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Islamic World News ( 19 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Gaddafi vows 'long war' in Libya

Kadhafi's hometown Sirte bombed: Libya state media

Yemen seethes as death toll climbs to 52

150 hurt in West’s attacks on Libya

West pounds Libya, Qadhafi vows retaliation 

China regrets multinational air strikes in Libya

France, Britain pushes hardest for military action in Libya

At least 94 killed in Gaddafi assault on Benghazi

Clinton warns Iran against meddling in Gulf

Prosecutors dealing with terrorism receive enhanced security

Low radiation reaches U.S.

Syria forces fire tear gas at mourners

Troops on streets as Yemen crisis deepens

Lebanese govt hoped Israel would disarm Hezbollah

US attacked by opponents at UN human rights body

Attack on Saudi mission flayed

Asir women angry over expulsion from festival

U.S. to give China a pass on NSG commitments for Pakistan nuclear deal

What if Arabs had recognized the State of Israel in 1948?

Libyans form human shield at Gaddafi’s compound

Syria mourners call for revolt, forces fire tear gas

Militant, policeman killed in J&K encounter

Syria says it will free child prisoners after unrest

Christian groups decry stamping of BM bibles

Davis case: SC told to initiate contempt proceedings against two judges

Some charity organizations in Jeddah fail to reach the needy

Coalmine blast toll climbs to 7

Altaf asks cable operators to restore Geo

4 injured in blast at PPP office

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Vehicles belonging to Qaddafi forces burn on Sunday after an airstrike by allied forces.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-vows--long-war--in-libya/d/4311

 

 

 

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Gaddafi vows 'long war' in Libya

Col Muammar Gaddafi says Libya will fight a "long war" after Western air strikes against his forces to protect rebel-held areas.

Military officials are said to be assessing the damage after at least 110 missiles were fired by the US and UK.

After an attack by French planes, some 14 bodies were lying near destroyed military vehicles outside the rebel-held city of Benghazi, Reuters says.

The raids were "successful", US military chief Adm Mike Mullen said.

The strikes "took out" Libya's air-defence systems, he told NBC's Meet the Press programme, saying a no-fly zone was now effectively in place.

US fighter planes and B-2 stealth bombers were also involved in the overnight raids early on Sunday, Pentagon officials said.

Cruise missiles hit at least 20 air-defence sites in the capital, Tripoli, and the western city of Misrata, they said.

Libyan TV has broadcast footage it says showed some of the 150 people wounded in the attacks. It said 48 people had been killed.

The capital this morning is relatively calm, with traffic moving around as normal, although the atmosphere is quite tense.

At 0230 there was a loud barrage of anti-aircraft fire, but I could hear no sounds of incoming ordnance, and apart from that there's been no audible sign of the war here in Tripoli.

That is not to say targets on the periphery of the city have not been hit. State TV says 48 civilians have been killed and more than 100 wounded. Last night the speaker of the parliament said hospitals were filling up and that there had been a bombardment of a civilian part of the city, but there's been no independent confirmation of that.

We're reporting under restricted circumstances and can't go out independently. It's easy to find people swearing undying loyalty to Col Gaddafi - and there's no doubting their sincerity - but you wonder what's in the heads of the many millions who do not take part in these angry demonstrations of support for the leader.

There was no independent confirmation of the deaths and UK Finance Minister George Osborne told the BBC that such claims should be treated with caution as the military was striving to avoid civilian casualties.

Adm Mullen also said he had not received any reports of civilian deaths or injuries.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus says coalition military planners will be urgently studying satellite and other reconnaissance imagery to determine how much damage has been done to Col Gaddafi's air defences and to see if some targets may have to be hit again.

He says they will also be monitoring the activities of Libyan government ground forces near key populated areas like Benghazi and Misrata, with any offensive action on their part bringing down urgent air strikes.

A rebel spokesman in Misrata told the BBC that pro-Gaddafi forces had launched fresh attacks on Sunday with heavy shelling in the city.

Inch by inch

"We promise you a long, drawn-out war with no limits," Col Gaddafi said in a phone call to Libyan state TV on Sunday morning.

He said Western forces had no right to attack Libya, which had done nothing to them.

"We will fight inch by inch," he said while a sculpture of a golden fist crushing a US jet was being shown.

He earlier said he would open arms depots to the people to defend Libya and described the attacks as "crusader aggression".

The UN Security Council has approved the use of force to protect civilians.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, heavy bursts of anti-aircraft fire arced into the sky above Tripoli and several explosions were heard.

Sources in Tripoli told BBC Arabic that the attacks on the city had so far targeted the eastern areas of Sawani, Airport Road, and Ghasheer. These are all areas believed to host military bases.

The Western forces began their action on Saturday, after Libyan government forces attacked the main rebel-held city of Benghazi - Col Gaddafi's allies accused the rebels of breaking the ceasefire:

A French plane fired the first shots against Libyan government targets at 1645 GMT on Saturday, destroying military vehicles near Benghazi, according to a military spokesman

At least 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired early on Sunday morning from US destroyers and submarines, said a Pentagon official

A British submarine and Tornado jets fired missiles at Libyan military targets, the UK Ministry of Defence said

Hundreds of Col Gaddafi's supporters have gathered at his Bab al-Aziziyah palace and the international airport to serve as human shields, state TV said

France has denied Libyan claims to have shot down a French plane

A naval blockade against Libya is being put in place.

"It's a first phase of a multi-phase operation" to enforce the UN resolution, said US Navy Vice-Adm William E Gortney.

The BBC's Kevin Connolly, in the rebel-held eastern city of Tobruk, says that once the air-defence systems are taken out, combat aircraft can patrol Libyan airspace more widely and it will then become clear to what extent they will attack Col Gaddafi's ground forces.

This will determine the outcome of the campaign, he adds.

Russia and China, which abstained from the UN Security Council resolution approving the use of force in Libya, have urged all parties to stop fighting, as has the African Union.

'Legal and right'

US President Barack Obama, speaking during a visit to Brazil, said the US was taking "limited military action" as part of a "broad coalition".

"We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy," he said.

He repeated that no US ground troops would take part.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that launching military action against Libya was "necessary, legal and right".

The international community was intervening to stop the "murderous madness" of Col Gaddafi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.

"In Libya, the civilian population, which is demanding nothing more than the right to choose their own destiny, is in mortal danger," he warned. "It is our duty to respond to their anguished appeal."

Canada is also sending warplanes to the region, while Italy has offered the use of its military bases.

Rebels in Benghazi said thousands of people had fled the attack by Col Gaddafi's forces, heading east, and the UN refugee agency said it was preparing to receive 200,000 refugees from Libya.

Col Gaddafi has ruled Libya for more than 40 years. An uprising against him began last month after the long-time leaders of neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt were toppled.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12798568

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Kadhafi's hometown Sirte bombed: Libya state media

March 20, 2011

TRIPOLI: Western forces carried out air and missile strikes on Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's hometown of Sirte on Saturday, the state-run news agency Jana said.

"Air bombardment and missile attacks have struck several civilian targets in Zuwarah, Tripoli, Sirte and Benghazi," in raids along the coast stretching from western to eastern Libya, an armed forces spokesman said, quoted by Jana.         

Western powers on Saturday launched attacks from the air and sea against Kadhafi's forces under a UN Security Council resolution to impose a ceasefire in a month-long showdown between loyalists and rebels.

Kadhafi was reputedly born in a Bedouin tent in Sirte, a Mediterranean city 360 kilometres (225 miles) east of Tripoli.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12869

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Yemen seethes as death toll climbs to 52

March 20, 2011

SANAA: Yemen seethed with anger Saturday as medics raised the death toll from a sniper attack on protesters to 52 and thousands rallied despite a state of emergency imposed by the autocratic regime.

The slaughter in the capital Sanaa on Friday afternoon was the bloodiest day in weeks of unrest that has shaken the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key US ally in the war against al Qaeda militants on the Arabian Peninsula.

Witnesses said pro-Saleh “thugs” rained bullets from rooftops around a square at Sanaa University, the centre of demonstrations seeking the end of Saleh’s 32-year rule.

Many of the victims were shot in the head and more than 120 people were wounded, medics said, in scenes that shocked the world and drew diplomatic scorn from Western powers and human rights monitors.

The toll climbed overnight as six of the critically wounded succumbed to their injuries, according to medics.

Elsewhere on Saturday, witnesses said police shot and wounded an anti-regime protester in the southern city of Aden as they tried to disperse demonstrators demanding Saleh’s resignation.

Three other demonstrators were injured in the clashes in Aden.

Thousands of people remained camped at the square despite the ill-defined state of emergency, which Saleh announced late Friday as he offered his “regrets” for the killings.

He blamed unidentified gunmen opposed to a Saudi-backed peace initiative and denied that the police were involved.

The slaughter flew in the face of repeated US appeals for restraint and the respect of human rights in the impoverished country, which is also struggling to contain a secessionist movement and a Shia rebellion.

US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the crackdown and called on the key US anti-terror ally to live up to a pledge to allow peaceful protests.

“I strongly condemn the violence that has taken place in Yemen today and call on President Saleh to adhere to his public pledge to allow demonstrations to take place peacefully,” Obama said in a written statement.

“Those responsible for today’s violence must be held accountable.”

He called on “all sides” to discuss their differences and address the “legitimate concerns of the Yemeni people,” although the opposition has called of talks saying Saleh no longer has any credibility as a negotiating partner.

The opposition says the president must resign this year but he has refused to leave until his current term expires in 2013. In the meantime he has offered to devolve power to parliament under a new constitution.

UN human rights experts deplored the carnage which they called a breach of international law.

Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned that security officers who fail to protect peaceful demonstrators against violence can be “held criminally accountable”.

Frank La Rue, the special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said “such flagrant human rights violations are utterly deplorable,” in a joint statement with special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was “dismayed” by the violence and demanded Saleh stand by commitments announced on 10 March to protect the right to peaceful protest.

But Western diplomats have made repeated calls of this nature since the violence erupted in Yemen a month ago and the bloodshed only appears to be escalating, with the total toll more than doubling Friday to around 80.

US-based Human Rights Watch said the time had come for the United States suspend its military aid to Yemen, where it has sent special forces troops to help train anti-terror units in the fight against al Qaeda.

“Time and again, President Saleh promises he will stop attacks on peaceful protesters and yet the number of dead keeps rising,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the HRW Middle East director.

“The United States should back up its words condemning the carnage with action, and halt military aid to Yemen.”

Washington has provided “more than $300 million in military and security aid to Yemen in the past five years,” the New York-based group said.

“The US should make further military aid contingent on the government ending attacks on protesters and holding accountable officials and others, regardless of position, who are responsible for the unlawful use of force,” HRW said.

On March 10, Saleh offered to devolve power to parliament under a new constitution and pledged to protect protesters.

Opposition leaders last week called off negotiations with the regime but in the wake of Friday’s killings Washington again called for dialogue.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/19/yemen-seethes-as-death-toll-climbs-to-52.html

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150 hurt in West’s attacks on Libya

March 20, 2011

TRIPOLI: At least 48 people have died and 150 wounded since the US, Britain and France began pounding Libya with air strikes and Tomahawk missiles, severely damaging the Libyan defence system, Geo News reported Sunday morning.

Muammar Gaddafi has threatened retaliatory actions on military and civilian targets in the Mediterranean and has called for an emergent meeting of the UN Security Council.

Libya has claimed to gun down a French fighter plane, but France said that all of its aircrafts have landed safely after the sorties.

The main barrage of missile strikes began around 2 p.m. Eastern Time, when the United States Navy fired cruise missiles that struck Libya roughly an hour later, Vice Adm. William Gortney told reporters in Washington. He said the Pentagon had not yet assessed the damage that the missiles had caused and would not be able to do so until dawn broke in Libya.

The missile strikes were the start of what Admiral Gortney called a “multiphase operation” to create a no-fly zone that would allow coalition aircraft to fly over Libya without the risk of being shot down. He would not say whether American aircraft would be involved in enforcing the no-fly zone, but he said that no American aircraft were directly over Libya on Saturday afternoon.

Admiral Gortney cast the United States as the “leading edge” among coalition partners in the opening phase of the attack. But in keeping with Mr. Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s emphasis that the administration was not driving the efforts to strike Libya, the admiral and other Pentagon officials repeated that the United States would step back within days and hand over command of the coalition to one of its European allies.

The United States has at least 11 warships stationed near Tripoli, including three submarines — the Scranton, the Florida and the Providence — and the destroyers the Stout and the Barry. All five fired cruise missiles on Saturday, the Navy said. Other coalition ships in the Mediterranean included 11 from Italy and one each from Britain, Canada and France.

In a report whose accuracy could not be verified, Libyan state TV Sunday morning quoted the armed forces command as saying 48 people had been killed.

Before his forces came under attack on Saturday, Colonel Qaddafi issued letters warning Mr. Obama and other leaders not to use military might against him.

The tone of the letters — one addressed to Mr. Obama and a second to Mr. Sarkozy, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations  suggested that Colonel Qaddafi was leaving himself little room to back down.

“Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans,” he wrote in a letter that was read to the news media by a spokesman. “This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe.

“You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs.”

U.S President Barack Obama has said that the U.S land forces were not being sent to Libya.

Muammar Gaddafi in an audio message said that the people would be armed to resist the attack. Thousands of people have gathered around the residence of Muammar Gaddafi shielding him from any attack from the West.

African Union opposing the West’s attacks on Libya has demanded immediate ceasefire, while the Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has said that the West wanted to capture the oil reserves in Libya.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12879

 

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West pounds Libya, Qadhafi vows retaliation

March 20, 2011

In this image released by the US Navy Visual News Service March 19, 2011 shows the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 19, 2011 in Mediterranean Sea. – AFP Photo

TRIPOLI: The US, Britain and France pounded Libya with Tomahawk missiles and air strikes into the early hours of Sunday, sparking fury from Moamer Qadhafi who declared the Mediterranean to be a “battlefield.”

In the biggest Western intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, American warships and a British submarine fired at least 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya on Saturday, the US military said.

Admiral William Gortney told reporters at the Pentagon the cruise missiles “struck more than 20 integrated air defence systems and other air defence facilities ashore.”

The action came two days after a UN Security Council resolution with Arab backing authorised military action to prevent Qadhafi forces from crushing an uprising against his 41-year autocratic rule.

An AFP correspondent said bombs were dropped early Sunday near Bab al-Aziziyah, Qadhafi’s Tripoli headquarters, prompting barrages of anti-aircraft fire from Libyan forces that lasted about 40 minutes.

State television had earlier said hundreds of people had gathered to serve as human shields at Bab al-Aziziyah and at the capital’s international airport.

A Libyan official told AFP at least 48 people had died and 150 were hurt — mainly women and children — in the assaults, which began with a strike at 1645 GMT Saturday by a French warplane on a vehicle the French military said belonged to pro- Qadhafi forces.

Libyan state media said Western warplanes had on Saturday night bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing casualties while an army spokesman said strikes also hit fuel tanks feeding the rebel-held city of Misrata, east of Tripoli.

Qadhafi, in a brief audio message broadcast on state television, fiercely denounced the attacks as a “barbaric, unjustified Crusaders’ aggression.”

He vowed retaliatory strikes on military and civilian targets in the Mediterranean, which he said had been turned into a “real battlefield.”

“Now the arms depots have been opened and all the Libyan people are being armed,” to fight against Western forces, the veteran leader warned.

Libya’s foreign ministry said that following the attacks, it regarded as invalid the UN resolution ordering a ceasefire by its forces and demanded an urgent meeting of the Security Council.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/20/west-pounds-libya-kadhafi-vows-retaliation.html

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China regrets multinational air strikes in Libya

March 20, 2011

In this image released by the US Navy Visual News Service March 19, 2011 shows the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55)launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, in Mediterranean Sea. – AFP Photo

BEIJING: China expressed regret on Sunday over the multinational air strikes in Libya, saying in a foreign ministry statement that it opposed the use of force in international relations.

“China has noted the latest developments in Libya and expresses regret over the military attacks on Libya,” the statement said.

Russia also issued a similarly worded statement in which it called for a ceasefire as soon as possible.

China’s statement made no mention of a ceasefire and stressed that China respected the north African country’s “sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity”.

“We hope Libya can restore stability as soon as possible and avoid further civilian casualties due to an escalation of armed conflict,” it added.

Multinational forces led by France and Britain began bombarding Libya with missiles from air and sea on Saturday to enforce a United Nations-mandated no-fly zone and protection of rebels from Moamer Qadhafi forces.

China and Russia were the most prominent voices in opposition to military action in Libya within the 15-member United Nations Security Council.

However, neither blocked the UN resolution authorising the operation, abstaining in the Security Council vote on the issue rather than using their veto power.

France and Britain had led the demands for a no-fly zone, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to the heads of state or government of all the other council members seeking urgent backing for the measure.

China said earlier it abstained after having taken into account “the concerns and positions of Arab countries and the African Union, as well as the current special circumstances in Libya”, without elaborating further.

China, which faces frequent foreign criticism over its own human rights record and treatment of restive minority groups, consistently opposes moves deemed as interfering in the affairs of other countries.

“China has always opposed the use of force in international relations,”Sunday’s statement said, adding that Beijing supported the spirit and principles of the UN Charter, without elaborating.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/20/china-regrets-multinational-air-strikes-in-libya.html

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France, Britain push hardest for military action in Libya

March 20, 2011

France and Britain continued to press their hawkish position on Libya on Friday, saying they intend to take the lead in enforcing a no-fly zone.

Both countries, the most adamant backers of the United Nations Security Council resolution to authorise military action in Libya, also pointed to the passage of the measure on Thursday as an important — if rare — example of European resolve.

“Despite all negative comments, Libya shows that there is a political and diplomatic dynamic of European construction and an active European voice in world affairs,” said Bernard Valero, the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, perhaps still wary after he and other senior French officials were criticised as having a cozy relationship with the now-toppled Tunisian government of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, met with leaders of the Libyan opposition on March 10, and announced that France had recognised an inchoate opposition group as Libya’s legitimate government. France’s foreign minister, Alain Juppé, spoke openly this week of his unhappiness with Washington’s slowness and difficulty in defining its position.

France and Britain had been calling for a no-fly zone for two weeks, he said Wednesday, but other nations dragged their feet. “It often happens... weakness of democracies gives dictators free rein,” he said. “It’s not too late to break with this rule.” He added that it was not enough to call on Muammar Gaddafi to quit, as leaders in the US and other nations had done.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/france-britain-push-hardest-for-military-action-in-libya/764902/

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At least 94 killed in Gaddafi assault on Benghazi

Mar 20, 2011,

At least 94 people were killed in an assault launched two days ago on the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi by forces loyal to Gaddafi, medics said today.

BENGHAZI: At least 94 people were killed in an assault launched two days ago on the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, medics said on Sunday.

"Yesterday we had about 50 (bodies of civilians and rebel fighters) and just today we issued about 35 death certificates," Doctor Khaled Mugasabi, a forensic pathologist at Benghazi's Jala hospital, told AFP.

Nine uncovered bodies of Gaddafi loyalists were counted in a room at Jala hospital, and were told that they were expecting more.

Fighting raged late Friday and Saturday morning between Gaddafi loyalists and rebels in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi, where a rebel fighter jet was downed.

Some of those killed were as young as eight and others 60, according to AFP correspondents who were able to see the records of bodies brought to Jala hospital's morgue overnight.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/At-least-94-killed-in-Gaddafi-assault-on-Benghazi-Hospital/articleshow/7748081.cms

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Clinton warns Iran against meddling in Gulf

Mar 19, 2011

PARIS: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Iran on Saturday to stop meddling in Bahrain and other Arab states in the Gulf, but also called on the kingdom’s leaders not to use force against anti-government protesters.

Clinton said the United States “has an abiding commitment to Gulf security” and that “a top priority is working together with our partners on our shared concerns about Iranian behavior in the region.”

“We share the view that Iran’s activities in the Gulf, including its efforts to advance its agenda in neighboring countries, undermines peace and stability,” she told reporters after an international conference on the crisis in Libya. At that meeting, she met with numerous Arab officials who complained that Iran was fomenting unrest Bahrain and elsewhere.

Bahrain’s Sunni minority monarchy is facing growing opposition from the Shiite-majority population and has called in security forces from neighboring Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to deal with escalating protests.

Clinton said Bahrain had a “sovereign right” to ask for such assistance, but she said violence was not the way to deal with the situation.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article322880.ece

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Prosecutors dealing with terrorism receive enhanced security

20 March 2011

Prosecutors handling terrorism cases are now subject to enhanced security measures after bomb packages were sent to a number of addresses in Jakarta over the past week.

“Beside, there are already standard procedures concerning security measures between the Attorney General’s Office and the police,” Attorney General Basrief Arief said Saturday in Jakarta.

Basrief, however, stopped short at detailing the security measures to protect prosecutors.

He only expressed hope that the bomb packages would stop.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/20/prosecutors-dealing-with-terrorism-receive-enhanced-security.html

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Low radiation reaches U.S.

March 20, 2011

Faint traces of very low levels of radiation from the stricken nuclear complex in Japan have been detected in Sacramento, California, European officials reported on Friday, bringing the distant atomic crisis to U.S. shores for the first time.

The readings, picked up by highly-sensitive detectors set up to monitor clandestine nuclear blasts, were the first solid evidence of the leading edge of a long radioactive plume that has drifted slowly across the Pacific with the prevailing winds over the past week has reached the continental United States.

Diluted

Health experts said the plume's radiation had been diluted enormously in its journey across thousands of miles and at least for now, with concentrations very low would have no health consequences in the U.S. In a similar way, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spread around the globe and reached the West Coast of the U.S. in 10 days, its levels detectable but minuscule.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/20/stories/2011032063971800.htm

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Syria forces fire tear gas at mourners

March 20, 2011

DERAA: Thousands of mourners called Saturday for ‘revolution’ at the funeral of protesters killed by Syrian security forces.

Security forces responded by firing tear gas to disperse crowds in Deraa, a tribal region south of the capital, where at least 10,000 people demonstrated Saturday at the funeral of two protesters, among at least four who were killed Friday.

‘Revolution, Revolution, Rise up Hauran’, chanted the mourners in Deraa, administrative capital of the strategic Hauran plateau.

“God, Syria, Freedom. Whoever kills his own people is a traitor,” they said. Some of the mourners exited a mosque and headed for the center to protest.

The two were killed when security forces opened fire on Friday on civilians taking part in a peaceful protest demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption in Syria, which has been ruled under emergency laws by President Bashar al Assad’s Baath Party for nearly half a century.

A third man who was killed Friday, Ayhem al Hariri, was buried in a village near Deraa earlier Saturday. A fourth protester, Adnan Akrad, died Saturday from his wounds.

Secret police at the main funeral in Deraa arrested at least one mourner, activists said. Security was heavy in the city, especially around police stations.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\20\story_20-3-2011_pg7_4

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Troops on streets as Yemen crisis deepens

March 20, 2011

SANAA: Two prominent members of Yemen’s ruling party resigned on Saturday in protest against the killings of dozens of anti-government protesters, while troops enforced a state of emergency in the capital.

Defying the crackdown, the opposition vowed to keep up its ‘peaceful revolution’ in the poor Arabian peninsula state, a US ally against al Qaeda.

Soldiers set up checkpoints to enforce a ban on carrying firearms in public, even checking for hidden guns inside the ornamental scabbards of traditional Yemeni jambiya daggers.

Nasr Taha Mustafa, head of the state news agency and a leading ruling party member, said he had resigned from his post and the party in protest over Friday’s killings of up to 42 protesters by rooftop snipers in the capital.

The snipers opened fire on crowds that flocked to a sit-in at Sanaa University after Friday prayers. Protesters said they had caught at least seven snipers carrying government identity cards, but President Ali Abdullah Saleh denied this, blaming gunmen among the protesters for the violence.

“I find myself compelled to submit my resignation ... after the heinous massacre in Sanaa yesterday ... Nothing can justify the deaths of scores of youths whose only sin was to exercise the freedom guaranteed by Islam and the constitution to demand change,” Mustafa said on his Facebook page.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\20\story_20-3-2011_pg7_5

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Lebanese govt hoped Israel would disarm Hezbollah

March 20, 2011

So now we know. In 2006, as Israel was bombing the Lebanese highways, power supplies, airport and oil reservoirs, the Lebanese prime minister was hoping that Israel would finish “the job” quickly and successfully.

Now we know. As over a quarter of the population was displaced from their homes under a threat of missiles, tank fire and artillery, the then commander of the army and now president of Lebanon was letting the Israeli government know that the Lebanese army would stand-down. As 10,000 homes were destroyed and over 1,300 Lebanese citizens were killed, the Lebanese government’s main concern was that this very real and very brutal Israeli reinvasion might lead to a “reoccupation” of Lebanon by Syria.

The recent publication of a new spate of WikiLeaks cables in the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbaris is bound to electrify the already on-edge political standoff in Lebanon.

As Najib Mikati continues to try to form a government, the March 14 coalition continues to escalate their demands that Hezbollah disarms and the publication of the indictments in the special tribunal of Lebanon continue to loom on the horizon. These leaked diplomatic cables will either push the country over the edge or more likely add another layer to the cynicism, apathy and exhaustion that form like a scar tissue on the surface of the Lebanese public.

The day after the attacks on Lebanon began, Prime Minister Sinioura described the Israeli bombardment of the airport, highways and civilian areas as “disproportionate” and “unhelpful.” Reading the cables, it becomes clear that what Sinioura meant was that Israeli military actions were unhelpful to what was a common goal of the Israeli and Lebanese governments: the disarmament of Hezbollah, the neutralisation of its power in Lebanon, and the end of the armed resistance in Lebanon to continued Israeli occupation.

In 2006, with friends and family, we would have these debates, particularly in the first weeks of the war. Was our government tacitly accepting Israeli actions against us? Had our government drawn some arbitrary red line (around Beirut and “Christian areas”, as another WikiLeaks cable confirmed) that left the entirety of South Lebanon and over a million Lebanese civilians exposed to the machinations of the Israeli war machine? I remember reading with nausea a statement issued from the Israeli government “reassuring” the “moderate” Lebanese that “Israel is not fighting Lebanon but the terrorist element there, led by Nasrullah and his cohorts, who have held Lebanon hostage.” Two weeks into the war, clearly now realising that Hezbollah would not fold under Israeli attack like a deck of cards and also realising that the majority of Lebanese citizens rejected Israel’s “help”, Sinioura told the American ambassador that “both the Israeli and Lebanese governments were getting tied up in “details” and risked losing the main objective – peace and security for Israel, and peace and a disarmed Hezbollah for Lebanon.

Sinioura argued that only the Iranian and Syrian regimes benefited from bickering over the proposed cease-fire agreement and its related UNSC resolution.” Clearly more in fear of a possible Syrian retrenchment in Lebanon, Sinioura complained to the American ambassador that Israel’s air and sea blockade of Lebanon, was “pushing us all into the arms of Syria”. As thousands of Lebanese civilians escaped to, and were welcomed by, Syria, and as food and relief aid was streaming into Lebanon from Syria (the only country other Israel that Lebanon shares a border with), Sinioura was complaining that the true cost of Israel’s land, air and sea blockade of Lebanon was that “Syria is becoming our lungs, we can only breathe through Syrians”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\20\story_20-3-2011_pg7_11

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US attacked by opponents at UN human rights body

March 20, 2011

GENEVA: The United States was attacked for its human rights record on Friday as opponents including Cuba and Iran slammed its failure to close Guantanamo Bay and its decision to maintain military trials for terror suspects.

The Obama administration, which two years ago joined the UN Human Rights Council shunned by the Bush White House, was in the dock at the Geneva forum, whose 47 member completed an examination of the US record begun last November.

Iran’s delegation took the floor a day after the United States and other countries presented a draft resolution denouncing Tehran’s record and calling for the re-establishment of a UN investigator on Iran for the first time in a decade. The text will be voted on next week and is expected to be adopted.

“The US must close its secret prisons and Guantanamo Bay prison, stop human rights violations by its military forces abroad, bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and massacres against civilians as well as acts of torture carried out in US-controlled prisons,” Iran’s envoy Seyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi said.

Russia urged Washington to consider imposing a moratorium on the death penalty, while China called for it to investigate fully US killings of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US delegation was scathing in its defence.

“Today’s session culminates a process that the United States has approached with great seriousness of purpose from the moment we joined the Council in 2009,” Harold Hongju Koh, legal adviser at the US State Department, told the forum.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\20\story_20-3-2011_pg7_14

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Attack on Saudi mission flayed

Mar 20, 2011

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has severely disapproved the attack on its diplomatic mission in Iran, said an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday. Media reports said demonstrators broke windows at its consulate in the northeast Iran.

“The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally protested to the Iranian government and said that the Kingdom will take steps in light of the Iranian response,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The source said the Kingdom holds Iran fully responsible for protecting the Saudi diplomatic mission and its personnel in Iran as required by relevant international agreements.

Sino-Saudi ties

In another development, an official source said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah had sent a message to Chinese President Hu Jintao on ways of enhancing relations between the two countries in all fields.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article322946.ece

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Asir women angry over expulsion from festival

Mar 20, 2011

ABHA: Women are angry that organizers of the Asir province pavilion at the annual Janadriya National Cultural Festival near Riyadh — Saudi Arabia’s showcase annual cultural event — have decided that no Asiri women would be allowed to showcase their cultural contributions to this region in the southwest of the Kingdom.

“The feminine heritage in Asir is not a joke,” said Nura Abu Abthan, a designer of traditional, very colorful women’s dress from the region. “It should not be undermined by the organizers. Asir women should not be excluded from this national event.”

The women who want to participate are not just acting as representatives of their contribution to Asir regional culture — it also offers an opportunity for them to promote their work at a time when the Kingdom is seeking to promote domestic tourism and job opportunities for women involved in arts and crafts. The festival attracts huge crowds.

Abu Abthan said that when she asked why women would be banned from the festival, the male organizers declined to answer.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article322931.ece

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U.S. to give China a pass on NSG commitments for Pakistan nuclear deal

March 20, 2011

BEIJING: The United States has indicated it will not oppose China's building of two nuclear reactors in Pakistan, and will give Beijing a pass on its non-proliferation commitments by allowing the deal to go ahead in spite of concerns that it will violate international guidelines governing nuclear trade.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave its approval to a safeguards agreement for two new reactors that China is building at Chashma. The deal, many countries say, goes against China's commitments as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which bans the sale or transfer of technology to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake told journalists here he did not bring up the deal during talks with Chinese officials this week on South and Central Asia. While he reiterated the U.S. view that the deal was “inconsistent” with China's NSG commitments, he also mounted a defence of the need for the deal in a briefing with reporters, linking it to an energy crisis and instability in Pakistan.

“Considerable challenge”

“What I'd like to emphasise is that it's very important that, on the one hand, China observe its NSG obligations, but on the other hand, the international community do as much as possible to help Pakistan to meet its energy needs,” Mr. Blake said. “Pakistan is facing quite severe energy shortages in many parts of the country. So the United States has been, I think, in the lead in many cases in trying to help Pakistan to deal with those challenges, and to not only refurbish some of its existing capacity...but to look at new ways to help meet those energy challenges. But those remain a very considerable challenge in Pakistan, and that will be one of our highest priorities, going forward.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/20/stories/2011032063131300.htm

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What if Arabs had recognized the State of Israel in 1948?

March 20, 2011

I HAVE been exposed to Palestinians since I was in first grade in Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia They were my favorite teachers. They were the most dedicated and the most intelligent among all my instructors, from elementary to high school.

When I was attending New York-based SUNY Maritime college (1975-1979), I read a lot of books about Palestinians, Arabs and the Israelis. I have read every article about the many chances the Palestinians had and missed to solve their problem, especially the Camp David agreement between Egypt and Israel.

I have seen and read about the lives of the Palestinians in the US and other places. They are very successful in every field. And at the same time I saw the Arab countries at the bottom of the list in education and development. And I always ask the question: What if the Palestinians and the Arabs accepted the presence of Israel on May 14, 1948 and recognized its right to exist? Would the Arab world have been more stable, more democratic and more advanced?

If Israel was recognized in 1948, then the Palestinians would have been able to free themselves from the hollow promises of some Arab dictators who kept telling them that the refugees would be back in their homes and all Arab lands will be liberated and Israel will be sent to the bottom of the sea. Some Arab leaders used the Palestinians for their own agenda to suppress their own people and to stay in power.

Since 1948, if an Arab politician wanted to be the hero and the leader of the Arab world, then he has a very easy way to do it. He just shouts as loud as he can about the intention to destroy Israel, without mobilizing one soldier.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article322715.ece

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Libyans form human shield at Gaddafi’s compound

20 March 2011

Thousands of Libyans packed into Muammar Gaddafi’s heavily fortified Tripoli compound on Saturday to form a human shield against possible air strikes by allied forces.

Fireworks erupted into the night sky and people fired defiant shots into the air at the compound after allied warplanes went into action in eastern Libya to stop the Libyan leader’s forces attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

Libyans from all walks of life streamed into the Bab Al-Aziziyah compound, shouting slogans and holding portraits of Gaddafi. Loudspeakers boomed songs praising the leader.

“My mother and father told me that they (Western warplanes) would attack the compound so I came here to protect our leader,” said one 10-year-old boy, Mahmoud.

Western forces hit targets along the Libyan coast on Saturday, using strikes from air and sea to force Gaddafi’s troops to cease fire and end attacks on civilians.

Hours later, British and US warships and submarines launched more than 110 Tomahawk missiles against air defences around the capital Tripoli and the western city of Misrata, which has been besieged by Gaddafi’s forces, US military officials said.

The huge Tripoli complex, which includes military barracks, was the target of a 1986 US bombing of Libya. Then US President Ronald Reagan said it was in retaliation for what he called Libyan complicity in the bombing of a Berlin night club.

The government took foreign reporters to the normally closed site on a rare visit to showcase people’s support for Gaddafi.

Inside the compound’s high olive-green walls, people danced to a song setting an oft-repeated phrase from recent Gaddafi speeches — “house by house, alley by alley” — to a melody.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1103.xml&section=international

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Syria mourners call for revolt, forces fire tear gas

By SULEIMAN AL-KHALIDI

Mar 19, 2011

DERAA, Syria: Thousands of mourners called on Saturday for “revolution” at the funeral of protesters killed by Syrian security forces, the boldest challenge to Syria’s rulers since uprisings began sweeping the Arab world.

Security forces responded by firing tear gas to disperse crowds in Deraa, a tribal region south of the capital where at least 10,000 people demonstrated on Saturday at the funeral of two protesters, among at least four who were killed on Friday.

“Revolution, revolution. Rise up Hauran,” chanted the mourners in Deraa, administrative capital of the strategic Hauran plateau, as they marched behind simple wood coffins of Wissam Ayyash and Mahmoud Al-Jawabra.

“God, Syria, Freedom. Whoever kills his own people is a traitor,” they said. Some of the mourners exited a mosque and headed for the center to protest.

The city was less tense by late afternoon after security forces dispersed most of the crowd and adopted less aggressive tactics than the previous day, residents said.

The two were killed when security forces opened fire on Friday on civilians taking part in a peaceful protest demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption in Syria, which has been ruled under emergency laws by President Bashar Al-Assad’s Baath Party for nearly half a century.

A third man who was killed on Friday, Ayhem Al-Hariri, was buried in a village near Deraa earlier on Saturday. A fourth protester, Adnan Akrad, died on Saturday from his wounds.

Secret police at the main funeral in Deraa arrested at least one mourner, activists said. Security was heavy in the city, especially around police stations.

The city of Deraa is home to thousands of displaced people from eastern Syria, where up to 1 million people have left their homes because of a water crisis over the past six years. Experts say state mismanagement of resources has worsened the crisis.

The Hauran region, once a Middle East bread basket, has also been affected by diminishing water levels, with yields per hectare falling by a quarter in Deraa last year.

Children arrests fuel resentment

Protests against Syria’s ruling elite, inspired by revolts in the Arab world, have gathered momentum this week after a silent protest in Damascus by 150 people demanding the release of thousands of political prisoners.

At least one activist from Deraa, Diana Al-Jawabra, took part in the protest. She was arrested faces charges of weakening national morale, along with 32 jailed protesters, a lawyer said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article322708.ece

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Militant, policeman killed in J&K encounter

March 20, 2011

In an encounter between security forces and pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen militants, a militant and a policeman died in a remote village in South Kashmir’s mountainous Shopian district. A top police official said the militants’ strength was on steady decline in South Kashmir, once a hub of militancy and predicted to wipe it out through the end of 2011.

Sources said Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles and counter-insurgency Special Operations Group of police cordoned off the Donaad village in Keller pocket of South Kashmir’s in Shopian district following the information about the presence of militants there.

The cordon continued throughout the night, culminating on an encounter on Saturday morning. In the initial bout of fire, a policeman Ghulab Singh died. In the retaliatory fire, security forces shot dead Hizbul Mujahideen militant Abdul Rashid Awan alias Aadil, a local militant, who had joined the militant rank few months ago.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/325746/Militant-policeman-killed-in-JK-encounter.html

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Syria says it will free child prisoners after unrest

March 20, 2011

DAMASCUS (March 20, 2011): Syrian authorities said on Sunday they would release 15 children whose arrest helped fuel protests during which security forces killed four civilians.

An official statement said the children, who had written freedom slogans on walls inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, would be released immediately.

The statement is a rare case of Syria's ruling hierarchy responding to popular pressure. The country of 20 million has been ruled by the Baath Party since it took power in a 1963 coup and imposed emergency law still in force.

Security forces opened fire on Friday on civilians taking part in a peaceful protest in the southern city of Deraa demanding the release of the children, all under 16, as well as political freedoms and an end to corruption. Four were killed.

On Saturday thousands of mourners called for "revolution" at the funeral of two of the protesters, in the boldest challenge to Syria's rulers since uprisings began sweeping the Arab world.

Full report at:

http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=58992

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Christian groups decry stamping of BM bibles

PETALING JAYA

March 20, 2011

As far as the Christian community is concerned, they will not accept the 35,100 Bahasa Malaysia bibles after the Government imposed new conditions for their release from Port Klang and Kuching Port.

Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) chairman Bishop Ng Moon Hing said the new requirement that the Malay language bibles are stamped means they have been desecrated.

"We will never accede to any desecration of the Bible since the Word of God to us is sacred," Ng said in a statement over the weekend.

He said Christians could not accept the released bibles which have now been stamped with a serial number, official seal and the words "by order of the Ministry of Home Affairs".

Some 5,100 Malay-language bibles have been withheld in Port Klang since March 2009, and the remaining at Kuching Port.

The bibles, stamped with a serial number and the text: "AlKitab Berita Baik ini untuk kegunaan penganut agama Kristian sahaja dengan perintah Menteri Dalam Negeri (The AlKitab Berita Baik is for the use of Christians only, by order of the Home Minister)".

Ng said the ministry's order means the Malay language bibles are now treated as a restricted item, and that this is offensive to Christians.

He also pointed out that the 1982 order issued under the Internal Security Act 1960 did not state that any form of words had to be endorsed on any copy of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.

CFM executive secretary and Malaysia Council of Churches secretary general Reverend Dr Herman Shashtri said the holy books of all religion are sacred and that they should not be stamped.

Full report at:

http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=58989

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Davis case: Pak SC told to initiate contempt proceedings against two judges

March 20, 2011

The case of double murder American accused Raymond Davis has taken a new twist with a lawyer petitioning Pakistan’s Supreme Court to initiate court contempt proceedings against Additional and Sessions Judge Muhammad Yousaf Aujla and Judicial Magistrate Chaudhry Aneeq Anwar for ordering the release of Davis.

The petitioner said that Additional and Sessions Judge Aujla’s decision to order the release of Davis on payment of blood money was in violation of Islamic injunctions and law of the land.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/world/asia/davis-case-pak-sc-told-initiate-contempt-proceedings-against-two-judges-389

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Some charity organizations in Jeddah fail to reach the needy

March 20, 2011

JEDDAH: Many poor people who are in need of charity complain that they find difficulty in getting their names listed with charity organizations. While over 80 private charities operate in Jeddah, there are no precise statistics on beneficiaries.

“I had to wait several months to complete the tough conditions stipulated by the charity before I became finally eligible. Not only did I have to produce certificates to prove my penurious circumstance, I also had to produce recommendations from some known personalities attesting that my claims are not false,” said Ahmad S., a recipient of charity in Jeddah.

Umm Hani, another recipient, agrees. “My name was not included in the list of beneficiaries despite the fact that I am a widow and have a number of children to feed and educate for which I have no source of income,” said Umm Hani.

She added that she had to get the help of some local dignitaries to convince the officials at the charity that she is genuinely in need of assistance.

Charities, on the other hand, said they sincerely wish to help the poor. “But we do not want the charity money to be given  to cheaters and frauds. The money which is given to us by the government or private benefactors who have full trust that the money will be given to deserving persons,” said the official of a charity organization who did not want his name to be  published.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article322929.ece

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Coalmine blast toll climbs to 7

March 20, 2011

 QUETTA: At least seven miners have died and over 45 others, with bleak chances of survival, are trapped in a coalmine after methane gas sparked explosions causing collapse of mine 1200meters underground in Surran range, some 35km east of Quetta in the wee hours of Sunday.

The coalmine is run by Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC).

The number of miners working inside the mine varies from 52 to 59. Officials, including Chief Inspector of Mines, Muhammad Iftikharsay that six bodies have been retrieved from the mine.

A total of three explosions were reported inside the mine due to accumulation of gas at around 2.00a.m. "Miners died of suffocation and still a huge quantity of gas is causing difficulties in rescue work," officials said

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12898

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Altaf asks cable operators to restore Geo

March 19, 2011

LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain Saturday asked the cable operators to restore the transmission of Geo TV’s channels.

He appealed President Asif Ali Zardari to have the issue of Geo and cable operators resolved besides getting the transmission of Geo’s channels restored by taking a special notice of the matter.

Altaf Hussain made the appeal to the President after thousands of people lodged complaints against the closure of Geo’s channels by making telephone calls at Nine Zero.

The MQM Chief said the people wanted to watch the Cricket World Cup matches.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12854

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4 injured in blast at PPP office

March 20, 2011

KARACHI: Around four workers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were injured when unidentified persons hurled a hand grenade at the PPP office in Lyari on Saturday. The police said that the injured had been shifted to the Karachi Civil Hospital

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\20\story_20-3-2011_pg7_16

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-vows--long-war--in-libya/d/4311


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  • 1 .
    Regarding Libya,  we must get our priorities straight. Our first priority must be to set the people of Libya free from Gaddafi's ruthless autocracy. Our second priority must be that NATO powers leave immediately after the first priority is achieved.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 20/03/2011 13:36:54