New Age Islam
Thu Dec 03 2020, 12:20 AM

Islamic World News ( 29 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indian President, Prime Minister Greet country on Eid-Ul-Fitr

Moon-sighting row: Two Eids in Pakistan, again

After the Taliban: Swat women on changing life

Feeling insecure, Pakhtuns start leaving Karachi

26 militants, 10 soldiers killed in Yemen fighting

Kazakhstan kills militant in east: official

Pakistan: Father kills daughter for ‘honour’

Bangladesh, India to swap 162 land parcels

Iftaar snub Pak's 'please India' move: Mirwaiz

Turkish airstrike campaign 'killed 160 Kurdish rebels'

Deadly Christian-Muslim clash in Nigeria

Syrian forces 'kill seven' on Eid al-Fitr

Gaza teen dies of wounds from Israeli raid

Three killed in Syrian raids on dissidents

Deadly shooting outside Denmark mosque

Gaddafi's deadly desert 'paradise' shocks Libyans

Libya conflict: Algeria defends taking in Gaddafi

Libyan rebels demand Algeria return Gaddafi family

'Indiscriminate bombing' in Sudan

NATO dispatching warplanes over the Iraqi border to bomb separatist rebels

NATO races to secure violent, porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border

Iran invites Libya rebel chief to Tehran: statement

Libyan rebels mass for assault on Sirte

Libya: Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi maintains innocence

Islamist sect claims Nigeria UN bombing

Yemen’s Saleh says to hold presidential election

Iran says ready for more cooperation with IAEA

Turkey runs out of patience with Assad

Qaeda chief tells Saudi prince to expel non-Muslims

Syria’s Assad ‘increasingly isolated,’ US

Calm Valley to celebrate Eid in a big way

'An Anna Hazare needed in Pakistan too'

Bosnia's 'Euro-Islam' on show during Ramadan

For Syria, what is 'left'?

Muslims happy with life in US despite discrimination: poll

Afghan charges against Australian soldier dropped

Mullah Omar sees ‘imminent victory’ against NATO forces

Karachi bloodshed threatens havoc for Pakistan

Crackdown against ‘Afghan jihadis’ in Punjab on the cards

In Swat, a mother anxiously waits for her son’s safe return

Karzai wins Saudi backing for Taliban reconciliation

Prince Alwaleed visits Somali famine victims

Nato fighter in mid-air collision with Lithuanian plane

Pakistani scribes demand clarification over killing

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indian-president,-prime-minister-greet-country-on-eid-ul-fitr/d/5357

 

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Indian President, Prime Minister greet country on Eid-Ul-Fitr

30 Aug 2011

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice President Hamid Ansari Tuesday greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Wishing all ‘Eid Mubarak’, President Patil said the festival “brings joy and happiness on the culmination of the month of Holy Ramzan, a period of fasting, prayer and charity.”

“May this festival strengthen mutual goodwill and inspire each one of us to follow the path of love, friendship and harmony,” she said.

Eid will be celebrated across the country Wednesday.

The prime minister said the festival of Eid highlights the spirit of sacrifice and the joy of sharing.

“The celebrations marking the end of the Ramzan fasting foster peace and harmony and reflect the true spirit of our composite culture.”

“May the festival spread peace, tolerance and harmony among all,” Manmohan Singh said.

Vice President Ansari said the festival is celebrated with traditional gaiety, expression of brotherhood and understanding across the country.

“The fasting observed during Ramzan reaffirms the spirit of charity and generosity and highlights the feelings of empathy.”

“May the noble ideals of EId-ul-Fitr enrich our lives with peace, prosperity and harmony and unite us all in the spirit of universal brotherhood of all humanity,” he added.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/politics/president-prime-minister-greet-nation-on-eid-lead_100560253.html

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Moon-sighting row: Two Eids in Pakistan, again

August30, 2011

PESHAWAR: A mosque in Peshawar has held up its odd tradition of sighting the Shawwal moon before the rest of the country with its chief cleric announcing the end of the fasting month of Ramazan late Monday night.

Officially, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government did not endorse the decision of Mufti Shahabuddin Popolzai, the chief cleric at Peshawar’s historic Masjid Qasim Ali Khan, to celebrate Eidul Fitr on Tuesday (today).

The long-running controversy between Masjid Qasim Ali Khan and the official moon-sighting panel – the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee – will again lead the Pakistani nation to celebrate Eidul Fitr on two different days.

Mufti Popolzai’s ‘decree’ coincided with an official announcement from the Saudi religious authorities that the Shawwal moon has been sighted and Eidul Fitr will be celebrated in the kingdom on Tuesday.

Other Middle Eastern and Gulf states – including Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iran and Iraq – also announced the end of Ramazan. Muslims in Europe and the United States will also celebrate Eidul Fitr on Tuesday.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/242200/two-eids-mufti-popalzai-says-shawwal-moon-sighted-

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After the Taliban: Swat women on changing life

30 Aug 2011

Swat in north-west Pakistan is still recovering from a period of militancy several years ago. Men and women deemed un-Islamic were killed by the Taliban and their bodies dumped on the street. Hundreds of girls' schools were destroyed before the army ousted the militants in 2009. A local school girl and Swat's first woman to train as a lawyer told Nosheen Abbas how life is changing.

The situation in Swat was normal until the Taliban appeared and destroyed the peace of Swat.

They started their inhuman activities, they slaughtered people in the squares of Mingora and they killed so many innocent people. Their first target was schools, especially girls schools. They blasted so many girls schools - more than 400 schools and more than 50,000 students suffered under the Taliban.

We were afraid the Taliban might throw acid on our faces or might kidnap us. They were barbarians, they could do anything. So at that time some of us would go to school in plain clothes, not in school uniform, just to pretend we are not students, and we hid our books under our shawls.

After the army operation the situation has become normal and the army is trying to rebuild good quality schools, but we want the schools to be rebuilt quickly because students are facing problems. It's very hot and they can't study in tents. Now everyone is free to come to school and the girls are now not afraid of the Taliban or anything that will ruin the peace of Swat.

When the Taliban came to Swat they banned women from going to the market and they banned shopping, but they did not know that women, whether from the East or West love shopping.

My mother also used to come to this market and one day she was scared by a Talib. The Talib said to her: "Why are you coming here and why are you not wearing the specific burka which we have told you to wear?" And he told her that she should not come to the market again. My mother rushed home because of the fear she felt.

Girls were allowed to go in rickshaws but the main thing was that they should wear the burka, the shuttlecock burka, because other types of burkas were not allowed.

Now things have changed here. Now we're not wearing burkas and we're allowed to go to market and there is no stress or pressure on us to wear the burka.

During the conflict I was in the first year of an LLB (bachelor of law degree). Those were difficult days for me. Our exams were going to be held but our administrators told us that our exams may be cancelled because of the conflict.

But when our second year class started we were notified that females could not attend classes, only males could attend. I was very depressed.

It was very difficult when I first joined this field especially when I went to the bar because there is no female lawyer or female colleague in this field. It was difficult to face a lot of males and to sit with them and discuss legal issues. I have no separate room. I don't even have a separate bathroom, I use the men's bathroom. But with the passage of time I felt that my colleagues began to accept support and appreciate me and my work.

Some people don't want to see me in the bar room and they want to discourage me, but most encourage me and I don't feel any hesitation or difficulty in discussing legal issues. I don't feel like I'm the only female now, because they encourage me and they never let me feel like I am alone.

Swat was the centre of tourism. My wish is that people and foreigners will come to Swat and see its beauty. Now there is peace here, there is no militancy, there is no conflict, there is no terror in Swat. There is a lot of natural beauty here.

One of my objectives for taking up law after the conflict is that I wanted to convey to the world that the people of Swat are not fundamentalists, they are not terrorists - in fact they are modern Pathans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14420886

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Feeling insecure, Pakhtuns start leaving Karachi

By Ali Hazrat Bacha

30 Aug 2011

THE deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi has forced many people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to leave behind their properties, jobs and business and say goodbye to the port city.

They have started seeking alternative sources of income in the province to shift their families to their hometowns for their protection.

“Millions of Pakhtuns, most of them very poor, are crying for help as they cannot move to workplaces, but no one is there to given them a helping hand in the existing dreadful situation,” said Dr Wilayat, who vacated his residence in Karachi and moved to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Dr Wilayat, who belongs to Dir district and works at a government hospital in Karachi, told Dawn by telephone that two years ago he had shifted to his newly built house at Raja Tanveer Colony in Orangi Town but his family was unsafe there and he again returned to Banaras Colony.

“A group of unidentified youths thrice tried to kidnap me when I was on way from office to home but they failed to do so. In such a situation earning money has no importance and the only option left for me was to vacate my house,” he said.

He said that he was seeking job in Peshawar to shift his family from Karachi permanently.

Abdul Wajid, a worker of a private firm of the same area, said that he was living at Banaras Colony but could not go to his workplace and had to purchase everything on debt. “It was not possible for me to live there any longer as my children also could not go to schools,” he added.

He said that he decided to say goodbye to Karachi and shift his family to Peshawar for its protection. He added that two youths in his neighbourhood — one belonged to Swat and the other to Buner — were shot dead when they were on way to home for Iftari but police did not arrest the killers.

“Those, who wear shalwar qamees are shot dead at sight,” he alleged. He said most of the people wanted to return to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but they had no source of income in their villages.

Awami National Party Sindh president Shahi Syed, when contacted, also expressed grave concern over the situation. He said that maximum of the Pakhtuns, who suffered, belonged to Balochistan as they had hotels, restaurants, hardware shops, tea stalls in the localities of the Urdu speaking people.

“People are kidnapped and their drilled bodies stuffed in bags are dumped in open plots or in drains but law enforcement agencies are yet to arrest the killers,” he lamented.

The only demand of people, he said, was restoration of peace, arrest of killers and destruction torture cells wherever they located. He stressed the need for effective and across the board operation and recovery of weapons. In the month of July, he said, over 100 Pakhtuns had been killed.

Many of the cases of killings and injuries had not been registered with police. “About 4,000 Pakhtuns living in localities of Urdu speaking people because of their businesses or jobs have been forced to flee,” Mr Syed added.

He appealed to Pakhtun leaders of different political and religious parties to come forward, sit together and take unified stand for safety of Pakhtuns as all those suffering were not ANP workers Feeling insecure, Pakhtuns start leaving Karachi

but they belonged to different groups.

The ANP leader said that Pakhtuns were auctioning their costly houses and leaving Karachi. It was duty of the government to protect lives and properties of the people, he added.

Jamaat-i-Islami deputy chief Sirajul Haq said that it was not the problem of Pakhtuns only as every community had suffered owing to target killings and the entire responsibility rested with the coalition partners in the government. He said that ANP, MQM and PPP were equally responsible for bloodshed in Karachi.

“Every ruling party has formed its own armed wing for illegal occupation of plots, buildings, collection of extortion and police are not allowed to arrest them,” he said.

He added that police knew about everyone, every torture cell and dumps of weapons in all localities but government was least interested to stop the bloodshed.

He said that army should take action against criminals irrespective of their political affiliations. He said that armed groups had been established just for blackmailing of each others.

Veteran politician Afzal Khan Lala suggested that all the political parties should come together and devise a combined policy to save Karachi. He said that it was duty of all secular and religious parties to realise their responsibilities, feel agonies of each other and take unified stand on the issues of national interests.

He said that Pakhtuns were suffering everywhere but their leaders were divided in groups. He said that Karachi was mini-Pakistan and Pakhtuns had played and were still playing vital role in development of the metropolis and nobody had the right to expel them unlawfully.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party provincial general secretary Arbab Mujeebur Rehman, National Party provincial president Mukhtar Bacha and Pakhtuns Awareness Movement president Shahab Khattak also expressed concern over the bloodshed in Karachi.

They suggested that an all parties’ conference should take decisions and government should implement the same. They said that Pakhtuns should be given due representation in different departments and their localities should be developed.

They suggested that Pakhtuns Qaumi Jirga having representation of all parties and groups should be convened to find a permanent solution to the problem.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/29/feeling-insecure-pakhtuns-start-leaving-karachi.html

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26 militants, 10 soldiers killed in Yemen fighting

30 August 2011

SANAA, Yemen — A new round of fierce fighting in southern Yemen killed 10 soldiers and 26 militants, military officials said, the latest battle in a government campaign to retake territory from al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

Another 38 militants and about 30 soldiers were wounded in the clashes that took place near the city of Dufas in the southern province of Abyan, they said.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations, said the fighting took place over the past 24 hours. Among the military dead was a colonel.

The U.S. and other Western powers have looked on with concern as al-Qaida gains a strong foothold in southern Yemen. The US considers the Yemen spur of al-Qaida as one of the most active in worldwide terror. The “Christmas bomber” who tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on a plane as it landed in Detroit in December 2009 was said to have been trained in Yemen.

Yemen has been wracked by internal conflict for months over popular protests demanding the resignation of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The al-Qaida militants have taken advantage of that to take control of several towns and districts in the southern part of the country.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August648.xml&section=middleeast

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Kazakhstan kills militant in east: official

30 Aug 2011

ALMATY: Kazakh authorities on Tuesday said they killed a suspected extremist in the east of the majority Muslim Central Asian state who was allegedly part of a militant group planning attacks.

“During an attempt at arrest, one of the members of this group gave fierce resistance and was eliminated,” said Svetlana Dzhumasheva, a senior official with the prosecuting attorney’s office in eastern Kazakh city of Atyrau on the Caspian Sea shore.

The man, whose name and age were not disclosed, was suspected of planning “terrorist acts” in the Atyrau region and elsewhere in Kazakhstan, Dzhumasheva said.

Unrest has been a rarity in energy-rich Kazakhstan, led by Nursultan Nazarbayev since 1989. The ex-Soviet republic has seen a relative economic prosperity and stability under Nazarbayev amid a clampdown on freedom of speech.

But in recent months, the country of 16.5 million had seen an unusual wave of attacks, including a suicide bomber who blew himself outside the offices of the regional authorities in the city of Aktobe in eastern Kazakhstan, injuring three.

Unknown gunmen killed three police officers in June in the eastern city of Aktobe, raising fears of Islamic unrest in the country that prides itself on religious tolerance.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/30/kazakhstan-kills-militant-in-east-official.html

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Pakistan: Father kills daughter for ‘honour’

30 Aug 2011

LAHORE: A father killed his 18-year-old daughter in the name of honour in the precincts of Baghbanpura police.

The victim was identified as Asma, daughter of Muhammad Ishtiaq. According to police, Ishtiaq suspected his daughter of having illicit relations with a neighbour, Qasim Farooq. He warned her to mend her ways, but she paid no heed to his warnings. On the day of the incident, Ishtiaq first admonished her and later shot and wounded her. Asma, who had sustained serious injuries, was rushed to a nearby hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Police reached the spot and shifted the dead body to a city morgue for autopsy. Police also registered a case against the accused person on complaint of victim’s uncle, Atif Ali.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\30\story_30-8-2011_pg13_1

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Bangladesh, India to swap 162 land parcels

Aug 30, 2011

DHAKA — Bangladesh and India are set to sign a deal next week exchanging 162 "enclaves" where pockets of one country's territory are surrounded by the other, a Dhaka official says.

The two sides intend to agree on the swap, which would tackle historic border disputes, during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's two-day visit to Dhaka starting on September 6.

"We are trying to address all outstanding border issues and we hope there will be no issues after Singh's visit," Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh's prime minister, told AFP late Monday.

The islands of land result from ownership arrangements made centuries ago by local princes, and have survived both the partition of the sub-continent after British rule ended in 1947 and Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

Full report at: Copyright © 2011 AFP.

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Iftaar snub Pak's 'please’ India move: Mirwaiz

Peerzada Ashiq

Aug 30, 2011

Moderate separatists have interpreted the Hurriyat’s exclusion from the Pakistan high commission’s iftaar party in terms of the country’s attempts to “please” India.

“Pakistan wanted to send India some good vibes. I guess Hina Rabbani’s (Pakistan foreign minister) meeting with  the All Parties Hurriyat Conference created some issues,” moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Hindustan Times.

The Pakistan high commission in India organised in New Delhi last week an iftaar party to which a delegation of Indian parliamentarians were invited. Kashmir’s Congress leader Saif ud Din Soz was also present there.

“Soz was probably invited as a parliamentarian, not as a leader from Kashmir,” the Mirwaiz said, adding, “it is not a big issue. Let them (India and Pakistan) build trust if that helps.”

It has also been reported that Pakistan is considering giving India most-favoured nation (MFN) status in trade relations.

For more than a decade now, iftaar parties have become a diplomatic tool for Pakistan to extend support to the Hurriyat’s Kashmir cause.

The moderate Hurriyat has decided not to oppose Pakistan’s reported move to grant India MFN status.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Iftaar-snub-Pak-s-please-India-move-Mirwaiz/Article1-739376.aspx

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Turkish airstrike campaign 'killed 160 Kurdish rebels'

30 Aug 2011

Turkish jets bombed Kurdish rebel bases in northern Iraq in a series of air strikes last week which killed up to 160 rebels, Turkish officials say.

There has been an increase in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Turkey's army this summer, casting doubt on the chances of peace talks.

The Turkish military has said that it would monitor rebel activity in the region and continue strikes until the rebels were "rendered ineffective".

Artillery fire supported the strikes.

The strikes follow a deadly attack by the separatists in mid-August that killed nine Turkish troops and injured 14 in the district of Cukurca, in Hakkari province close to the border.

"Turkish air forces jets efficiently hit the targets of the separatist terror organization in Zap and Gara regions between August 25-28 in 21 sorties," a statement on the army's website is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13498040

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Deadly Christian-Muslim clash in Nigeria

30 Aug 2011

Ramadan gathering attacked in Jos in purported revenge for Christmas Eve bomb attacks.

Gangs of armed youths in the Nigerian city of Jos attacked Muslims as they gathered to celebrate the last day of Ramadan, killing a number of them and burning their cars, witnesses and the military said.

"The Muslim faithful went for their Eid prayers and on completion of the prayers they were trapped by the youths in that area," Brigadier General Hassan Umaru, commander of the military Special Task Force keeping security in Jos, told Reuters news agency on Monday.

"They burnt some cars, quite a number a of cars. The number of people killed, I can't give that yet. We are still checking with local hospital sources," he said.

The head of a search-and-rescue team for the Muslim community reported nine dead and 106 people wounded.

"Most of the wounds were from ... thrown missiles, machete cuts and from arrows. Twenty parents have so far reported their underage children missing," said Shitu Mohammed.

Witnesses said Christian youths set up road blocks and attacked Muslims as they gathered in Jos's Gada Biu and Rukuba areas, shooting a number of them dead.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/08/2011829234530849589.html

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Syrian forces 'kill seven' on Eid al-Fitr

Aug 30, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrian activists say security forces have opened fire to disperse anti-government protesters on the first day of the three-day Muslim holiday, killing seven.

Tuesday is the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Activists say security forces fired at protesters in the southern province of Daraa, in the central city of Homs and in the Damascus suburbs following morning Eid prayers.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network said six protesters were killed in Daraa and one in Homs.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-activists-7-killed-on-Muslim-holiday/articleshow/9794883.cms

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Gaza teen dies of wounds from Israeli raid

30 August 2011

 GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — A Gaza teenager died on Monday from wounds sustained in an Israeli air strike earlier this month, bringing the death toll from the Israeli raids to 27, medics said.

Haitam Maruf, 14, was hit on August 19 by an Israeli missile targeting Palestinian militants in the Beit Lahiya area of the Gaza Strip.

The air strike was one of a wave of raids carried out in retaliation for a deadly series of shootings on a desert road just north of the Red Sea resort town of Eilat that killed eight Israelis and which Israel blamed on the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees.

Most of those killed in the Israeli reprisals were militants but some were civilians, three of them children, the Gaza emergency services said.

An Israeli civilian was also killed in the desert city of Beersheva in a tit-for-tat rocket strike by Gaza militants.

Another rocket hit Israel late Monday but it struck an uninhabited area and caused neither casualties nor damage, a military spokeswoman said.

It was the sixth rocket or mortar round fired from Gaza since the main militant groups announced a truce on Thursday night, the spokeswoman added.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August646.xml&section=middleeast

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Three killed in Syrian raids on dissidents

30 Aug 2011

Syrian security forces killed three people on Monday in raids in the northwest and around the capital, as tanks rumbled into a village bordering Lebanon further south, rights groups said.

Two people were killed and 20 were wounded when troops and security forces opened fire during search operations in the Sarmin district in the northwest province of Idlib, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said “dozens” of people were also rounded up in Sarmin.

A third person was killed when security forces raided his home at dawn in the town of Qara outside Damascus during an arrest operation, the Local Coordination Committees reported.

Around 10 trucks and armoured vehicles entered Qara, said the group which organises anti-regime protests and has militants on the ground across Syria. It said some 40 people whose names were on a “wanted list” were detained.

Meanwhile, troops backed by tanks and personnel carriers early on Monday stormed the village of Hit, two kilometres from the border with Lebanon, south of the central city of Homs, Abdel Rahman said.

“There has been high intensity gunfire since 9:00 am (0600 GMT),” he told AFP, adding that at least five people were wounded and 13 were arrested.

“The homes of activists wanted by the authorities were torched,” he added.

Activists reported six people killed by security forces on Sunday.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/364348/Three-killed-in-Syrian-raids-on-dissidents.html

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Deadly shooting outside Denmark mosque

30 Aug 2011

Police say one person killed and another injured after a prayer service in Copenhagen.

One person has been killed in a shooting outside a mosque in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, police have said.

Police spokesman Lau Thygesen said another person was injured in Tuesday's attack.

The incident happened outside the Muslim Culture Institute mosque in western Copenhagen after a prayer service marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

"The incident is related to the people who were present in the mosque, but does not necessarily have anything to do with the mosque or prayers. It is probably an internal dispute between people of Pakistani origin," Thygesen told the newspaper Politiken.

Thygesen told Al Jazeera that the shooter escaped but police hoped to identify the attacker soon as there had been at least a hundred witnesses on the scene.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/08/201183092817297791.html

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Gaddafi's deadly desert 'paradise' shocks Libyans

30 Aug 2011

Libyans find it hard to believe that the green farm on the edge of the desert belonged to Muammar Gaddafi, who portrayed himself as a Bedouin who lived in tents and dined frugally on dates and camel milk.

But amid the abundant fruit trees, flower beds and manicured lawns, the signs are there: the farm can only be accessed through a massive electrified gate dotted with heat sensors.

A long road with several security checkpoints equipped with closed-circuit television cameras leads to Gaddafi's farm, 25 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Tripoli, and one recent visitor described the facility as like 'being in Europe'.

"They told us that he lived in a tent, and look..." said Ahmad Ramadan, 27, a Tripoli port employee who rushed to see the farm after rebels smashed Gaddafi's forces in the capital and seized his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters.

For many local visitors, the eye-dazzling panorama of green vegetation, trees and perfectly aligned vineyards that flourishes in the desert so close to the capital seems entirely out of place.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/gaddafis-deadly-desert-paradise-shocks-libyans-

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Libya conflict: Algeria defends taking in Gaddafi

30 Aug 2011

Algeria's UN envoy has defended his country's decision to grant refuge to the wife and three children of fugitive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Mourad Benmehidi told the BBC that in the desert region there was a "holy rule of hospitality".

A rebel spokesman called the move an "act of aggression against the Libyan people" and said they would use all legal means to compel them to return.

Meanwhile, more details have emerged about recent mass killings in Libya.

According to the NTC's Justice Minister Mr Mohammed al-Alagi, four mass graves have been discovered across Libya - including one at Ain Zara in south-east Tripoli, situated behind the barracks of the so-called Khamis Brigade, whose commander was Col Gaddafi's son, Khamis.

Scores of people - mostly army officers who refused to fight for Col Gaddafi in recent weeks - are said to have been killed here, and a rights group says it is collecting evidence to pass to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a possible war crimes prosecution.

Libyan rebels seized most of the capital Tripoli on 21 August, but fighting still goes on in pockets of the country - notably around Col Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.

Col Gaddafi's own whereabouts are unknown, and are the subject of intense speculation, with rumours variously placing him in Sirte, in regime-controlled Bani Walid south-east of Tripoli, and in Tripoli itself.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14714340

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Libyan rebels demand Algeria return Gaddafi family

Aug 30, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan rebels are demanding that Algeria return Moammar Gaddafi's wife and three of his children for trial after they fled, raising tensions between the neighboring countries.

Algeria's decision to host members of the Gaddafi clan is an "aggressive act against the Libyan people's wish," said Mahmoud Shammam, information minister in the rebels' interim government.

Safiya Gaddafi, her daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed entered Algeria on Monday, while Gaddafi and several other sons remain at large. In Washington, the Obama administration said it had no indication that Gaddafi himself has left the country.

Rebels also said another Gaddafi son, Khamis, was likely killed last week in a battle south of Tripoli.

"We are determined to arrest and try the whole Gaddafi family, including Gadhafi himself," Shammam said late on Monday night. "We'd like to see those people coming back to Libya."

Rebel leaders said they were not surprised to hear Algeria welcomed Gaddafi's family. Throughout Libya's six-month uprising, rebels have accused Algeria of providing Gaddafi with mercenaries to repress the revolt.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libyan-rebels-demand-Algeria-return-Gaddafi-family/articleshow/9796658.cms

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'Indiscriminate bombing' in Sudan

30 Aug 2011

Amnesty and Human Rights Watch accuse government of bombing civilians and blocking aid workers in South Kordofan state.

The Sudanese government has killed at least 26 civilians this month by "indiscriminately bombing civilian areas" in the Nuba Mountains region, according to a new report from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Researchers from both groups travelled to the region and reported government planes dropping bombs in populated areas.

"No evident military targets were visible near any of the air strike locations," they wrote.

The bombing has reportedly wounded dozens of people, including a number of women and children.

More than 150,000 people have fled their homes since June, with many hiding in caves, abandoned homes and other makeshift shelters.

Khartoum has been fighting armed groups for months in South Kordofan, the state which includes the Nuba Mountains region.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/08/201182913513716397.html

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NATO dispatching warplanes over the Iraqi border to bomb separatist rebels

By PATRICK MARKEY

30 Aug 2011

BAMARNE, Iraq: US troops may be leaving Iraq, but in northern Iraqi Kurdistan another NATO power is keeping its outposts and flexing its muscle, dispatching warplanes over the Iraqi border to bomb separatist rebels.

Dotted along the parched Kurdish mountains inside Iraq, Turkey has 1,300 soldiers in a handful of observation posts set up in the 1990s with Iraqi consent as Kurdish PKK rebels launched attacks in their fight for self-rule.

Turkey has attacked PKK bases in Iraq for years. But its air strikes and recent Iranian shelling across the border are fanning Iraqi concerns over its neighbors vying for influence in the oil-endowed region once US troops leave in 2011.

Ties between Arbil, the Kurdistan capital, and Ankara have frayed since a Turkish air strike killed a family of seven on last week, according to Iraqi officials, prompting Baghdad to summon the Turkish envoy and Kurdish lawmakers to demand that Turkey should close its bases.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article495288.ece

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NATO races to secure violent, porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border

August 30, 2011

SPIN BOLDAK: Alim Mohammad surveys the stretch of land he has guarded for the last four years, squinting under the sunlight from a cliff overlooking what the United States calls the most dangerous place in the world.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is porous, long and teems with illegal activity, from the Taliban insurgents who hop back and forth to the enormous amounts of weapons, explosives and narcotics that are smuggled across it.

“We have a really hard time,” said Mohammad, 23, flashing a set of rotten teeth and hoisting his assault rifle over his shoulder.

Dressed in camouflage, he is one of 20,000 guards protecting the 2,640 km border along Afghanistan’s east.

NATO has been beefing up security on the poorly marked frontier with new equipment and extended training, but border guards and Afghan officials worry it may not be enough in the face of escalating violence in a decade-long war.

Mohammad said he was recently ambushed three nights in a row by insurgents as they crossed the border at Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/241703/nato-races-to-secure-violent-porous-afghanistan-

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Iran invites Libya rebel chief to Tehran: statement

30 Aug 2011

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akabr Salehi has invited the head of the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Tehran, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.

“In a phone conversation (Monday night) with the NTC head, Salehi congratulated the victory of the Muslim people of Libya and stressed (the desire) to deepen bilateral ties,” said the statement, a copy of which was received by AFP.

Following an invitation by the rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, “Salehi invited the NTC head for a visit at an opportune time,” it added.

On Sunday, Salehi said Iran had “discreetly” provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli on August 21.

Abdel Jalil, for his part, “thanked the Iranian government for its humanitarian aid and assistance during tough times,” and called for the return of Iran’s ambassador to Libya, according to the Tuesday statement.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/30/iran-invites-libya-rebel-chief-to-tehran-statement.html

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Libyan rebels mass for assault on Sirte

30 Aug 2011

Libyan fighters have been massing outside of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, preparing for an assault against Gaddafi loyalists if negotiations with tribal elders fail to peacefully transfer control of the town over to the new rebel government.

Rebel fighters were organising units advance towards Sirte from both Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad in the east and from Tripoli and Misrata to the west.

"We will move further, but we will not enter Sirte now because it is not secured so far - there are ongoing

negotiations between tribe elders in Sirte and rebel leaders and we are receiving orders from our field

commanders and we are waiting for their commands," rebel fighter Taleb al-Karaty told the Reuters news agency.

Senior rebel commanders said they had 4,000 fighters on the western front with Sirte and that they estimated that they would come up against about 1,000 pro-Gaddafi soldiers if negotiations for the town's surrender fail.

"We are giving talks some time," said Mohammed Salim, a rebel captain. "We are ready to attack and to fight anytime. If they refuse [to surrender] there will be a big battle."

In Sirte, forces loyal to Gaddafi urged people to fight or be killed, complicating efforts to arrange a peaceful surrender of the city, according to National Transitional Council (NTC) officials.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/08/2011829134327176660.html

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Libya: Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi maintains innocence

30 Aug 2011

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man convicted over the Lockerbie bombing, maintained his innocence as recently as three years ago, according to a letter seen in Libya's intelligence headquarters.

In a private letter from Megrahi, he told Abdullah al-Snussi, a close Col Muammar Gaddafi aide: "I am an innocent man".

The letter, seen by The Wall Street Journal, was apparently written in late 2007 or early 2008, while he was serving a life sentence in Scotland.

He blamed his conviction on "fraudulent information that was relayed to investigators by Libyan collaborators", as well as "the immoral British and American investigators".

He also criticises a Maltese clothes merchant who told his trial that he purchased clothes from him that were found in the suitcase that contained the bomb that brought down PanAm Flight 103. He also asks Mr Senussi to send regards to "our big brother", Col Gaddafi.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8730284/Libya-

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Islamist sect claims Nigeria UN bombing

30 Aug 2011

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: An Islamist sect claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Nigeria that killed 23 people, demanding the release of prisoners and an end to a security crackdown to prevent further bombings.

Boko Haram, which has been behind almost daily shootings and attacks with homemade bombs in the remote northeast, was the prime suspect of Friday’s car bomb on the United Nations’ Abuja office — one of deadliest attacks on the world body in its history.

“We are responsible for the bomb attack carried out on the UN building in Abuja,” a Boko Haram spokesman calling himself Abu Kakah told local journalists in a statement over the weekend.

The bomb gutted a lower floor, smashed almost all of the building’s windows and wounded 76 people, UN officials said. The driver was killed in what could be Nigeria’s first suicide bomb attack. President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the strike but refused to be drawn on who could have carried it out.

http://arabnews.com/world/article495424.ece

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Yemen’s Saleh says to hold presidential election

30 August 2011

SANAA - Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, still in Saudi Arabia for treatment after an assassination attempt, said he was committed to holding presidential elections, the state news agency reported.

Saleh, who has clung on to power despite a wave of demonstrations against his 33-year rule, said in a statement posted on the SABA website he was confident Yemen would find ways to exit its crisis.

“We have committed to the previous initiatives including the Gulf initiative and the efforts and statement of the Security Council and go towards the achievement of... as soon as possible to arrange to hold general and free and direct elections for the new president of the republic,” Saleh said.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August647.xml&section=middleeast

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Iran says ready for more cooperation with IAEA

30 August 2011

TEHRAN — Iran is ready for increased cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog and could respond to a limited number of IAEA “allegations”, the country’s nuclear chief told IRNA news agency.

“We have asked them to give their key allegations, with documents and proof, so that we could examine them and told the IAEA that if we were to discuss these issues with them they would concern only a limited number” of claims, said Fereydoun Abbasi Davani.

The comments come after a top official of the International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this month toured Iranian nuclear sites, including ones where uranium is being enriched.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August642.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Turkey runs out of patience with Assad

30 August 2011

ANKARA — Angered at Syria’s indifference to its pleas to end months of bloodshed, Turkey is edging closer to following Western calls for its former ally President Bashar al-Assad to quit, according to analysts.

Turkey has so far held back from making an outright appeal for Assad to leave power but repeatedly called on the leadership to end the offensive against its people and initiate reforms.

Ankara now feels that Assad has failed to keep his promises and President Abdullah Gul explicitly said Sunday that Turkey has lost confidence in the regime in Syria.

“It appears Turkey is gradually coming closer to following the suit of its Western allies,” said Ilter Turan of Istanbul’s private Bilgi University.

“I think Turkish officials now see Assad’s remaining in power will lead to bigger problems.”

Although the two neighbours came close to war in the 1990s over Syria’s harbouring of the now imprisoned Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, relations since then have markedly inmproved.

As part of a “zero problems with neighbours” foreign policy, the two countries have fostered political and trade ties over the last two decades, abolishing the need for visas for cross-border travellers.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August641.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Qaeda chief tells Saudi prince to expel non-Muslims

30 August 2011

 DUBAI — A senior Saudi member of Al-Qaeda warned the interior minister that he should expel non-Muslims from the kingdom, among other demands to stop considering him a target, in an online audio message.

Ibrahim al-Rubeish, a former Guantanamo detainee, addressed Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz with seven measures which he considered essential for “reform” in the Gulf state and for the prince’s own safety, SITE Intelligence reported on Monday.

The measures included expelling non-Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, repealing all man-made laws and instituting (Islamic) sharia-based governance, the US-based monitoring service said.

They also included releasing prisoners, allowing preachers to speak with impunity and removing themselves as obstacles to those who wish to support Muslims in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, it added.

“This is the path if you wish to survive. If you do this, I will guarantee that the mujahedeen will not prepare another trap for you and that you will sleep safely in your bed and you will go as you please without fearing anyone,” Rubeish said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August645.xml&section=middleeast

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Syria’s Assad ‘increasingly isolated’: US

30 August 2011

WASHINGTON — The United States said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “increasingly isolated” internationally, as a result of toughening Turkish and Arab positions.

“With regard to the statements by Turkish President (Abdullah) Gul, the Arab League’s very strong statement over the weekend... Assad is increasingly isolated,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

“The international community is increasingly speaking with one voice in demanding an immediate end to the violence,” she said.

The Syrian regime has sought to crush months of pro-democracy protests with brutal force, killing more than 2,200 people since mid-March, according to the United Nations.

In an interview with the Anatolia news agency, Gul said Turkey had lost “confidence” in the Syrian regime following unfulfilled promises Assad had made to halt the onslaught.

Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League on Saturday called for an “end to the spilling of blood and (for Syria) to follow the way of reason before it is too late.”

They also called for respecting “the right of the Syrian people to live in security and of their legitimate aspirations for political and social reforms.”

Nuland said the United States was also focusing its diplomatic efforts on obtaining punitive measures against Syria from the United Nations.

“We’re also intensifying our work in New York with some of our allies and partners on a new sanctions resolution. This will be a matter of diplomatic priority over the coming days and weeks,” Nuland said

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August1460.xml&section=international&col=

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Calm Valley to celebrate Eid in a big way

30 Aug 2011

Contrary to last year’s tumultuous summer and low-key Eid celebrations, this year the relative calm has encouraged people to celebrate in a big way. In the past three days, over Rs 170 crore have been withdrawn from ATMs in the Valley, an indication of large scale spending on eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, which is being celebrated on Wednesday or Thursday, subject to appearance of crescent.

Last year, the Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated amid imposition of curfew in many localities. Even as authorities allowed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to hold a peaceful demonstration after the culmination of Eid prayers, the decision proved counterproductive when large groups of youngsters staged anti-India demonstrations. Miscreants also set a Government building on fire. The violence on Eid day was in continuation of the agitation that started on June 11, 2011 following the killing of a 17-year-old Tufail Matoo in old Srinagar.

This year, in contrast to last year’s curfew and deserted marketplaces, tens of thousands of people are seen on a shopping spree in capital Srinagar and other major towns. Such was the rush of shoppers in Srinagar’s shopping hub Lal Chowk that authorities decided to declare it out of bounds for traffic for two days in order to spare the nerve centre to shoppers alone. However, after the intervention of shopkeepers, who feared inconvenience to people, movement of light vehicles was allowed.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/364391/Calm-Valley-to-celebrate-Eid-in-a-big-way.html

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'An Anna Hazare needed in Pakistan too'

30 Aug 2011

An Anna Hazare is needed in Pakistan to lead the struggle against corruption if the country's political parties continue to be averse to taking decisive measures against graft, a Pakistani paper said on Monday, commending the Indian activist for his ‘unflinching struggle’ for the common people.

"Corruption has become so ingrained in Pakistan and the political class is seen so steeped in it that unless firm, decisive measures are taken to combat graft, some Anna Hazare will be needed here too to lead the people's struggle against the malaise," said an editorial in the Urdu daily Jang.

Commending Hazare, it said he had finally prevailed over the Indian government and parliament.

"He only called off his 12-day fast after parliament unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a strict Lokpal bill, and agreeing to the three main demands he had stuck to," the editorial said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/anna-hazare-needed-pakistan-too-277

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Bosnia's 'Euro-Islam' on show during Ramadan

By Rusmir Smajilhodzic

30 Aug 2011

SARAJEVO — In Bosnia, which prides itself as the home ground of "European Islam", religious fervour and relaxed joie de vivre live easily side by side, even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

While many Sarajevans strictly observe the Ramadan fast, the cafes in the cobbled streets of the Bosnian capital's Ottoman old town still abound with tourists and locals alike.

Young veiled women walk by, crossing others with hair blowing wildly in the wind, as Bosnians' beloved beer flows freely -- and not just for visitors.

"Bosnian Muslims have lived in a European context, politically and legally, for a century and a half," since what is modern day Bosnia became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the 19th century, said Dzevad Hodzic, a professor of ethics and philosophy at the Sarajevo Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Apart from a radical fringe, which emerged during the Balkans wars of the 1990s, Bosnian Muslims tend to keep religion a private matter, in line with what has become known as "European Islam" or "Euro-Islam", he said.

Full report at: Copyright © 2011 AFP.

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For Syria, what is 'left'?

Bassam Haddad

30 Aug 2011

The brutal crackdown of the past five months cannot be excused by Syria's resistance credentials.

It is a concrete rationale that fuels opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime and the United States’ duplicitous and violent policies in the Middle East. It is a concrete rationale that imbues the condemnation of and struggle against authoritarian rule in the Arab world. It is a concrete rationale that inspires and necessitates the support of resistance to all the above. This rationale is an expression of the most basic forms of moral and political principles. It is this reasoning that must apply to the brutal suppression of the Syrian uprising.

But part of the leftist camp in the region, specifically in Lebanon, faces the unfolding bloodiness of the Syrian scene with a striking measure of ambiguity. Should “good” leftists support the opposition, condemn the regime’s unbridled brutality, or remain “neutral” (the latter decidedly a position in and of itself)?

This “dilemma” is a false one. It emanates from the arguably legitimate reverence for the Syrian regime’s support of the resistance - principally through Hezbollah - to US and Israeli imperialism. Few leftists disagree with this basic position, even if they were critical of, or condemned, Syria’s own domestic policies prior to the eruption of mass protests.

Full report at:

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/20118286551105182.html

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Muslims happy with life in US despite discrimination: poll

30 Aug 2011

CHICAGO: US Muslims are far more satisfied with the direction of their country than most Americans even though nearly half of them have faced discrimination and prejudice in the past year, a poll found Tuesday.

The survey was conducted ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and aimed to provide a portrait of the 2.75 million Muslims living in the United States.

“Despite headlines and discussions about the possibility of Islamic radicalism and extremism, what our data shows today is that the Muslim American community is quite mainstream and moderate,” said Pew Research Center analyst Greg Smith.

“The vast majority of (US) Muslims continue to oppose extremism, telling us things like suicide bombing in defence of Islam can never be justified.”

While 55% of respondents said being a Muslim in the United States has become more difficult since the 9/11 attacks, 48% said they think ordinary Americans are generally “friendly” towards Muslims.

Strikingly, some 56% of US Muslims said they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country compared with just 23% of the general public.

One reason could be because Muslims — who overwhelmingly support President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party — are more satisfied with the current political climate.

Just 38% of Muslims surveyed by Pew in 2007 said they were satisfied with the direction of the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/30/muslims-happy-with-life-in-us-despite-discrimination-

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Afghan charges against Australian soldier dropped

30 Aug 2011

SYDNEY: No Australian soldier will face a court martial over the death of six civilians, including five children, during a 2009 raid in Afghanistan, the military said Tuesday.

Three Australian Defence Force personnel were originally charged over the deaths which occurred as special operations soldiers were clearing a compound where they believed a Taliban leader was hiding.

In May a judge advocate ruled two of the three would not need to face a court martial, and on Tuesday the defence force said charges against the third had been formally withdrawn.

“Defence was committed to ensuring a proper legal process was observed throughout this matter so that the individuals charged received a fair trial and that the integrity of the military legal process was preserved,” Defence force chief General David Hurley said.

“The legal processes that were adhered to in relation to this matter were independent of the chain of command.” Six civilians, including five children, died and four people were injured in the February 12, 2009 incident in southern Uruzgan province.

Two army reservists and their commanding officer, who were not identified, were subsequently charged and referred for trial.

Civilian deaths are a sensitive issue in Afghanistan, where foreign and Afghan soldiers are battling a Taliban insurgency.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/30/afghan-charges-against-australian-soldier-dropped.html

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Mullah Omar sees ‘imminent victory’ against NATO forces

30 Aug 2011

KABUL: The leader of the Afghan Taliban said that his group wants to boost the country’s mining and energy sectors once it regains strength after the NATO-led force fighting them pulls out in 2014.

Interest in economic stability and investment in mining marks a new approach for the resurgent group, ousted from power by US-backed Afghan forces in 2001.

“Afghanistan has vast arable land, rich mines and high potential of energy resources, therefore, we can make investments,” Mullah Omar said in a lengthy statement carried by the SITE online monitoring service on Sunday. Such investments would “wrangle ourselves from the tentacles of poverty, unemployment, backwardness and ignorance,” the one-eyed reclusive leader said in honour of Eidul Fitr. Omar also said the ongoing battle against the NATO-led forces would lead to an “imminent victory” for the Taliban.

NATO is racing against the clock to train Afghanistan’s poorly equipped army and police force by the end of 2014, the deadline for US combat troops’ exit and when all security responsibilities will be handed over to the Afghans. The United States and NATO earlier this year reluctantly backed Kabul’s peace plan, which involves negotiating with some members of the Taliban. But the extremist group has repeatedly said it will not consider that until all foreigners fighting in its country have left.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\30\story_30-8-2011_pg7_2

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Karachi bloodshed threatens havoc for Pakistan

30 Aug 2011

KARACHI: Murder gangs rooted in Karachi’s boiling cauldron of ethnic politics are waging a savage fight for power and space in Pakistan’s financial capital, threatening to destabilise the entire country.

At one of Karachi’s overflowing morgues, Amir Ali, clutching a photograph of his missing brother on his wedding day, searches for him along a grim line of bodies, only their bloodied faces uncovered.

Yellow dockets tucked into tape that bind the corpses detail the horrific torture they suffered before their bodies were dumped in sacks on the street.

“We’ve tried the hospitals, the police stations and now the morgue,” said Ali, a 45-year-old stonemason, who fears his brother was kidnapped despite his lack of any political affiliation. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Karachi this year - 100 in the past week alone - as drug, land, gun and extortion mafias linked to ethnically based political parties threaten to plunge the huge city into urban anarchy.

At stake is more than the welfare of the city’s 18 million inhabitants because Karachi, gateway to the Arabian Sea, provides the bulk of the democratically fragile country’s income.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\30\story_30-8-2011_pg7_16

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Crackdown against ‘Afghan jihadis’ in Punjab on the cards

By Asad Kharal

August 30, 2011

LAHORE: Intelligence agency reports have revealed that Afghan-trained boys and returnees from Afghan prisons have surfaced in Punjab and are indulging in terrorist activities, The Express Tribune learnt on Monday.

According to a report by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab, 2,487 militants trained in Afghanistan and 566 returnees from Afghan prisons have been identified.

The Punjab home department has directed the Inspector General of the Punjab police, as well as all senior police officials in the province, to immediately launch a crackdown against the Afghan-returned militants across the province.

The Punjab CTD has also placed the names of 2,120 suspected activists of sectarian or militant organisations on a watch list called the ‘fourth schedule’. Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, placing terrorism suspects on this list gives police and law enforcement agencies considerable powers to observe such individuals and curtail their movements.

For instance, most of them are closely watched, and the people who meet them are also observed by the police. The people on the list cannot change their address and need police permission to leave the district. They are also frequently required to report to their local police station. If they violate any of these rules, they are liable to be arrested.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/242317/counter-terrorism-report-crackdown-against-afghan-

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In Swat, a mother anxiously waits for her son’s safe return

By Fazal Khaliq

August 30, 2011

Zamina Bibi was in tears, constantly asking for help finding her son.

“My heart is constantly aching. The pain is unbearable and it doesn’t stop for even a single moment. Oh God! Please give me back my son!” she cried.

Zamina’s son, Akhtar Ali, 20, is among the people who have gone missing since the end of the military operation in Swat a couple of years back.

Ali, a tailor by profession, was the only source of livelihood for his family since his father’s passing. He went missing on May 31 from Sangota village in Swat Valley.

“The worst pain for a mother is to know her child is missing and not being able to do anything about it,” Zamina said, while sitting on the ground peering at the door, futilely waiting for her son to walk in.

Zamina, 65, also has three daughters. Ever since her son went missing, Zamina has been washing dishes and clothes at houses in the area, trying desperately to meet their daily requirements.

Barely able to run her household under the weight of inflation, the agony and constant fear of losing her son has also taken a hit on her health. “I cannot sleep for even a single moment. His memory keeps haunting me wherever I am,” she said with tears rolling down her eyes.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/242165/life-of-pain-in-swat-a-mother-anxiously-waits-for-her-

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Karzai wins Saudi backing for Taliban reconciliation

By Tahir Khan

August 30, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has won Saudi Arabia’s support for the reconciliation process with the Taliban, an Afghan diplomat in Islamabad told The Express Tribune.

Last weekend, Karzai made a crucial visit to Riyadh where he met King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi intelligence chief and other officials. The president sought the country’s support to encourage the Taliban to join the peace process and come to the negotiation table.

The reconciliation process has failed to achieve much success so far. Afghan officials have admitted that the joint commission of Pakistan and Afghanistan for peace and reconciliation and the Afghan High Peace Council have made no progress to convince the Taliban leaders to join the peace process. The Taliban-US talks are also reportedly on a deadlock as disclosure to the media about the talks has annoyed the Taliban leadership.

Hizb-e-Islami’s (Gulbudin Hekmatyar Group) head of political affairs, Dr Ghairat Baheer, is also said to be in Saudi Arabia to discuss the country’s support in the reconciliation process. A spokesperson for Hizb-e-Islami confirmed Baheer’s visit to The Express Tribune, but avoided further comments.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/242357/afghanistan-endgame-karzai-wins-saudi-backing-for-

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Prince Alwaleed visits Somali famine victims

30 Aug 2011

MOGADISHU: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, and Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, vice chairwoman of the Foundation, visited famine victims in Somalia on Saturday and met with President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

They also met Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adem, head of Parliament, and Abdulwahab Ugas Khalifa, acting prime minister.

Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah made an additional donation of SR7.5million ($2million) through the Alwaleed Foundation.

The additional donation was in partnership with the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) where each organization received SR3.75million ($1million) respectively.

The donation was in response to the OIC’s Somalia Famine Campaign under the Humanitarian Affairs Department and the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund for Somalia which supports local and international aid agencies in critical long-term programs.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article495443.ece

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Nato fighter in mid-air collision with Lithuanian plane

30 Aug 2011

A Nato jet has collided with a fighter plane from the Lithuanian air force, officials in Vilnius say.

Both Lithuanian pilots managed to eject over northern Lithuania, while the pilot of the French Mirage jet landed his plane safely.

Local media reports said the Lithuanian pilots landed in Rekyva lake in Siauliai region.

Officials said the Lithuanian pilots had survived the crash and had been found, but gave no further details.

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius told journalists an investigation had started.

"We can only state with relief that casualties were avoided. Unfortunately, incidents like this sometimes happen," he said.

France has planes based at the Zokniai air base and takes part in Nato patrols over the Baltic countries.

It is not clear whether the Lithuanian plane was also part of Nato's operation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14715235

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Pakistani scribes demand clarification over killing

Aug 30, 2011

Islamabad, Aug 30 (IANS) Journalist organisations in Pakistan have demanded that the government clarify former Sindh home minister Zulfikar Mirza's statement that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was behind the killing of reporter Wali Khan Babar.

GEO reporter Wali Khan Babar, 28, was gunned down in Karachi Jan 13.

Mirza had claimed that the MQM was behind the killing of Babar.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Monday gave five days to the government to clarify its position, reported Dawn.

It expressed concern over the inability of the authorities to arrest the killers.

"Journalists are being targeted with impunity and the government has failed miserably to check this dangerous trend," a statement said.

The National Press Club too expressed concern over Mirza's claim.

NPC president Afzal Butt presided over the meeting which called upon the government to explain its position about Babar's killers.

They warned that they would not hesitate to launch a countrywide movement over this issue.

Full report at:

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=114039

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indian-president,-prime-minister-greet-country-on-eid-ul-fitr/d/5357


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