children, bringing the total number of Lebanese fleeing the country to over 1,000 as a result of running gun battles between forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo and internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara.

There are still 5,000 registered Lebanese in Abidjan awaiting evacuation.

The head of the Lebanese official committee to Ivory Coast and director general of the Foreign Ministry, Haitham Jomaa, urged Lebanese expatriates to follow the procedures recommended by the Lebanese Embassy in Abidjan in order to speed up their return to Beirut.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/Apr/11/More-Lebanese-expats-fleeing-Ivory-Coast-arrive-in-Beirut.ashx

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Gulf ministers meet to review Yemen mediation

April 11, 2011

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh initially accepted an offer by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states including Qatar, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to hold talks with opposition parties after two months of protests against his 32-year-long rule.

But on Friday, Saleh reacted angrily to comments from Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister saying the mediation would lead to Saleh standing down.

"We don't get our legitimacy from Qatar or from anyone else ... We reject this belligerent intervention," Saleh told tens of thousands of supporters in the capital. On Saturday Yemen said it would withdraw its ambassador from Doha.

Sunday's meeting in Riyadh will evaluate the official response of Saleh and Yemen's opposition coalition, after Yemen's foreign minister said on Saturday that Saleh was still open to the Gulf mediation, which Yemen views as Saudi-led.

"He has announced personally that the Yemeni government is studying the Gulf initiative and has not declared any rejection of it," Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi was quoted as saying on Yemen's official Saba news agency.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/9699/World/Region/Gulf-ministers-meet-to-review-Yemen-mediation.aspx

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Egypt's ex-President Mubarak denies abuse of power

April 11, 2011

In the first remarks since his dramatic ouster, former President Hosni Mubarak denied that he used his position to amass wealth and property during three decades in power, and issued an emotional defense of his legacy.

The statement, broadcast Sunday at the end of a turbulent weekend that saw a deadly military crackdown on protesters, only stoked more public anger in the midst of Egypt's turbulent transition to a more democratic system.

In the prerecorded audiotape, the 82-year-old Mubarak spoke with a tone of authority more in keeping with his past power than his current situation. He said he had agreed to "authorize" an investigation of his finances, and promised to sue all those who smeared his reputation.

As the ruling military council comes under increasing public pressure for its management of the post-Mubarak transition, the ex-president's first words were a reminder that he still has a grip on the country's mood. Shortly after the speech was aired, Egypt's prosecutor general announced he had issued orders summoning the ex-president and his two sons for questioning on the embezzlement allegations. The scope of the investigation was also widened to include the crackdown on protesters that killed an estimated 300 people.

The move could help ease public anger now largely directed at the military. The pan-Arab news channel Al-Arabiya, which broadcast the speech, said it was recorded Saturday, a day after demonstrators gathered in huge numbers in Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand that the military council that took over from Mubarak launch an investigation into his wealth.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=egypts-ex-president-mubarak-denies-abuse-of-power-2011-04-11

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Turkey denounces Israeli attacks on Gaza

April 11, 2011

Turkey on Sunday denounced what it termed Israel’s “excessive and disproportionate” strikes on Gaza in retaliation for a Palestinian anti-tank missile attack last week as Israeli and Palestinian officials floated the idea of a cease-fire.

“We strongly condemn the excessive and disproportionate reprisals of Israel that have injured and killed civilians in Gaza,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement urging Israel to employ good sense and moderation. “The region cannot be allowed to enter into a new spiral of violence,” it added.

Israel has launched a string of deadly airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, killing at least 18 people and wounding nearly 70, according to Palestinian medical sources, after an anti-tank missile fired from the coastal enclave hit a school bus in Israel on Thursday, seriously wounding a teenager.

The latest confrontation is the deadliest since an Israeli offensive in December 2008 that claimed the lives of some 1,400 Palestinians. Relations between Israel and Turkey, once close allies, have sharply deteriorated in recent years amid Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s frequent outbursts against Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

Israel warned of a still stronger response Sunday if rocket fire from the coastal strip continues while both Israeli and Palestinian officials expressed support for a potential cease-fire after days of rocket fire and retaliatory Israeli air raids.

Speaking shortly after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near the southern city of Ashkelon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that any further attacks would be dealt with harshly. “If the criminal attacks against the Israeli military and civilians continue, Israel will respond with even more force,” he told reporters at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-denounces-israeli-attacks-on-gaza-2011-04-10

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Violent crackdowns in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden leave thousands injured

April 11, 2011

More violence was directed against pro-democracy demonstrations this week as protesters in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden began marching as a way of escalating the revolution. In the capital, physicians estimate that the most recent bout of bloodshed resulted in one death, 40 injuries by bullets and car crashes, and over 2,000 by exposure to tear gas. Eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times that government security forces shot four protesters to death and then confiscated their bodies.

“The crimes they are committing are beyond imagination,” shouted one of the protesters at the field hospital located within Sana’a University mosque. “They hid the dead bodies so that no one can prove their guilt.”

“They took the bodies so as to dress them in government security uniforms and show them on Yemeni TV. That’s what they do to fool the people and turn them against the protesters,” said another demonstrator.

“When they started firing, some of us ducked into a gateway. The doors were closed but it got us off the main street,” said Iona Craig, a correspondent for the Irish Times who witnessed the attack.

“We were tear gassed and there was a lot of gunfire,” explained Craig. “We were all crouching on the ground with our hands over our heads, waiting to get shot, until someone inside opened a door in the steel gate and let us into the yard between two houses.”

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35885

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Syrian Army mobilizes in Banias after killings: activists

April 11, 2011

NICOSIA: Syrian troops encircled Monday the flashpoint coastal town of Banias, where weekend shootings left 13 dead and scores wounded, a human rights activist said.

“Seventeen tanks were deployed [to Banias],” the activist told AFP, adding that the army had encircled the northwestern city and electricity had been cut off.

“The army is shooting sporadically to provoke people but not a single demonstrator has fired. There are calls from the minarets of the mosques asking the army to stop its fire,” the activist said.

He added that three soldiers had tried to defect and join the demonstrators, after refusing to fire at them, but superior officers opened fire, wounding the soldiers.

Meanwhile, Syrian human rights organizations demanded Monday an investigation into the bloody clashes in the city that had taken the previous day when at least four civilians and nine military were killed.

They called for the creation of a “neutral, transparent and independent investigative committee,” in order to “sanction the perpetrators of the violence.”

“We firmly denounce all forms of violence, regardless of its origin,” said the rights watchdogs in a joint statement.

“Protecting the lives of citizens is the state’s responsibility.”

It also called for “an immediate end to this bloody violence.”

Syrian government forces killed at least four people and wounded 17 when they strafed a residential area of the coastal town of Banias with gunfire for hours Sunday, witnesses told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Apr/11/Death-toll-in-Banias-ambush-rises-to-9-SANA.ashx

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More Lebanese expats fleeing Ivory Coast arrive in Beirut

April 11, 2011

BEIRUT: Over 400 Lebanese expatriates arrived in Beirut Monday from Ivory Coast on board two Middle East Airlines flights as the Lebanese embassy in the war-torn country stepped up efforts to expedite its evacuation procedures.

One MEA flight arrived directly from Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, while the second one flew from the Ghanian capital of Accra, where earlier evacuations had taken place.

Each flight carried 244 Lebanese, mainly women and children, bringing the total number of Lebanese fleeing the country to over 1,000 as a result of running gun battles between forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo and internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara.

There are still 5,000 registered Lebanese in Abidjan awaiting evacuation.

The head of the Lebanese official committee to Ivory Coast and director general of the Foreign Ministry, Haitham Jomaa, urged Lebanese expatriates to follow the procedures recommended by the Lebanese Embassy in Abidjan in order to speed up their return to Beirut.

The support and relief committee for Lebanese stranded in Ivory Coast is composed of a team tasked with providing military, administrative and medical support to expatriates.

Some 80,000 Lebanese are thought to live in Ivory Coast, many of them long-term expatriates and some of them born in West Africa.

Several hundreds have taken refuge in a French military base in Abidjan during the latest round of clashes in Ivory Coast.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/Apr/11/More-Lebanese-expats-fleeing-Ivory-Coast-arrive-in-Beirut.ashx

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Egypt's Tahrir Square goes from battle ground to forum for debate

April 11, 2011

Hundreds of people gathered in Tahrir Square on Sunday to discuss the military’s actions on Friday when around a thousand sit-in protesters were forcibly removed from the square. Traffic around the square, especially near the Egyptian Museum, was heavily congested due to army-constructed barricades and barbed wire. There was, however, no notable military or security presence in the square or the surrounding downtown streets.

Groups of people congregated, discussing the role of the Armed Forces and the military council - the country’s de-facto rulers - who held a press conference Saturday night to clarify and explain its heavy handed tactics the night before. The square had become a forum for debate as men and women of all ages stood eager to hear the views of others. People wandered around asking and inquiring. "What's your take on the military? Are you for staying or for leaving?"

The air was uneasy and the large square, which had been filled by tens of thousands on Friday’s "Day of Cleansing" was reminiscent of a ghost town as the wind blew dust and rubbish around the empty roundabout. The once green garden which had been filled with tents and vibrant conversation stood vacant, an empty dust bowl littered with a few emptied tents surrounded by barbed wire.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/9726/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Tahrir-Square-goes-from-battle-ground-to-fo.aspx

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Beirut sees fourth anti-sectarianism protest

Marie Dhumières

April 11, 2011

BEIRUT: Thousands demonstrated against the sectarian system Sunday in the fourth round of protests in the capital, as part of a national campaign to topple Lebanon’s sectarian regime that has been going on across the country for over a month.

The demonstration, which took the Beirut Museum as a starting point, had been called for under the theme of “reclaiming the colors” appropriated by various political parties. Protesters carried blue, orange and yellow signs and balloons.

A small group of activists was also holding up a “secular rainbow,” a sort of multicolor-umbrella, under which demonstrators could walk to suddenly “become” secular.

Clown Jancouz, who was dancing with ribbons among protesters, said in a squeaky voice that “politicians took the happiness away from colors” by using them for their parties. “Colors are for us, not for politicians,” he added.

Maya Muhieddine, one of the organizers of the protest, explained that Sunday’s demonstration was a “revolution of colors.”

“Blue does not represent the Future Movement exclusively, nor does yellow only represent Hezbollah and orange is not particular to the Free Patriotic Movement,” she said.

Protesters carried signs reading “A civil country is a country of justice, equality and competency” and “No to the abolition of political sectarianism only, yes to the toppling of the sectarian system and its symbols.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/Apr/11/Beirut-sees-fourth-anti-sectarianism-protest.ashx

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Ex-Premier Nazif sentenced to 15 days in jail, pending investigation

April 11, 2011

The Public Funds Prosecution has ordered former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif remanded in custody for 15 days pending investigation.

Nazif is accused of giving a German company the contract to manufacture license plates worth L.E92 million for the Ministry of Interior through a direct order and not through public auction as stipulated by law. Also charged in the same case are former interior minister Habib El-Adly and former Finance Minister Youssef Butros-Ghali.

Nazif has been sent to Tora prison where other top Mubarak regime officials are being held, including El-Adly.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/9746/Egypt/Politics-/ExPremier-Nazif-sentenced-to--days-in-jail,-pendin.aspx

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Revolutionary Youth Coalition suspends dialogue with military council

April 11, 2011

Egypt's Revolutionary Youth Coalition released a statement at a press conference on Sunday condemning the violence used by the military in Tahrir Square and declared that their dialogue with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will be suspended until investigations take place and several other demands are met.

The coalition added that a sit-in will be staged from next Friday if investigations have not started by then and leading figures of the former ruling regime, including Mubarak, have yet to be tried. The coalition are also demanding the release of those detained by the army.

However, the statement stressed that the coalition supported unity within the military.

Coalition representatives, including Khaled El-Saied, Sally Toma, Asmaa Mahfouz, Amr Ezz, Moaz Abdelkarim, Mohamed Abbas, Shady El-Ghazaly, Nasser Abdelhamid, Khaled Abdelhamid and Mohamed El-Kassas, compared the use of violence against demonstrators to that of Mubarak’s ousted regime. They also criticized the role of the media in criminalizing the demonstrators, describing it as being “as un-transparent and dishonest as it was under Mubarak’s rule.”

The coalition criticized the SCAF on several other levels, saying that it did not engage in proper dialogue, while taking several decisions and applying new laws that the youth coalition, and many others, oppose. The decisions mentioned include the law banning strikes and demonstrations, that regarding the establishment of political parties, the short span of time given before parliamentary and presidential elections and the decree law regarding political participation rights. They also criticized the application of several constitutional articles that were not approved by the 19 March referendum.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/9718/Egypt/Politics-/Revolutionary-Youth-Coalition-suspends-dialogue-wi.aspx

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Deadly shooting in Banias, Syira: witnesses

April 11, 2011

Syrian security forces opened fire in the coastal town of Banias on Sunday, killing and wounding people, witnesses told AFP.

"Syrian security forces have been firing for the last two hours in the neighbourhood of Ras Al-Nabee where there is the Al-Rahman mosque," a focal point of demonstrations, a witness told AFP, saying four were wounded.

Another witness reported "many dead and wounded" without providing any numbers.

The gunfire, according to both witnesses, came from the Alawite neighbourhood of Al-Quz.

A rights activists, who requested anonymity citing security concerns, said the shots were aimed at the mosque and left seven people injured.

Five people had already been wounded in a drive-by shooting carried out by plainclothes agents of the Syrian government in the Mediterranean coastal town, according to a witness.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/9739/World/Region/Deadly-shooting-in-Banias,-Syira-witnesses.aspx

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Envoy asks Turkey to convince Hamas

April 11, 2011

Turkish mediation between rival Palestinian groups Hamas and al-Fatah could be possible if Ankara can convince the Hamas leader to establish a unity government, the Palestinian ambassador said Friday.

President Mahmoud Abbas might be willing to meet with Hamas leader Khaleed Meshaal in Istanbul under those conditions, Palestinian Authority Ambassador Nabil Maarouf told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

“Turkey should guarantee the reaching of a solution at the end of the meeting. What’s the meaning of President Abbas coming here and meeting Meshaal and not agreeing on a solution? Abbas will not go Istanbul for a new round of negotiations [without a guaranteed outcome],” Maarouf said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=abbas-could-meet-hamas-leader-in-istanbul-only-if-turkey-guarantees-a-solution-ambassador-says-2011-04-10

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Turkish FM Davutoglu holds talks in Egypt as protesters defy army

April 11, 2011

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Cairo on Sunday to hold meetings with Egyptian officials amid protests in Tahrir Square after the army backed down on a threat to disperse an overnight sit-in demonstration.

Davutoglu was expected to meet with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa as the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to press Sunday. Recent developments in protest-swept Arab countries and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were expected to top the agenda of the meetings.

As the Turkish foreign minister arrived in Cairo, more than 1,000 Egyptians protested in the city’s central Tahrir Square on Sunday after an overnight sit-in demonstration.

The protesters, who blocked the square with a charred army truck, barbed wire and beams, chanted against military chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who has been in charge of the country since President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February.

“The people demand the toppling of the field marshal,” they chanted, after spending a nervous night waiting for the army to carry out its warning that it would enforce a three-hour pre-dawn curfew.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=davutoglu-holds-talks-in-egypt-as-protesters-defy-army-2011-04-10

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Ben Ali brother arrested in Tunisia, says report

April 11, 2011

TUNIS, April 11 — Tunisian security forces have arrested the brother of ousted leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the state TAP news agency said yesterday.

Quoting the Tunisian interior ministry, TAP said Slah Ben Ali was arrested yesterday evening in the city of Sousse, which lies south of the capital Tunis.

“The interior ministry has informed that security forces in Sousse arrested Slah Ben Ali, the brother of the former president, at a house in Sousse around 18.30 today,” TAP said.

TAP gave no further details.

Ben Ali was toppled by mass protests on January 14 after 23 years in power and fled to Saudi Arabia. Several members of his family and security detail as well as some of his closest allies were detained shortly after he was forced out.

Seeking to assert their authority and gain legitimacy in the eyes of protesters who forced Ben Ali to flee, the caretaker authorities are attacking the vestiges of his 23-year rule.

Tunisia’s interim authorities appointed a new government on March 7 and disbanded the state security apparatus, notorious for human rights abuses under Ben Ali.

Last month, the interim government said it would freeze assets of 112 people close to the ousted president pending the completion of judicial investigations. — Reuters

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/ben-ali-brother-arrested-in-tunisia-says-report/

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Hundreds of families flee fighting in Tirah valley

April 11, 2011

LANDIKOTAL: Around hundred families have migrated from Bazaar Zakhakhel area in Tirah Valley to safer places due to fresh clashes between Zakakhel tribe and Lashkar-e- Islam (LI).

Also, a LI commander and three others were killed in a fresh gunfire in Bazaar Zakhakhel area on Sunday.

Amid the intense gunbattle between Zakhakhel armed lashker and Mangal Bagh-led LI, locals have started migrating to safer places in Landikotal, Jamrud and Peshawar via Ali Masjid route.

The displaced persons have started taking shelter with their relatives in safer areas along with their womenfolk and children.

A local eyewitness told Daily Times that he watched hundreds of families leaving the area via Ali Masjid to avoid casualties as a result of skirmishes between LI and Zakhakhel tribe here on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\04\11\story_11-4-2011_pg1_5

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Iran expels Kuwaiti diplomats in tit-for-tat move

April 11, 2011

Iran has expelled ‘several’ Kuwaiti diplomats in a tit-for-tat retaliation for the expulsion of its diplomats accused of spying in the emirate, in a fresh blow to already tense relations across the Gulf.

‘Iran has expelled several Kuwaiti diplomats in retaliation to the expulsion of three of its diplomats ... and one Iranian embassy employee in Kuwait,’ the state television said on its website, quoting an informed source in the foreign ministry.

The source, who did not reveal how many diplomats had been targeted, said the Kuwaiti embassy had been told that the envoys were to leave Iran within ‘10 days’, the website reported.

But Iran’s English-language Press TV said on it web site, without giving a source, that ‘three’ Kuwaiti diplomats were told to leave after the Iranian diplomats were expelled ‘on April 2’.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/14933.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-regime-accepts-african-union-peace-plan--zuma/d/4433


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