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Islamic World News ( 25 Nov 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Iraqi Commander: ISIL's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in US Forces' Custody













Photo: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting in Riyadh, November 14, 2017. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)

 

Promote Wasatiyyah Concept to Raise Understanding Of Islam

Islamic State Jihadist Attempts to Justify Mosque Attack in which Over 300 Civilians Were Murdered

Pakistan Cracks Down On Hardliners; 10 Killed, Over 250 Injured

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Arab World

Iraqi Commander: ISIL's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in US Forces' Custody

Saudi Crown Prince Opens Islamic Military Counterterrorism Meeting

US Running Tight Cooperation with MBS in Crackdown on Saudi Businessmen

Over 8,500 People Arrested In Nineveh on Suspicion of Joining Islamic State

Iraqi Forces Drive Terrorists out of 2,400 sq/km of Land in Al-Jazeera Desert

Syrian Army in Final Stage of Preparations to Launch Idlib Operation

Syrian Army Repels Terrorists' Heavy Attack in Hama Province

Army Inflicts Heavy Losses on Terrorists in Homs Province

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Southeast Asia

Promote Wasatiyyah Concept to Raise Understanding Of Islam

Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Arrives In Kuala Lumpur

Theft At Mosques: Two Men Arrested

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Africa

Islamic State Jihadist Attempts to Justify Mosque Attack in which Over 300 Civilians Were Murdered

Egypt Mosque Attackers Carried Islamic State Flags

Egypt mosque attack death toll rises to 305, including 27 children

Mosque massacre: Egypt president vows forceful response

31 bodies recovered after migrant boat sinks off Libya

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Pakistan

Pakistan Cracks Down On Hardliners; 10 Killed, Over 250 Injured

4 Killed, 19 Injured In Explosion on Quetta's Sariab Road

Islamabad High Court Declares Faizabad Sit-In ‘A Terrorist Act’

Pakistan braces for military response after violent clashes

Pakistan justifies Hafiz Saeed's release

Four militants killed in CTD encounter in Faislabad

35 people injured in violent clashes in Karachi

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India

Nine Years On, The Scars Of 26/11 Terror Attacks Are Yet To Heal

Dawood Ibrahim Depressed As His Only Son Wants To Become ‘Maulana’

Terrorism bent on destroying humanitarian forces: PM Modi

Alleged 26/11 handler Abu Jundal back in dock, Pak identity paper examined

Terrorists abduct, kill off-duty jawan in Kashmir

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Europe

16 Hurt Fleeing False Terror Alert In London's Oxford Street Shopping

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North America

Pak Nukes Surest Route to Escalate Nuclear-Level War: US Think-Tank

Hafiz Saeed has 'blood on his hands': Former CIA deputy director

US urges Pakistan to re-arrest Hafiz Saeed

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South Asia

Senior ISIS Leaders among 14 Killed In Nangarhar Airstrikes

Barmak admits writing error in leaked letter, rejects discrimination allegations

All condition set for win, Taliban cannot win: Gen. Nicholson

Civilians in Northern Syria Threaten SDF to Leave Region

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Mideast

Iran Dismisses Military, Missile Aid to Yemen

IRGC Commander Warns Europe Not to Force Iran to Increase Range of Missiles

Iran Underlines Rigid Resolve to Deploy Warships to Gulf of Mexico

Israel races to head off UN settlement 'blacklist'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraqi-commander--isil-s-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-in-us-forces--custody/d/113354

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Iraqi Commander: ISIL's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in US Forces' Custody

TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the commanders of the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said on Sunday that Leader of the ISIL terrorist groups Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in the US forces' custody in an unknown venue.

The Arabic-language al-Sumeriyeh news quoted Jabar al-Ma'amouri as saying that ISIL Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been in the US military forces' custody, adding that the US forces will never kill al-Baghdadi unless in a Hollywood-like scenario.

He further said that people around the world rest assured that the US has played a crucial role in the creation of the terrorist groups in last decades, and unfortunately some of the Arab nations embarked on providing financial support for such terrorist groups.

An Arab media outlet reported earlier this month that al-Baghdadi was alive, , adding that the terrorist group's ring leader was sighted by eyewitnesses in one of the battlefields in Southeastern DeirEzzur.

The Arabic-language Elam al-Harbi reported that al-Baghdadi was sighted alive in one of the battlefields near the newly-freed town of Albu Kamal at the border with Iraq.

No more details were released about the report.

Contradictory reports surfaced the media on the fate of al-Baghdad in the last two years, while some claim that he was killed in attacks in Iraq or Syria, others say that he is still alive and on the move.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000507

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Promote Wasatiyyah Concept To Raise Understanding Of Islam

Last update: 26/11/2017   

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- The wasatiyyah concept is a crucial approach that must be further promoted for better understanding of the concept among Muslims, so as to curb rising extremism and violence around the world.

President of Fhatwa Institute Foundation in Zamboanga, the Philippines, SheikhLodersonGustaham said the concept -- which means to be moderate, to be in the middle and to be in a state of balance -- would need to be disseminated widely, especially to the young of a nation, a group that is reachable through social media platforms.

"Same like Malaysia, the Philippines has Internet users of around of 80 per cent nationwide, thus there is an urgent need to channel accurate information about this concept that emphasises the 'balance' of Islamic teachings.

"This practice of moderation, an extraction from the Quran is indeed the best approach to eliminate the unfounded ideologies and to address the various manifestations including religious extremism," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the inaugural KhayrUmmah Conference (KUC) 2017, here, today.

Themed 'The Manhaj of the Ahlu As-Sunnah Unites ASEAN', the inaugural KUC 2017 provides for a meeting and introductory platform among Islamic scholars in the Southeast Asian region to establish close ties for the long run.....

bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1414293

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Islamic State Jihadist Attempts to Justify Mosque Attack in which Over 300 Civilians Were Murdered

ALI WAKED26 Nov 20170

TEL AVIV — Egypt and the world are still trying to comprehend Friday’s terrorist massacre at a mosque in Sinai, which killed more than 305 worshippers and wounded dozens more.

In the attack on the Rawda mosque in the area of El Arish in northern Sinai, armed assailants opened fire on the hundreds of worshippers who had gathered there for Friday prayers.

“It’s a mistake to claim that the site that was attacked was a mosque,” AbouAbdelrahman al-Maqdesi, an Islamic State-aligned jihadist in Gaza, clamed to Breitbart Jerusalem. “It was a house of worship where infidel activities were performed against sharia. Those who were harmed were not civilians. They are people who call themselves ‘Sufis.’ That’s another name for one of the infidel groups. They committed acts against Islam and our supreme sharia.”

At the time of the interview with al-Maqdesi, IS had yet to be linked to the massacre via reports that the terrorists hoisted the Islamic State flag during the attack.

“I believe my brothers in the Islamic State are behind this act because Wilyat Sinai warned against this house of worship in the IS newspaper Al-Nabaa,” he said. “My brothers warned the people of the area and those responsible for it against continued activity there.”

Al-Maqdesi claimed that according to Islamic religious law “the site that was attacked can’t be considered a mosque.”

He was clearly attempting to justify the murder of civilian worshippers.  His comments shed light on the extremist thinking of IS ideologues.

“In the language of the Sufi infidels, it’s a ‘corner,’ the name the Sufis give to sites where they worship. As far as we’re concerned their activities go against the values of monotheism. It contains elements that transform creatures and characters to the level of Allah. Whereas for us, Islam and the Muslims, Allah is the only God and it’s forbidden to claim there are partners to Allah.

“People in this place would kiss the hands of others, claiming they were holy or people who were blessed by the sky,” he continued. “They sacrifice victims to these people and give them money. Islam firmly rejects these practices. It’s forbidden to ask for a blessing, charity or anything else from anyone other than Allah.”

According to al-Maqdesi, “All of those killed were Sufis and there were at least 17 Egyptian soldiers among them, including one officer.” He refused to give any details regarding the Egyptian soldiers and would not say where he got such information.

“This act was carried out after these same Sufis were warned to stop their activities,” al-Maqdesi added. “I don’t understand these condemnations from the world and especially from the Arab world. A few mosques were bombed in Syria and Iraq by the crusader coalition; a few worshippers were massacred by the Shi’ite militias. Why doesn’t anyone condemn the killing and murdering of these victims? Why doesn’t anyone notice or pay any attention to them?”

Al-Maqdesi continued: “As part of our defense of Islam, we persist in preventing all activity that tries to compare some kind of partner to Allah. All religious activity needs to be exclusive to Allah and not in the name of holy people. Even the prophets, Allah’s prophets and his messengers on Earth were not given the rank of God, so of course a position like this wouldn’t be given to normal human beings like the infidel Sufis do.

“The Islamic State will continue with its attacks to bring about the victory of Allah’s sharia despite the convergence of the entire world, from the east to the west, against the Muslims and against the Islamic State,” stated al-Maqdesi. “And this despite the loss of territory here and there. My brothers in the state continue to spread its beliefs and its perception at every point in the world.”

breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/11/26/islamic-state-jihadist-attempts-justify-mosque-attack-300-civilians-murdered/

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Pakistan cracks down on hardliners; 10 killed, over 250 injured

Omer Farooq Khan | TNN | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Ten persons were feared killed and more than 250 injured in clashes as the Pakistani government cracked down on protesters from hardline religious groups who had been blocking the busiest highway between Islamabad and Rawalpindi for the last three weeks demanding the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid.

Late Saturday night, even as the government had suspended the crackdown, the Army had to be called in to restore law and order in Islamabad as the situation went out of hand. The army will be deployed in various parts of the city to secure main offices of the judiciary, Parliament House, presidency, PM House, foreign missions, foreign office and other crucial installations.

Earlier in the day, police and paramilitary force had launched the crackdown against religious protesters using water cannons and tear gas canisters. The protesters, however, managed to wrest control of a large area, burning dozens of tents to lessen the impact of teargas shelling.

Fearing that live coverage of the crackdown could further intensify the protests, the government blacked out all TV news channels+ and blocked popular social media sites. However the unrest in Islamabad spilled over to other major cities, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Peshawar, with religious parties staging demonstrations.

Late in the evening, the government suspended the crackdown. Sources said the law minister had offered to resign, but this could not be confirmed. Protesters attacked Hamid's residence in Sialkot district. He and his family were not present at the time.

A missing clause in the Elections Act 2017 passed in September angered the protesters, who are objecting to the changes made in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat or finality of Prophet Muhammad in an oath. The protests are being led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the firebrand chief of Tehreek-e-LabaikYaRasool Allah, a religious group which was recently registered as a mainstream political party by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Other fundamentalist groups like Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan have also joined in.

Calling it a clerical error, the government had subsequently rectified the omission of the clause but the hardline clerics were not satisfied. They have been demanding that Hamid be sacked and tried.

The government launched the crackdown on Saturday morning when it was taken in by surprise after a fresh batch of nearly 2000 protesters entered Islamabad through the Express Highway. This happened after the final deadline of 7am for the agitators to end their sit-in had expired. Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the operation was being conducted on Islamabad HC's directive which had ordered to end the sit-in within three days. .

Protesters entered the residence of former home minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and set fire to the main gate. Nisar and his family were not there at the time of the attack. A building, an armoured personnel carrier and a mobile satellite van near Nisar's residence were also set ablaze.

Javed Latif, a lawmaker of the ruling PML-Nawaz, was beaten up by protesters after he had gone to negotiate on behalf of the government. Media personnel covering the protests across the country also came under attack in various cities. In Islamabad, a private channel's DSNG van was set on fire, while in Karachi, Geo News team members were assaulted by protestors.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-cracks-down-on-hardliners-10-killed-over-250-injured/articleshow/61801873.cms

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Arab World

Iraqi Commander: ISIL's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in US Forces' Custody

TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the commanders of the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said on Sunday that Leader of the ISIL terrorist groups Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in the US forces' custody in an unknown venue.

The Arabic-language al-Sumeriyeh news quoted Jabar al-Ma'amouri as saying that ISIL Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been in the US military forces' custody, adding that the US forces will never kill al-Baghdadi unless in a Hollywood-like scenario.

He further said that people around the world rest assured that the US has played a crucial role in the creation of the terrorist groups in last decades, and unfortunately some of the Arab nations embarked on providing financial support for such terrorist groups.

An Arab media outlet reported earlier this month that al-Baghdadi was alive, , adding that the terrorist group's ring leader was sighted by eyewitnesses in one of the battlefields in Southeastern DeirEzzur.

The Arabic-language Elam al-Harbi reported that al-Baghdadi was sighted alive in one of the battlefields near the newly-freed town of Albu Kamal at the border with Iraq.

No more details were released about the report.

Contradictory reports surfaced the media on the fate of al-Baghdad in the last two years, while some claim that he was killed in attacks in Iraq or Syria, others say that he is still alive and on the move.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000507

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Saudi crown prince opens Islamic military counterterrorism meeting

Mohammed bin Salman tells 41-nation coalition that extremists won't be allowed to 'tarnish the name of our religion'

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has opened the first high-level meeting of a kingdom-led alliance of Muslim nations against terrorism.

Mohammed bin Salman spoke briefly at the gathering of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Alliance in Riyadh on Sunday. The 32-year-old son of King Salman said the coalition won’t allow extremists “to tarnish the name of our religion.”

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He says the members have gathered to pledge to do “all that we can until terrorism is uprooted and is erased from the face of the Earth.”

The alliance, which first formed in December 2015 with 34 nations, now includes 41 countries, though it apparently does not include Iraq, Iran or Syria.

Also not attending were any officials from Qatar. Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations cut ties to Doha in June.

timesofisrael.com/saudi-crown-prince-opens-islamic-military-counterterrorism-meeting/

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US Running Tight Cooperation with MBS in Crackdown on Saudi Businessmen

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Reports from inside the Saudi Royal dynasty disclosed on Saturday that the US administration is running tight cooperation with Prince Mohammed bin Salman to clamp down on powerful trade icons to pave his way to the throne.

Mujtahid, a well-known source and whistleblower in the Saudi royal family, disclosed the cooperation on his twitter page on Saturday.

"The US embassy refrains from issuing visa for the Saudi businesspersons and figures who believe to be in the danger of detention," he wrote.

The US embassy, unlike the Canadian and some European embassies, turns their requests down, Mujtahid wrote.

The Saudi anti-corruption push involving the arrest of princes and government ministers may lead to the confiscation of cash and other assets worth of at least $800 billion.

“They reckon they could get around two to three trillion riyals from these people. That’s the number they are talking about,”a person close to the government told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Early in November, Saudi state media reported the arrest of at least 11 Saudi princes and four incumbent ministers, with the minister of the National Guard, and the economy minister among those detained. The arrests are reportedly the part of a broader plan to fight corruption in the kingdom.

Some leading businessmen have been arrested since the crackdown started, with more than 60 princes, officials and other big-name Saudis in custody, according to the sources cited by the WSJ.

The kingdom's central bank has reportedly frozen the accounts of “persons of interest” and announced that the step was “in response to the Attorney General’s request pending the legal cases against them.”

According to the media, most of the frozen assets are abroad, which will make the process of reclaiming and confiscating longer and more complicated. All the funds accumulated through corruption are to become state property.

The anti-corruption crackdown is led by a newly established committee chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The agency was created by royal decree of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and published by Saudi Arabia’s official news agency.

The committee is exempt from “laws, regulations, instructions, orders, and decision” while performing its wide range of duties, namely “identifying offenses, crimes, persons and entities” complicit in corruption, and gives it the power to impose punitive measures on those caught red-handed. Those include asset freezes, travel bans and arrests.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960904001489

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Over 8,500 people arrested in Nineveh on suspicion of joining Islamic State

Nov 26, 2017

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Over 8,500 people were arrested in Nineveh on suspicion of joining Islamic State since the liberation of the proin August.

The arrests were made upon accurate intelligence information and tip-offs from citizens, a security source told Baghdad Today on Sunday.

“Also, 100 people were ordered to be executed by specialized courts in the governorate on the same charge,” he concluded.

In August, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Nineveh province has been “fully liberated” from Islamic State, after the district of Tal Afar was re-captured.

Abadi’s announcement followed the defeat of the militant group in the town of Ayadiya, where the militants had fled to from Tal Afar.

The group has suffered a string of territorial losses in recent months.

“Our happiness is complete, victory has arrived and the province of Nineveh is now entirely in the hands of our forces,” a statement from the prime minister said.

The Iraqi government launched an operation to retake Tal Afar on 20 August involving some 50,000 personnel from the army, air force, federal police, special forces and the Shia Muslim-led paramilitary Popular Mobilisation Forces.

IS militants seized control of much of Nineveh, including the provincial capital of Mosul, in June 2014. Victory was declared in the city in July.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/8500-people-arrested-suspicion-joining-nineveh/

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Iraqi Forces Drive Terrorists out of 2,400 sq/km of Land in Al-Jazeera Desert

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi pro-government forces managed to push ISIL terrorists back from 45 more villages within the framework of a large-scale operation codenamed Rasoul Allah (PBUH) to restore security to Al-Jazeera Badiyeh (desert), Iraqi Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry announced that the army men and popular forces have liberated 45 villages in an area as large as 2,400 sq/km in the Western desert of Anbar province.

It added that over 100 villages have been freed from ISIL terrorists in the desert-like triangle among the provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar in Western Iraq in last three days.

Military sources said on Saturday that the army men and popular forces captured a sum of 56 regions and villages within the framework of the Rasoul Allah the Last Prophet Operation to purge the large Al-Jazeera desert of terrorists in a vast region covering parts of Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar provinces.

The source further said that the army soldiers, Iraqi federal police and popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi, backed up by the country's Air Force, managed to free 4,500 sq/km of the large desert that covers a total area of 26,000 sq/km.    

Iraqi troops have launched the offensive to liberate Al-Jazeera regions located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar provinces.

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Upper Euphrates and Al-Jazeera Combing Operations, said on Thursday that “army and Popular Mobilization Forces started a wide-scale operation to liberate Al-Jazeera region located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar.”

“The operation is considered the second phase of offensives to comb Al-Jazeera and Upper Euphrates areas,” he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday that Baghdad forces defeated ISIL over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000265

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Syrian Army in Final Stage of Preparations to Launch Idlib Operation

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources said on Saturday that the Syrian Army troops are in final stages of military-logistic preparations to kick off a large-scale anti-terrorism operation in Idlib province from different directions amid the government forces' advances in Hama and Aleppo.

The sources said that the army has put a large number of its elite force on alert in Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo to kick off the final phase of an imminent operation to capture the strategic Abu al-Dhohour airbase in SoutheasternIdlib.

The sources said that the first phase of the army operation will end after purging Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo of terrorists.

The sources further added that the army is not expected to face much resistance in its operation in Idlib as rifts have recently widened among terrorist groups in the region. 

Military sources said on Friday that the army troops achieved a major victory against the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) after a series of week-long back-and-forth clashes in Southern Aleppo, capturing a strategic region.

The sources said that the army soldiers, spearheaded by elements of the 3rd Legion, 5th Legion and Republican Guards, managed to impose full control over al-Rashadiyah region in the early hours of Friday.

This key town is located a few kilometersWest of the main government supply line leading to Aleppo city.

At the moment, the army is trying to fortify al-Rashadiyah in order to prevent an Al-Nusra counter-offensive.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960904001098

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Syrian Army Repels Terrorists' Heavy Attack in Hama Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops fended off a heavy offensive of the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) on government forces' positions West of the town of al-Salamiyah on Sunday, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The army men engaged in fierce clashes with Al-Nusra in the village of Satahiyat and warded off their attack, killing a large number of terrorists and destroying their military hardware in a rapid counter-attack. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday that more than 300 terrorists were killed in fierce clashes between the ISIL and Al-Nusra Front in Northeastern Hama in the last 20 days.

The SOHR reported that ISIL pushed Al-Nusra back from 10 villages, including the important village of Sarouj, in recent clashes between the two rival terrorist groups.

It added that over 300 terrorists were killed since October 9, when the ISIL entered Al-Nusra-held regions in Northeastern Hama.

The SOHR added that a sum of 214 ISIL terrorists and 89 Al-Nusra fighters, including several commanders, were killed in the clashes in 20 days of non-stop clashes. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000352

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Army Inflicts Heavy Losses on Terrorists in Homs Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army hit hard the terrorists' military positions and hardware in the Northern part of Homs province.

The terrorists in Homs province sustained heavy losses in tough battle with the Syrian army.

The Syrian army also continued its advances in other key provinces across Syria.

Homs

The Syrian Army's artillery units shelled terrorists' positions and movements in Northern Homs on Saturday, retaliating the militants' violation of the ceasefire in the province's de-escalation zone.

The terrorists, deployed in Northern Homs, targeted civilians in the village of Kafr Nan in Northwestern Homs by machineguns, violating truce.

The artillery units pounded terrorists' strongholds and movements in al-TayebehQarbi, Ein Hossein Janoubi and along the road connecting the village of Kisin to al-Qajar region, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

Local sources reported on Friday that the terrorist groups' snipers targeted people in residential areas in a village in Northern Homs, causing the Syrian pro-government forces to retaliate.

The snipers, deployed in Kisisn, targeted the village of Kafr Nan and violated truce in Northern Homs, the sources said, adding that the pro-government National Defense Forces' artillery and missile units shelled terrorists' positions heavily in Kisin.

No reports have been revealed about possible casualties yet. 

Damascus

The Syrian Army troops kicked off a fresh round of heavy attacks to purge Eastern Ghouta of terrorists, field sources confirmed on Saturday.

The sources reported that the army men stormed the positions of Faylaq al-Rahman and Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in Jobar region in Eastern countryside of Damascus.

Also, the army's artillery units and tanks opened heavy fire at terrorists' positions along the road connecting Jobar to EinTerma region.

The sources further said that fierce clashes are underway between the army men and terrorists close to Vehicles Management Center in Harasta.

Idlib

Military sources said on Saturday that the Syrian Army troops are in final stages of military-logistic preparations to kick off a large-scale anti-terrorism operation in Idlib province from different directions amid the government forces' advances in Hama and Aleppo.

The sources said that the army has put a large number of its elite force on alert in Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo to kick off the final phase of an imminent operation to capture the strategic Abu al-Dhohour airbase in SoutheasternIdlib.

The sources said that the first phase of the army operation will end after purging Northeastern Hama and Southern Aleppo of terrorists.

The sources further added that the army is not expected to face much resistance in its operation in Idlib as rifts have recently widened among terrorist groups in the region.

Hama

The ISIL managed to expel rival terrorists of Al-Nusra Front from more than 15 villages in Northeastern Hama, militant-affiliated websites reported on Saturday.

The websites reported that the ISIL captured the villages of AniqBajerah, Towtah, Hajilah, Abu Harij, Abu Marw, Abu Khanadeq, al-Samiriyah, al-Jadiadah, al-Wasitah, al-Mazabe'a, al-Shalou, al-Zajafi, Tawal al-Dabaqin and Jenah al-Sawarenah after heavy clashes with the Al-Nusra in Northeastern Hama.

Local sources said on Friday that the ISIL drove the Al-Nusra Front out of six more villages after days of heavy clashes in Northeastern Hama, heading towards Idlib province.

DeirEzzur

Russian strategic bombers targeted ISIL terrorist group's command posts and movements on the Western bank of the Euphrates River in DeirEzzur province in Eastern Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.

Six Tu-22M3 strategic bombers took off from an airfield in Russia towards the vicinity of Abbas town on the Western bank of the Euphrates River and targeted ISIL's command posts, inflicting major damage on the terrorist group's positions, the Russian Ministry said.

The Ministry said that all the Russian warplanes returned safely to their bases after completing the mission, adding that the UAVs which were already flying in the area recorded the results of the bombardment.

"Su-30SM fighter jets based at the Humeimim airbase provided backing for the bombers in Syria’s airspace. All Russian aircraft returned to their home bases when the mission was completed," the ministry added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000521

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Southeast Asia

Promote Wasatiyyah Concept To Raise Understanding Of Islam

Last update: 26/11/2017   

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- The wasatiyyah concept is a crucial approach that must be further promoted for better understanding of the concept among Muslims, so as to curb rising extremism and violence around the world.

President of Fhatwa Institute Foundation in Zamboanga, the Philippines, SheikhLodersonGustaham said the concept -- which means to be moderate, to be in the middle and to be in a state of balance -- would need to be disseminated widely, especially to the young of a nation, a group that is reachable through social media platforms.

"Same like Malaysia, the Philippines has Internet users of around of 80 per cent nationwide, thus there is an urgent need to channel accurate information about this concept that emphasises the 'balance' of Islamic teachings.

"This practice of moderation, an extraction from the Quran is indeed the best approach to eliminate the unfounded ideologies and to address the various manifestations including religious extremism," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the inaugural KhayrUmmah Conference (KUC) 2017, here, today.

Themed 'The Manhaj of the Ahlu As-Sunnah Unites ASEAN', the inaugural KUC 2017 provides for a meeting and introductory platform among Islamic scholars in the Southeast Asian region to establish close ties for the long run.....

bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1414293

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Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister arrives in Kuala Lumpur

 

Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to inaugurate the first International Conference of Muslims of ASEAN under the theme A Moderate Nation being organized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Minister was received at Kuala Lumpur International Airport by Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud bin Hussein Qattan and a number of officials.

alriyadhdaily.com/article/e1c1824d093a4c5c94f96adfca8b68e9

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Theft At Mosques: Two Men Arrested

26/11/2017  

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Nov 26 (Bernama) -- A man, who is alleged to be responsible for theft of electrical appliances and money from donation boxes in mosques in the SeberangPerai Tengah (SPT) district has been detained.

SPT district police chief ACP Nik RosAzhan Nik Abdul Hamid said the 22-year-old suspect was arrested at a motorcycle parking area at PangsapuriLimau Manis here at about 4.20 pm yesterday.

Following investigation, he said, the suspect was believed to be responsible for the theft reported at Masjid Jamek Padang Lalang and Masjid JamekKebunSireh here, he said.

"The suspect pretended to be homeless and sought shelter at the mosques before stealing the electrical appliances and money from the donation boxes," he said, adding that police also arrested a scrap metal dealer, aged 49, for allegedly buying the stolen items from the suspect.

In another development, Nik RosAzhan said a 50-year-old man, who is unemployed, was also arrested yesterday for stealing money from a donation box at Masjid KampungSetol, JalanBaru here.....

bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1414277

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Africa

Islamic State Jihadist Attempts to Justify Mosque Attack in which Over 300 Civilians Were Murdered

ALI WAKED26 Nov 20170

TEL AVIV — Egypt and the world are still trying to comprehend Friday’s terrorist massacre at a mosque in Sinai, which killed more than 305 worshippers and wounded dozens more.

In the attack on the Rawda mosque in the area of El Arish in northern Sinai, armed assailants opened fire on the hundreds of worshippers who had gathered there for Friday prayers.

“It’s a mistake to claim that the site that was attacked was a mosque,” AbouAbdelrahman al-Maqdesi, an Islamic State-aligned jihadist in Gaza, clamed to Breitbart Jerusalem. “It was a house of worship where infidel activities were performed against sharia. Those who were harmed were not civilians. They are people who call themselves ‘Sufis.’ That’s another name for one of the infidel groups. They committed acts against Islam and our supreme sharia.”

At the time of the interview with al-Maqdesi, IS had yet to be linked to the massacre via reports that the terrorists hoisted the Islamic State flag during the attack.

“I believe my brothers in the Islamic State are behind this act because Wilyat Sinai warned against this house of worship in the IS newspaper Al-Nabaa,” he said. “My brothers warned the people of the area and those responsible for it against continued activity there.”

Al-Maqdesi claimed that according to Islamic religious law “the site that was attacked can’t be considered a mosque.”

He was clearly attempting to justify the murder of civilian worshippers.  His comments shed light on the extremist thinking of IS ideologues.

“In the language of the Sufi infidels, it’s a ‘corner,’ the name the Sufis give to sites where they worship. As far as we’re concerned their activities go against the values of monotheism. It contains elements that transform creatures and characters to the level of Allah. Whereas for us, Islam and the Muslims, Allah is the only God and it’s forbidden to claim there are partners to Allah.

“People in this place would kiss the hands of others, claiming they were holy or people who were blessed by the sky,” he continued. “They sacrifice victims to these people and give them money. Islam firmly rejects these practices. It’s forbidden to ask for a blessing, charity or anything else from anyone other than Allah.”

According to al-Maqdesi, “All of those killed were Sufis and there were at least 17 Egyptian soldiers among them, including one officer.” He refused to give any details regarding the Egyptian soldiers and would not say where he got such information.

“This act was carried out after these same Sufis were warned to stop their activities,” al-Maqdesi added. “I don’t understand these condemnations from the world and especially from the Arab world. A few mosques were bombed in Syria and Iraq by the crusader coalition; a few worshippers were massacred by the Shi’ite militias. Why doesn’t anyone condemn the killing and murdering of these victims? Why doesn’t anyone notice or pay any attention to them?”

Al-Maqdesi continued: “As part of our defense of Islam, we persist in preventing all activity that tries to compare some kind of partner to Allah. All religious activity needs to be exclusive to Allah and not in the name of holy people. Even the prophets, Allah’s prophets and his messengers on Earth were not given the rank of God, so of course a position like this wouldn’t be given to normal human beings like the infidel Sufis do.

“The Islamic State will continue with its attacks to bring about the victory of Allah’s sharia despite the convergence of the entire world, from the east to the west, against the Muslims and against the Islamic State,” stated al-Maqdesi. “And this despite the loss of territory here and there. My brothers in the state continue to spread its beliefs and its perception at every point in the world.”

breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/11/26/islamic-state-jihadist-attempts-justify-mosque-attack-300-civilians-murdered/

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Egypt Mosque Attackers Carried Islamic State Flags

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2017

Egyptian officials investigating the massacre of worshippers at a mosque say the attackers were carrying the flag of the Islamic State group.

More than 300 people died in the assault in the northern Sinai province.

Imam Mohammed Abdelfatah says there seemed to be many attackers.

“About two minutes after I climbed onto the platform, I heard what sounded like an explosion outside the mosque,” said Mr Abdelfatah.

“Then some people came inside firing at all the worshippers and they were hitting anybody and everybody – anyone that was breathing.”

kildare-nationalist.ie/2017/11/26/egypt-mosque-attackers-carried-islamic-state-flags/

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Egypt mosque attack death toll rises to 305, including 27 children

AP | Updated: Nov 25, 2017

ISMAILIA: Egypt on Saturday said an attack on a mosque by militants in the country's troubled region of northern Sinai has killed 305 worshippers, including 27 children, a dramatic increase in the death toll previously announced, which was 235.

A statement by the country's chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, said the attack on Friday left another 128 people wounded.

It said the attackers, estimated at between 25 and 30, arrived at the mosque close to the small town of Bir al-Abd in five all-terrain vehicles and positioned themselves at the main door and the facility's 12 windows before opening fire. They also torched seven cars parked outside the mosque, which belonged to worshippers inside.

Quoting testimonies given to investigators by survivors, the statement said some of the attackers were masked. Those who were not sported heavy beards and long hair. The militants wore camouflaged pants and black T-shirts, it added.

Also on Saturday, Egyptian warplanes were in action over Sinai, according to the military, targeting several vehicles in which some of the culprits of the attack were traveling. All passengers of the vehicles were killed, it added. It was impossible to independently verify the claim since the media is virtually banned from working in Sinai.

The chief prosecutor's statement was the most detailed by authorities on the attack, the deadliest by Islamic extremists in Egypt's modern history. The account it gave generally agreed with what witnesses told The Associated Press on Saturday in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, where some of the wounded are hospitalized.

They spoke of horrific scenes during the approximately 20 minutes it took the militants to kill and maim worshippers. They spoke of some jumping out of windows, a stampede in a corridor leading to the washrooms and of children screaming in horror. Some spoke of their narrow escape from a certain death, others of families that lost all or most of their male members.

Who are Sufi Muslims and why do some extremists hate them

One witness, Ebid Salem Mansour, said the imam had barely made it atop the mosque pulpit to deliver the sermon when intense gunfire rang out. "We knew that the mosque was under attack by (militants)," he said, recounting an attack that constitutes a grim milestone in Egypt's brutal fight against increasingly emboldened militants.

Mansour, a 38-year-old worker in a nearby salt factory, said he settled in Bir al-Abd, the small town near where the attack took place, three years ago to escape the bloodshed and fighting elsewhere in northern Sinai. He suffered two gunshot wounds in the legs on Friday.

"Everyone layed down on the floor and kept their heads down. If you raised your head you get shot," he said. "The shooting was random and hysterical at the beginning and then became more deliberate: Whoever they weren't sure was dead or still breathing was shot dead."

The militants were shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great, and the children were screaming, Mansour said.

"I knew I was injured but I was in a situation that was much scarier than being wounded. I was only seconds away from a certain death," he said. As the shooting took place, many of the worshippers recited their final prayers, he added.

Friday's attack targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of a mystic movement within Islam. Islamic militants, including the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi vowed that the attack "will not go unpunished" and that Egypt would persevere with its war on terrorism. But he did not specify what new steps might be taken. On Saturday, he ordered that a mausoleum be built in memory of the victims of Friday's attack.

The military and security forces have already been waging a tough campaign against militants in the towns, villages and desert mountains of Sinai, and Egypt has been in a state of emergency since April. Across the country, thousands have been arrested in a crackdown on suspected Islamists as well as against other dissenters and critics, raising concern about human rights violations.

Seeking to spread the violence, militants over the past year have carried out deadly bombings on churches in the capital of Cairo and other cities, killing dozens of Christians. The IS affiliate is also believed to be behind the 2016 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 226 people over Sinai.

Friday's assault was the first major militant attack on a Muslim congregation, and it eclipsed past attacks, even dating back to a previous Islamic militant insurgency in the 1990s.

The militants, according to another witness, said worshippers began to jump out of windows as soon as the militants opened fire. "The small door that leads to the corridor for the wash rooms was about the only one where worshippers rushed to escape," said a 38-year-old government employee who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation.

"There was a stampede. I fell down and then bodies piled up on top of me," he said

No one claimed responsibility for the attack. But the IS group affiliate has targeted Sufis in the past.

Last year, the militants beheaded a leading local Sufi religious figure, the blind sheikh Suleiman Abu Heraz, and posted photos of the killing online. Islamic State group propaganda often denounces Sufis. In the January edition of an IS online magazine, a figure purporting to be a high level official in the Sinai affiliate of the group vowed to target Sufis, accusing them of idolatry and heretical "innovation" in religion and warning that the group will "not permit (their) presence" in Sinai or Egypt.

Millions of Egyptians belong to Sufi orders, which hold sessions of chanting and poetry meant to draw the faithful closer to God. Sufis also hold shrines containing the tombs of holy men in particular reverence.

Islamic militants stepped up their campaign of violence in northern Sinai after the military ousted the elected but divisive Islamist Mohammed Morsi from power in 2013 and launched a fierce crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group.

The result has been a long, grinding conflict centered on el-Arish and nearby villages and towns. The militants have been unable to control territory, but the military and security forces have also been unable to bring security, as the extremists continuously carry out surprise attacks, mostly targeting outposts and convoys.

The attacks have largely focused on military and police, killing hundreds, although exact numbers are unclear. The militants have also assassinated individuals the group considers to be spies for the government or religious heretics. Egypt has also faced attacks by militants in its Western Desert.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/egypt-mosque-attack-death-toll-rises-to-305-including-27-children/articleshow/61796300.cms

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Mosque massacre: Egypt president vows forceful response

AFP | Updated: Nov 25, 2017, 10:44 IST

CAIRO: Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to respond forcefully after attackers killed at least 235 worshippers in a packed mosque in restive North Sinai province, the country's deadliest

attack in recent memory.

Al-Sisi declared three days of mourning would begin on Saturday, the day after the gun and bomb assault on the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the North Sinai capital of El-

Arish.

In a televised speech the president pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short

period".

Several hours later Egyptian air force jets destroyed vehicles used in the attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, an army spokesman said.

Witnesses said assailants had surrounded the mosque with all-terrain vehicles and detonated a bomb. They then mowed down panicked worshippers as they tried to flee and used congregants' vehicles

they had set alight to block routes to the mosque.

The state prosecutor's office said in a statement that 235 people were killed and 109 wounded in the attack, the scale of which is unprecedented in a four-year insurgency by Islamist extremist groups.

AFP photographs of the scene indicated that children were among the dead.

World leaders condemned the attack. US President Donald Trump condemned on Twitter the "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenceless worshippers".

The grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, condemned "in the strongest terms this barbaric terrorist attack".

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bloodshed.

The Islamic State group's Egypt branch has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and also civilians accused of working with the authorities, in attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula.

They have also targeted followers of the mystical Sufi branch of Sunni Islam as well as Christians.

A tribal leader and head of a Bedouin militia that fights IS told AFP that the mosque is known as a place where Sufis gather.

The Islamic State group shares the puritan Salafi view that Sufis are heretics for seeking the intercession of saints.

The jihadists had previously kidnapped and beheaded an elderly Sufi leader, accusing him of practising magic which Islam forbids, and abducted Sufi practitioners later released after "repenting".

The group has killed more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings in Sinai and other parts of Egypt, forcing many to flee the peninsula.

The military has struggled to quell jihadists who pledged allegiance to IS in November 2014.

The jihadists have since increasingly turned to civilian targets, attacking not only Christians and Sufis but also Bedouin Sinai inhabitants accused of working with the army.

The Gaza Strip's border crossing with Egypt that had been due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice because of the attack, a Palestinian official said.

Aside from IS, Egypt also faces a threat from Al-Qaeda-aligned jihadists who operate out of neighbouring Libya.

A group calling itself Ansar al-Islam -- Supporters of Islam in Arabic -- claimed an October ambush in Egypt's Western Desert that killed at least 16 policemen.

Many of those killed belonged to the interior ministry's secretive National Security Service.

The military later conducted air strikes on the attackers, killing their leader Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, a most wanted jihadist who was a military officer before joining an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in

Libya's militant stronghold of Derna.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/mosque-massacre-egypt-president-vows-forceful-response/articleshow/61791126.cms

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31 bodies recovered after migrant boat sinks off Libya

AgenciesNovember 26, 2017

TRIPOLI/ATHENS: At least 31 migrants died after their boat sank off Libya’s western coast on Saturday and some 200 others were picked up by the coastguard to be brought back to port in Tripoli, officials said.

The migrants were on two boats off the coast near Garabulli, east of Tripoli, one of which had already sunk when the coastguard arrived at the scene, said Abu AjalaAmerAbdelbari, a coast guard commander.

“The boat had sunk and they were spread out in the sea, they were trying to swim towards the coast,” he said. “There were about 60 people who we were able to save because they were clinging to the (remains of the) boat.” Another 140 migrants were picked up from the second boat, he said.

The dead, including a number of children, were brought back to Tripoli naval base where they were unloaded in white plastic body bags.

Libya is the main departure point for mostly African migrants trying to cross to Europe. Smugglers usually pack them into flimsy inflatable boats that often break down or sink.

Most migrants are picked up by international vessels and taken to Italy, where more than 115,000 have landed so far this year, although an increasing number are intercepted by Libya’s European-backed coastguard and returned to the North African country.

Since July, there has been a sharp drop in crossings, though this week has seen a renewed surge in departures.

Nearly 3,000 migrants are known to have died or be missing after trying to cross to Europe by sea this year, the majority of them between Libya and Italy. The International Organisation for Migration said that since 2000 the Mediterranean had been “by far the world’s deadliest border” for migrants.

Afghan boy dies amid panic on migrant boat

A 10-year-old Afghan boy was crushed to death on Saturday on board an overcrowded boat carrying scores of migrants headed from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, Greek news agency ANA reported.

Panic erupted when the 66 migrants on board the rickety vessel saw a patrol boat from European border agency Frontex approaching, afraid they would be taken back to Turkey, ANA said.

The boy was on the boat with his parents and two younger sisters. When she discovered her son had died in the chaos, his mother tried to end her life by jumping into the sea, only to be rescued by the coastguard.

Despite an EU-Turkey deal in 2016 aimed at stemming the migrant flow to Greece, refugees and migrants desperate for a fresh start continue to arrive on the southern European nation’s shores — with a spike in the numbers since this summer.

At least three migrants have drowned this month while attempting to reach Greece, while a nine-year-old girl died in September.

The casualties are far lower than in 2015 and 2016, when hundreds of people drowned, including several children. Despite the relative improvement, tragedy continues to strike.

dawn.com/news/1372903/31-bodies-recovered-after-migrant-boat-sinks-off-libya

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Pakistan

Pakistan cracks down on hardliners; 10 killed, over 250 injured

Omer Farooq Khan | TNN | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Ten persons were feared killed and more than 250 injured in clashes as the Pakistani government cracked down on protesters from hardline religious groups who had been blocking the busiest highway between Islamabad and Rawalpindi for the last three weeks demanding the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid.

Late Saturday night, even as the government had suspended the crackdown, the Army had to be called in to restore law and order in Islamabad as the situation went out of hand. The army will be deployed in various parts of the city to secure main offices of the judiciary, Parliament House, presidency, PM House, foreign missions, foreign office and other crucial installations.

Earlier in the day, police and paramilitary force had launched the crackdown against religious protesters using water cannons and tear gas canisters. The protesters, however, managed to wrest control of a large area, burning dozens of tents to lessen the impact of teargas shelling.

Fearing that live coverage of the crackdown could further intensify the protests, the government blacked out all TV news channels+ and blocked popular social media sites. However the unrest in Islamabad spilled over to other major cities, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Peshawar, with religious parties staging demonstrations.

Late in the evening, the government suspended the crackdown. Sources said the law minister had offered to resign, but this could not be confirmed. Protesters attacked Hamid's residence in Sialkot district. He and his family were not present at the time.

A missing clause in the Elections Act 2017 passed in September angered the protesters, who are objecting to the changes made in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat or finality of Prophet Muhammad in an oath. The protests are being led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the firebrand chief of Tehreek-e-LabaikYaRasool Allah, a religious group which was recently registered as a mainstream political party by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Other fundamentalist groups like Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan have also joined in.

Calling it a clerical error, the government had subsequently rectified the omission of the clause but the hardline clerics were not satisfied. They have been demanding that Hamid be sacked and tried.

The government launched the crackdown on Saturday morning when it was taken in by surprise after a fresh batch of nearly 2000 protesters entered Islamabad through the Express Highway. This happened after the final deadline of 7am for the agitators to end their sit-in had expired. Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the operation was being conducted on Islamabad HC's directive which had ordered to end the sit-in within three days. .

Protesters entered the residence of former home minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and set fire to the main gate. Nisar and his family were not there at the time of the attack. A building, an armoured personnel carrier and a mobile satellite van near Nisar's residence were also set ablaze.

Javed Latif, a lawmaker of the ruling PML-Nawaz, was beaten up by protesters after he had gone to negotiate on behalf of the government. Media personnel covering the protests across the country also came under attack in various cities. In Islamabad, a private channel's DSNG van was set on fire, while in Karachi, Geo News team members were assaulted by protestors.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-cracks-down-on-hardliners-10-killed-over-250-injured/articleshow/61801873.cms

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4 killed, 19 injured in explosion on Quetta's Sariab Road

Syed Ali ShahUpdated November 25, 2017

At least four people were killed and 19 injured in an explosion in Quetta on Saturday, Civil Hospital Spokesperson Waseem Baig said.

A Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle was the target of blast, Balochistan Home Minister SarfarazBugti confirmed. Two FC vehicles, three rickshaws and motorcycles were also damaged as result of the blast.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema said most of the victims were civilians and that a child was among the dead.

He said the blast seemed to have been the result of a suicide attack.

The injured have been shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta, while those critically injured have been moved to the Trauma Centre.

The intensity of the blast rocked the entire Sariab Road area, prompting shopkeepers in the area to pull down their shutters. Traffic was also suspended.

Police and personnel of FC cordoned off the attack site as an investigation into the blast went underway.

Sariab Road is considered to be one of the more sensitive areas of Quetta. Miscreants in the area have targeted security forces, police and officials for more than a decade.

dawn.com/news/1372801/4-killed-19-injured-in-explosion-on-quettas-sariab-road

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Islamabad High Court declares Faizabad sit-in ‘a terrorist act’

Malik AsadUpdated November 25, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday declared the ongoing sit-in at the Faizabad interchange an “anti-state activity” and “an act of terrorism”.

Another show cause notice was issued to the interior minister for not implementing the court’s orders to clear Faizabad, observing that Ahsan Iqbal had “stopped the [Islamabad] administration from acting upon the order passed by this court.”

IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui further asked “why contempt of court proceedings may not be initiated against him. He is directed to appear in person on the next date”.

In his order, Justice Siddiqui noted that “calling the honourable judges of superior judiciary and other respectable persons with names is intolerable”, adding that the “leadership of dharna, prima facie, [are] involved in an act of terrorism.”

He also ordered that the persons identified in the report of the Raja ZafarulHaq-led committee should not be allowed to leave the country.

Judge asks agencies to dispel impression they are supporting demonstrators

“Patients dying for want of access to hospitals, traders crying for lack of business activity, students are being deprived from their right to education and right of free movement of almost six million people of twin cities usurped by dictatorial act of one person and passive approach of law enforcing agencies [is] adding to the miseries of citizens”, the order noted.

In the order, Justice Siddiqui stated that faith in the finality of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “of every Muslim and few persons cannot be allowed to claim exclusive right for its protection”.

However, the court order advised the district administration not to use “firearms” during the clearance operation, if one was required.

It also directed the interior secretary to “ensure the production of report of the committee headed by Senator Raja ZafarulHaq.” The report shall not be made public till next date of hearing, the court noted.

During the hearing, counsel Lt-Col Inamur Rahim asked the court to direct the Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief to trace the call records of the TehreekLabbaikYaRasool Allah leadership to ascertain who was backing the protest.

“There is serious need for our sensitive institutions to dispel this impression that [the] Faizabaddharna is sponsored by the intelligence agencies, therefore, sector commander of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and DG IB are directed to appear in person on the next date,” the bench ordered.

On Friday, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Zulfiqar Haider told the court that the interior minister had stopped the ICT administration from acting upon the orders of the court so that negotiations may continue.

The IHC expressed its astonishment and said: “It is beyond understanding how a federal minister or even a prime minister can sit over an order passed by the court of competent jurisdiction, unless not reversed by the appellate court.”

The IHC bench directed the registrar’s office to fix the two petitions of Maulana Allah Wasaya and Tehreek-i-LabbaikYaRasool Allah for Monday (Nov 27) instead of Nov 29. The petitions seek orders to publicise the report of the committee led by Senator Raja ZafarulHaq to fix responsibility for the amendment of the oath regarding Khatm-i-Nubuwat in the election law.

Earlier, the two petitions were fixed for hearing on Nov 29, but bench in its latest order noted that due to the sensitivity of the situation, the petitions should be heard two days earlier.

The bench directed the registrar’s office to issue notices to the respondents and their counsel for Nov 27. The hearing was then adjourned until Nov 27.

dawn.com/news/1372696/islamabad-high-court-declares-faizabad-sit-in-a-terrorist-act

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Pakistan braces for military response after violent clashes

AFP | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's capital was bracing Sunday for a possible military response to anti-blasphemy protests by Islamists that have already claimed at least half a dozen lives.

Police and paramilitary forces pulled back from an operation to break up a huge sit-in that had paralysed Islamabad for weeks+ after their clearance operation on Saturday turned deadly.

Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators but were met by stubborn resistance by protesters who blocked roads and torched vehicles around the site of the sit-in.

At least six people were killed and around 190 injured before security forces retreated on Saturday.

An interior ministry order said the federal government had authorised the deployment of "sufficient troops" to "control law and order" in the capital until further notice.

By daylight, on Sunday there was no official military response and no sign of armoured vehicles or soldiers on the streets.

Private television broadcasts remained blocked+ and social media sites were restricted.

The little known Islamist group at the centre of the protest are demanding that Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.

Demonstrators have linked it to blasphemy -- a highly contentious issue in Muslim Pakistan -- and claim the oath was softened to enable the participation of Ahmadis, a long-persecuted Islamic minority sect.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of demonstrators are believed to be still occupying roads and intersections connecting Islamabad with neighbouring Rawalpindi, with protesters posting videos late Saturday night of funeral prayers being recited at the sit-in.

The violent clashes spurred similar protests in major cities and towns nationwide.

Police in Karachi said some 200 protesters had blockaded a major road in the southern port, with at least 27 injured -- including 22 people with gunshot wounds -- brought to the hospital, according to doctors.

Markets and shops were shuttered in the megacity, Pakistan's commercial hub, as alarmed residents stayed inside, while hardline clerics urged more people to take to the streets.

Analysts said the government had allowed a minor issue to grow into a headline-grabbing and potentially dangerous situation.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-braces-for-military-response-after-violent-clashes/articleshow/61803492.cms

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Pakistan justifies Hafiz Saeed's release

PTI | Nov 25, 2017, 13:12 IST

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has justified the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, claiming that Islamabad was committed to the implementation of UNSC sanctions regime

on terrorists.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head and LeT founder, who has a $10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, was freed by Pakistan on Friday.

Saeed is a UN and US designated terrorist.

India's ministry of external affairs (MEA) said Saeed's release confirmed once again the lack of seriousness by the Pakistan government in bringing to justice perpetrators of terrorism, including

individuals and entities designated by the UN.

"It also appears to be an attempt by the Pakistani system to mainstream proscribed terrorists. Pakistan has not changed its policy of shielding and supporting non-state actors and its true face is visible

for all to see," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Responding to the comments made by the MEA, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that Pakistan was committed to the implementation of UNSC 1267 sanctions regime and has

taken several steps in this regard.

"The (MEA) spokesperson took exception to self-serving insinuations," he said in statement issues late last night.

Faisal said that courts in Pakistan, pursuant to their constitutional duty, were determined to uphold rule of law and due process for all citizens of Pakistan.

Legal processes were anchored in rule of law, not dictates of politics and posturing, he said.

"It is in the interest of all states to speak and act in a manner that is consistent with the imperatives of adhering to rule of law at the national and international levels," Faisal said.

He said that Pakistan's resolve, actions and successes in the fight against terrorism, terrorist violence and terrorists are unmatched in the world.

"Pakistan condemns and opposes all forms of terrorism by any individual or group," the FO spokesperson said.

Saeed, in his late 60s, was under house arrest for 297 days since January

The fire-brand cleric's release after midnight came ahead of the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.

Saeed was individually designated by the UN under the Security Council Resolution 1267 in December, 2008.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-justifies-hafiz-saeeds-release/articleshow/61793432.cms

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Four militants killed in CTD encounter in Faislabad

November 26, 2017

FAISALABAD: Four alleged militants belonging to a banned outfit were killed in an encounter with Punjab police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) team on the Sargodha Road late on Friday, while their three to four accomplices managed to escape.

According to a CTD spokesperson, the department had been working on a threat alert that banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was planning an attack in Faisalabad.

He said following an information that some militants of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group of the TTP had entered the city, an intelligence-based operation was conducted during which a CTD team detected seven to eight armed motorcyclists near Sargodha Road, in the remit of Nishatabad police station.

The spokesman said as the armed men were told to surrender, they opened fire on the CTD personnel which was returned. The CTD men took cover and exchanged fire with the militants, he added. He said when the firing stopped, four of the militants were found dead “in the firing of their own accomplices”.

Three to four militants managed to escape, taking benefit of the darkness, he added.

Arms and explosives, including two Kalashnikov guns, pistols, ammunition, about three kilogram explosives, detonators and two motorcycles were seized from the spot, he said.

dawn.com/news/1372954/four-militants-killed-in-ctd-encounter-in-faislabad

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35 people injured in violent clashes in Karachi

November 26, 2017

KARACHI: At least 35 people were injured, some of them receiving gunshot wounds, as violence erupted in Karachi on Saturday during protests mounted by activists of religious parties in solidarity with members and supporters of the TehreekLabbaikYaRasool Allah in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, officials and witnesses said.

At least two policemen were among those injured. All major shopping and commercial centres remained closed due to protests while public transport disappeared from the roads, causing immense suffering to the citizens.

Around 23 people, including two policemen, were hurt during clashes between the police and the protesters on main Sharea Faisal near Stargate while 12 people were injured during clashes between the protesters and shopkeepers over forcible closure of shops and markets in Saddar area.

Protesters belonging to different religious organisations came out and blocked major roads and areas at around 30 places in the city after learning of the law-enforcement agencies’ bid to disperse the Tehreek’s supporters and members taking part in a sit-in on the junction of the twin cities.

Superhighway, National Highway blocked

According to sources in police, the protesters blocked both the tracks near Al Asif Square; as a result traffic was suspended between Karachi and Hyderabad via the Superhighway.

The protesters also blocked both the tracks of the National Highway near Malir-15.

Activists of the religious party, many of them armed with sticks, blocked the University Road near Hassan Square and squatted on the road leading to National Stadium.

M.A. Jinnah Road was blocked at NumaishChowrangi and near Merewether Tower, and the traffic was suspended on both of its tracks as a result.

Protesters block around 30 spots in metropolis

Protests erupted on the main Sharea Faisal at two points, near Stargate and Nursery, where violent clashes took place, resulting in injuries to several people.

Malir SSP Rao Anwar Ahmed told Dawn that “miscreants of one organisation” came from Shah Faisal Colony and allegedly “hijacked” the protest.

“One of the men from among the protesters was armed with an SMG rifle and he started firing on policemen. The SHO of the Memon Goth police station, GulzarTunio, and a constable, Sabir, sustained bullet wounds,” he said.

SSP Ahmed admitted that some protesters also got bullet injuries; however, he claimed that police had only resorted to firing in the air.

The officer said that about 10 protesters were detained while 20 motorbikes belonging to the protesters were impounded. He said that police were trying to obtain CCTV footage to identify the man armed with the SMG.

“We received 15 people who were brought with bullet wounds from the Stargate area,” said police surgeon Dr AijazKhokhar. They were admitted to the JPMC.

He said that all the wounded men were civilians. None of them sustained life-threatening injuries.

Two wounded policemen were shifted to the Aga Khan University Hospital where their condition was stated to be out of danger, said the Malir SSP.

He said the protest at Stargate, which started at 10am, was controlled at about 4pm, and both the tracks of Sharea Faisal were cleared for traffic.Later, however, a clash between protesters and police erupted on main Sharea Faisal near Nursery.

Karachi East SSP Dr SamiullahSoomro told Dawn that the protesters wanted to block both the tracks of the road leading to the airport.

He accused the protesters of resorting to violence, which prompted the policemen to fire tear-gas shells to disperse them.

Dr Soomro said that some protesters tried to damage nearby banks and petrol pumps; however, police prevented the situation from deteriorating further. “Both tracks of Sharea Faisal remained closed for 45 minutes,” he said.

The officer said that no one was arrested.

Clash at market

A clash also erupted between protesters and shopkeepers as the former allegedly tried to forcibly close shops and other commercial activities in the Saddar area.

Saddar SP Tauqeer Mohammed Naeem said that some protesters armed with sticks tried to forcibly close shops at Empress Market. However, the shopkeepers put up resistance. Resultantly a clash erupted between them, causing injuries to some persons. The police controlled the situation later.

Additional police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said that 12 persons were brought with injuries for treatment at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital from the Saddar area.

Violent protests were also reported from Al Asif Square and other areas where a few media persons also sustained minor wounds, according to witnesses.

Acts of arson

Acts of arson were also reported from certain areas.

According to a fire brigade official, one truck was set on fire by protesters on Sharea Faisal at Natha Khan Bridge. The firemen managed to control the blaze and save the truck from complete destruction.

Similar acts were reported from Shahrah-i-Quaideen where protesters allegedly tried to damage a foreign fast-food restaurant, said witnesses.

Karachi police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar told Dawn on Saturday night that protests and sit-ins continued at around 25 to 30 roads/places in the city and representatives of the provincial govt and administration were engaged in talks with them for peaceful resolution of the situation.

However, the city police chief vowed that the police would be compelled to take action if the protesters tried to damage the life and property of citizens and the government.

At the time of our going to press sit-ins were continuing at several locations across Karachi.

dawn.com/news/1372827/35-people-injured-in-violent-clashes-in-karachi

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India

Nine years on, the scars of 26/11 terror attacks are yet to heal

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

Nine years after the 26/11 terror attacks, survivors recount their experiences

The attack left 166 people dead and over 300 injured

On November 23 this year, Pakistan government released the mastermind of the attack Hafiz Saeed from house arrest

Photograph: Sanjay Hadkar / BCCLPhotograph: Sanjay Hadkar / BCCL

MUMBAI: Nine years ago, ten Pakistani men took Mumbai hostage for three days as they launched a series of coordinated attacks at several high profile locations in the city.

The 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks left 166 people dead and over 300 people injured.

CST

Upon realising that ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus (CST) was under attack, Vishnu DattaramZende, an announcer then with the suburban division, started making fervent pleas to hundreds of commuters to avoid the Main Line exit gate and take the rear gate instead. He kept announcing the whereabouts of the terrorists for 25 minutes, both in Hindi and Marathi.

Nine years, one promotion, prize money from the then railway minister and also, a meeting with former US President Barack Obama later, Zende still avoids the topic that changed his life. He froze the moment we mentioned 26/11 terror attacks. "Just the mere mention of it irks me to the core. I feel bad, very bad. You do not wish this upon your greatest enemy... I am an honest and dedicated employee of the government and will continue being one. No matter what happens tomorrow, I will carry out my duties without an ounce of fear or self-doubt," reaffirms the suburban guard.

RahimAnsari

Rahim Ansari lost six members of his family in the attack.

"I went into depression after the incident, my relatives had no chance to escape. Happy that perpetrators were either killed or punished. Hafiz Saeed is in Pakistan, would be ideal if Indian government gets him here and punishes him," he recalled.

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Devika, then nine-year-old, was shot in the back. She survived to tell her tale.

"When I saw Kasab in the courtroom, I was livid. I wished I had a gun in my hand, would have shot him there. Anyway Kasab was a mosquito, hope someday the big terrorists are brought to book," she said.

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For Devika's father it was a traumatic experience; and like others he too is waiting for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice.

"My daughter was just nine years old when she got shot, it was traumatic. Yes we are happy that Kasab was hanged but we will not be satisfied till the real mastermind sitting in Pakistan is punished," he said.

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MohdTaufeeq was working as a tea seller at CST when the attacks happened.

"I still get disturbed whenever I think of that moment (26/11 attacks). I rescued many injured people, situation was devastating. I am just waiting for the day the real mastermind sitting in Pakistan is caught," he recounted.

A year after the attacks, Saeed was put under house arrest by Pakistan but he was freed by court in 2009.

India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to re-investigate the Mumbai terror attack case and also demanded trial of Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander ZakiurRehmanLakhvi in the light of evidence it had provided to Islamabad.

Earlier this year, Saeed was again put under house arrest at the Qadisiyyah Mosque near Chouburji in Lahore following pressure from US President Donald Trump to act against terror.

On November 23, 2017, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest after Pakistan government decided against detaining him further in any other case.

(With inputs from agencies)

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nine-years-on-the-scars-of-26/11-terror-attacks-are-yet-to-heal/articleshow/61802992.cms

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Dawood Ibrahim depressed as his only son wants to become ‘maulana’

His only son — Moin Nawaz D. Kaskar, 31, has turned his back on the ‘family business’ and has chosen to become a cleric. Dawood’s younger brother has told investigators that the don is

despondent over who would look after his underworld empire.

Updated: Nov 26, 2017 08:39 IST

Absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is reported to be suffering from bouts of depression owing to a family hurdle, which, despite his manpower and gunpower, he is unable to resolve,

according to police officials.

The problem apparently is his third child — and only son — Moin Nawaz D. Kaskar, 31, who has turned his back on the “family business” is a devout Muslim who has chosen to become a Maulana,

or a cleric-cum-religious teacher.

“Moin is understood to be deadly against his father’s illegal activities which have given the entire family a notorious reputation worldwide and made many of them wanted fugitives everywhere,”

Thane Anti-Extortion Cell head Pradeep Sharma told IANS.

He said this and other nuggets of an internal strife in the family tumbled out in bits and pieces during the ongoing interrogation of Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar, Dawood’s younger brother, who was nabbed in

three extortion cases last September by the Thane AEC.

Iqbal Kaskar has informed the investigators that a deeply worried Dawood is afflicted by bouts of despondency over who would look after and handle his vast underworld empire in the future.

More so, as his other brother Anees Ibrahim Kaskar is now ageing and reportedly not in robust health, other brothers are deceased and no reliable close relatives available to take over the reins of the

empire.

“His son is practically estranged from the family and all its businesses since the past few years, but it is not clear if he is on speaking terms with his father,” said Sharma, a former “encounter

specialist” dreaded by the mafia, with many scalps of dreaded criminals under his belt.

Iqbal Kaskar told the investigators that his nephew Moin is now a respected and qualified Maulana, who is a ‘Hafiz-e-Quran’, having memorized the entire Holy Quran which comprises 6,236 verses.

Besides, he has discarded the comforts of the family’s palatial bungalow in the fashionable Clifton area in the posh Saddar suburb of Karachi and opted to live a mendicant’s life in a mosque adjacent

to their home.

However, his wife Saniya and their three minor children have not abandoned him and are living with him in the small quarters provided by the mosque management.

Moin’s main religious activities comprise teaching Holy Quran and Islamic preachings to young children, leading the call of prayers and congregation of ‘namaz’ at various occasions and other

social-religious responsibilities associated with a cleric.

“Its clear that Moin, who could have inherited his father’s vast legal and illegal business empires, ironically, has decided to become a man of God and completely shunned a life of luxury which was at

his command,” Sharma said.

Earlier, Moin, who is a business management graduate, used to help out his father in some of his line of works, but gradually drifted away to the “divine call of Allah”.

A handsome young man, in September 2011, he settled down in life and married a wealthy Karchi businessman’s daughter, Saniya Shaikh, who helps out in her family businesses in Pakistan and

Britain.

Of Moin’s siblings, Mahrukh got married in 2006 to Junaid, the son of Pakistani star cricketer JavedMiandad, and middle sister Mahreen tied the knot with a US-based businessman’s son in early

2011.

Earlier, Iqbal Kaskar had revealed that Dawood is in excellent health and living in Karachi under the protective eyes of the Pakistani agencies, dismissing all speculation on his physical well-being that

keeps floating occasionally.

The investigators are hopeful that in the coming days, he may reveal more information about the Godfather’s family imbroglios and provide clues to the future of his activities.

hindustantimes.com/india-news/dawood-ibrahim-depressed-as-his-only-son-wants-to-become-maulana/story-dobjRpGEomh4TuacpKGbQM.html

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Terrorism bent on destroying humanitarian forces: PM Modi

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the nation via the radio programme 'Mann kibaat' and paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The Prime Minister commemorated the victims of the attacks on its ninth anniversary. He urged the people to be more vigilant against the nefarious intentions of the terrorists who are intent on destroying the social fabric of the country.

"This country can never forget their sacrifice. Terrorism has threatened and challenged humanity across the globe. It is bent upon destroying the humanitarian forces. All humanitarian forces will have to keep fighting unitedly to defeat the menace of terrorism," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the initiative by Times Group newspaper Vijay Karnataka where children were made to write letters to the Prime Minister. The PM said it was a pleasant experience to read letters of children from around the country.

Sunday marked the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India. The Prime Minister termed the Constitution as the soul of the nation and hailed the efforts put in by the architects in farming the Constitution.

"The makers of our Constitution worked hard to give us a Constitution we would be proud of. Our Constitution safeguards the rights of the poor and weaker sections of society. Baba saheb had an important role in making our country a prosperous and a powerful nation," he said.

To mark the upcoming Navy Day on December 4, the PM shared the history of naval warfare in India and applauded the Indian Navy for its international humanitarian efforts.

"India's glorious naval tradition dates back to times of the Chola Empire and the empire of ShivajiMaharaj," he said.

"Indian Navy has always rendered glorious service and has come forward in humanitarian ventures. This June, INS Sumitra saved a number of Bangladeshi fishermen during Cyclone Mora. In the same month, Indian Navy's fishing boats responded to SOS call from Papua New Guinea to rescue their fishing boat," he added.

Recalling the role of woman in naval warfare during the time Chola Empire, the PM said, "Most of the world's naval forces allow women on warships, but very few people know that 800-900 years ago in Chola Navy, women in large numbers played a significant role in war. They in fact used to participate in war."

He also asked the people associated with armed forces to share their stories of courage via pictures and videos and post it on Twitter under the hashtag #armedforcesflagday and make donations for the welfare of Army personnel on the website, ksb.gov.in.

"This money is given to the family members of martyred soldiers and injured soldiers through KendriyaSainik Board," the PM said.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the farmers of the nation and urged them to reduce the urea usage by half by the year 2022, when India observes its 75th anniversary of independence.

"More than 10 crore Soil Health Cards have been made by the farmers for a better understanding of their soil and accordingly sow the crops," he said.

"I am very glad to see that my farmer brothers have come forward to implement suggestions made in soil health card. Farmers realised that proper soil care is needed to increase production & that if we take care of our soil, it will also care for us," he added.

The PM also extended his best wishes to all countrymen on the pious occasion of Id-e-Milad-Un-Nabi and hope that this holy occasion gives us new inspiration, fresh energy & strength to foster peace & communal amity.

Advocating equal opportunities for every citizen of the country, the Prime Minister said, "It is our endeavour that every person in the country is empowered. Our aim is to build an all-inclusive and harmonious society."

He also initiated a Positive India campaign, where people were urged to share five positive examples from 2017 on Twitter under the hashtag #PositiveIndia.

"Let us begin 2018 with a message of positivity. I urge you to compile about 5 positive things from this year and share with me. This will inspire others," the Prime Minister concluded his address.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/terrorism-bent-on-destroying-humanitarian-forces-pm-modi/articleshow/61804593.cms

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Alleged 26/11 handler Abu Jundal back in dock, Pak identity paper examined

TNN | Updated: Nov 26, 2017, 02:28 IST

MUMBAI: Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal was arrested in 2012 for being an alleged handler of 10 Pakistani gunmen in the 26/11 terror attacks, and his trial, put on hold since last March, finally

resumed earlier this month.

Jundal is the only other accused, apart from AjmalKasab the Pakistani gunman who was executed, on trial in the 2008 terror case, in which 166 people including foreigners died during the three-day

seige. The prosecution has shown Jundal (37), a Beed resident, to be an Indian link to the terror plot hatched and executed by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Their case is that Jundal, who was

based in Pakistan for a while, was employed to teach the gunmen Hindi and to convey their messages to the media during the siege of the Jewish community centre, the Chabad House, and hotel Trident

in south Mumbai. Wanted for three major terror cases including the Aurangabad arms haul case of 2006, Jundal was arrested following his deportation from Saudi Arabia. Kasab was hanged the year

thatJundal was arrested.

A special court judge GA Sanap had in November 2015 framed charges against him for his role in the plot. He had pleaded not guilty. So far, half-a-dozen witnesses have been examined and on Friday a

policeman had taken to the stand. The trial before Judge Sanap will continue on Monday.

Last August, a special trial court had convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the arms haul case. His lawyer, Asif Naqvi, said his appeal against conviction is pending before Bombay high

court, as is an appeal by the state to enhance punishment. Another trial as a co-accused in the German bakery blast along with YasinBhatkal, considered former chief of Indian Mujahideen, is also

pending. Before Jundal's trial in the 2008 case resumed, a video-conferenced deposition was made by US-based terrorist David Headley as approver in the same court last March. Headley, serving a 35-

year sentence in a US jail following a plea-bargain deal after admitting to his involvement in the attacks, had not referred to Jundal's role in his deposition. He was not asked any questions about him

either.

Jundal's defence counsel Wahab Khan said the trial has resumed this month with a translator's deposition. The man was asked to translate pages from a Pakistani passport and an identity card which

the prosecution claimed were issued to Jundal in Pakistan.

Special public prosecutor UjjwalNikam said about 35 prosecution witnesses will depose in the case. Jundal is charged for criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, abetting terrorism, murder,

kidnapping, cheating and forgery under the IPC and under the anti terror Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act (UAPA). He faces all the charges that Kasab faced, said Nikam.

But his trial as a co-accused in the German bakery blast along with YasinBhatkal, considered the former chief of Indian Mujahideen, who allegedly planted the bomb at the bakery, is on a slow burner.

Jundal's trial in the 2008 terror attacks case slowed to a standstill after a video-conferenced deposition of part-Pakistani US-based terrorist David Headley as approver before special Mumbai trial judge

Sanap last March. Headley, serving a 35-year sentence in US prison following a plea-bargain deal there, after admitting to having caused the Mumbai terror attacks, had not referred to Jundal's role in

his deposition and was not asked any questions about him.

Junda's defence counsel Wahab Khan said, "After Headley, the trial resumed in the last couple of weeks with a translator as a witness. He translated a passport. The prosecution said a Pakistani

passport and identity was issued to Jundal.'' Other witnesses so far include two policemen, one of who filed the case regarding the murder of Solanki on fishing boat Kuber and another lodged details on

the CST firing were examined, said Khan. Special public prosecutor UjjwalNikam said there are about 35 prosecution witness who will depose.

The trial Delhi-advocate Mahmood Pracha who appeared for Jundal earlier in the Mumbai terror said, "While the prosecution is falsely implicating Zabiuddin with no evidence, are they serious about

bringing main perpetrators like the LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi to India for trial.'' Headley's plea bargain agreement ensures that he cannot be extradited to face trial in India.

Jundal is charged for criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, abetting the terrorist act, murder, kidnapping, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and under the anti terror act of

Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act (UAPA). He faces all the charges that Kasab faced, said Nikam.

The prosecution case is that it was Jundal interacting with Kasab and co through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) during the siege of Jewish community centre, the Chabad House in south Mumbai,

where little Moshe, son of a Rabbi, was left orphaned as a tiny tot, by the terrorists' bullets.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/alleged-handler-back-in-dock-pak-identity-paper-examined/articleshow/61801361.cms

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Terrorists abduct, kill off-duty jawan in Kashmir

M SaleemPandit | TNN | Updated: Nov 26, 2017, 07:56 IST

SRINAGAR: Terrorists killed a 23-year-old Territorial Army jawan from Kashmir after abducting him on Friday night. The bullet-riddled body of the slain jawan, Irfan Dar, was found at Keegam village in

Shopian district of south Kashmir on Saturday morning, police said. This is the third time this year in which terrorists have killed off-duty Kashmiris working in the army or BSF.

Dar's killing comes at a time when Lashkar-e-Taiba is increasingly being pushed to the backfoot by the Army. As many as 12 LeT terrorists were killed in operations of security forces in the past one

week.

Dar, a personnel of the Territorial Army's engineering regiment, was posted at Gurez in north Kashmir. He had come home on vacation when terrorists abducted him along with his car. They shot him

dead and discarded his body in an area called WothmulaNad in Keegam of Shopian, police said.

The body was lying in the pool of blood when villagers recovered it on Saturday morning from the field. His car was found nearby. Dar was resident of a nearby village called Sanzan in Shopian district.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted, "Strongly condemn the brutal killing of Irfan Ahmed Dar, Territorial Army soldier at Shopian. Such heinous acts will not weaken our resolve

to establish peace and normalcy in the valley."

On May 10, terrorists killed Lt Omar Fayaz of Yaripora in Kulgam when he had come on holiday to attend his cousin's wedding at a village in Shopian district. Also, four Pakistani terrorists attacked the

house of 23-year-old BSF jawan Mohammad RamzanParray, alias Rameez, on September 27. They barged into his home at ParrayMohalla in Hajin in Bandipora in north Kashmir and opened fire. The

jawan had come on vacation from Baramulla where he was posted.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/terrorists-abduct-kill-off-duty-jawan-in-kashmir/articleshow/61800141.cms

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Europe

16 hurt fleeing false terror alert in London's Oxford Street shopping

AFP | Updated: Nov 25, 2017

Armed police rushed to London's Oxford Street shopping district after reports of shots fired sparked fears

But just over an hour later, Police said, "We have not located any trace of any suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties"

Armed police officials patrol along Oxford street 16 hurt fleeing false terror alert in London's Oxford Street shopping

LONDON: Police rushed to London's busy Oxford Street shopping district on Friday after reports that shots had been fired, sparking fears of a terror incident and leaving 16 people hurt in the panic.

There was panic around Oxford Circus and in its underground station shortly after 4:30pm (1630 GMT), as police said they were responding "as if the incident is terrorist-related".

Crowds ran from the scene, many rushing into already packed shops for safety, reflecting the nervousness in a country that has seen five terror attacks since March.

But just over an hour later, the Metropolitan Police said: "To date police have not located any trace of any suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties.

"Officers continue to work with colleagues from British Transport Police in the area of Oxford Circus."

A short time later, they tweeted: "Our response on #OxfordStreet has now been stood down.

"If you sought shelter in a building please now leave, and follow the direction of police officers on the ground if you need assistance."

Oxford Circus, the junction of London's Oxford Street and Regent Street, was packed with shoppers seeking to take advantage of "Black Friday" bargains.

The British Transport Police said they had received one report of a woman sustaining a minor injury when leaving the station.

Shopper Ahlam Ibrahim told AFP she was pushed into a shop when people started shouting.

"We didn't know what was going on, it was really a nightmare. I am glad nobody was hurt," she said.

Transport authorities said Oxford Circus station was reopened, as was nearby Bond Street, which had been closed amid fears of overcrowding. Trains were stopping at both.

In the first statement, police said they were called at 4:38 pm "to a number of reports of shots fired on Oxford Street and underground at Oxford Circus tube station... Police have responded as if the incident is terrorist related".

They later said there were "numerous 999 (emergency) calls" reporting shots fired in a number of locations in the area.

British security forces are on high alert after a string of attacks this year, which have left scores of people dead.

The most recent involved a bomb on a packed London Underground train in south-west London in September, which injured 30 people. A teenager is facing trial for attempted murder.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/incident-at-londons-oxford-circus-station-over-police/articleshow/61788383.cms

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North America

Pak nukes surest route to escalate nuclear-level war: US think-tank

PTI | Updated: Nov 26, 2017

Pakistani military personnel stand beside a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile. (Representative image/Reuters)Pakistani military personnel stand beside a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile. (Representative image/Reuters)

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's tactical nuclear weapons programme is not only dangerous for the safety and security of the region, but is also the surest route to escalating conventional war to the nuclear level, according to a report by an American think-tank.

In its report 'Asia in the Second Nuclear Age', the Atlantic Council, however, said Pakistan does not appear to have operationalised its tactical nuclear-warfare plans yet.

"Pakistan's tactical nuclear-weapons programme is dangerous for safety and security reasons, and also because it is the surest route to escalating conventional war to the nuclear level. However, Pakistan does not appear to have operationalised its tactical nuclear-warfare plans yet," said the report released this month.

The greatest threat in the region comes not from the development of large, sophisticated, and diversified nuclear arsenals, but from the continued stability of the institutions guarding them. "In this regard, the future stability of Pakistan remains a wild card," said the report.

In the last four decades, the Pakistani deep state's pursuit of low intensity conflict in Afghanistan and India, via the vehicles of radical jihadi non-state actors, has produced terrible blow back effects on Pakistan itself.

Noting that both the Pakistani state and civil society have become the targets of terror attacks, it said some of the attacks have occurred, with insider help, on sensitive military bases where nuclear weapons are likely stored.

"The possibility that Pakistan's nuclear weapons could be stolen - or that schisms in Pakistan's military might cause nuclear command-and-control failures - is not as fantastic as it once seemed," said the report.

Authored by Gaurav Kampani and BharathGopalaswamy, the report concludes that in the nuclear dynamic in the Indo-Pacific region, India and Pakistan are novice developers of nuclear arsenals; the weapons in their inventory are first-generation fission weapons.

Likewise, their delivery systems are the first in the cycle of acquisitions, the report said, adding that their hardware acquisitions generate outside concern because of the scope of their ambitions.

Observing that both nations plan to deploy a triad capability, the report said nonetheless, this ambitious goal and the selection of technologies underline the central lesson of the nuclear revolution, which is force survival (to enable an assured second-strike capability).

It said force survival through secure second-strike capabilities is also China's goal.

"It is the only nuclear power among the three that is actually modernizing, i.e., replacing aging delivery systems with newer and better designs," the report said.

"Thus far, the evidence suggests that Chinese and Indian explorations of multiple-reentry vehicle technologies are aimed at reinforcing deterrence through the fielding of more robust second-strike capabilities," the report said.

It said that this conclusion is also supported by the fact that neither India nor China has, nor is developing, the ancillary intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems necessary to execute splendid first-strike attacks.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pak-nukes-surest-route-to-escalate-nuclear-level-war-us-think-tank/articleshow/61806605.cms

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Hafiz Saeed has 'blood on his hands': Former CIA deputy director

PTI | Nov 25, 2017, 11:30 IST

WASHINGTON: Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed has "blood on his hands", and wants to bring extremism into the mainstream politics of Pakistan, a former top American spymaster said on Friday.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) head and LeT founder, who has a $10 million American bounty on his head for terror activities, was freed by Pakistan on Thursday night.

"Saeed is a terrorist. Worked with the LeT, a Kashmiri militant group, and al-Qaida on attacks," Michael Morell, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deputy director, who has also served twice as its acting director, said in a tweet.

"He has blood on his hands. Now wants to bring extremism into the political mainstream in Pakistan," he said after Saeed, a UN and US designated terrorist, was released from house arrest in Lahore.

Saeed, in his late 60s, was under house arrest for 297 days since January.

The fire-brand cleric's release after midnight came ahead of the 9th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.

A deeply concerned US has asked the Pakistan government to re-arrest and charge Saeed for his crimes. It also asked Pakistan to ensure that the LeT leader is behind bars.

"NO! JuD is NOT tied to Islamic State. What a rookie... Seriously. Hafiz Saeed's Release Completes the Political Mainstreaming of Jihadists in Pakistan," tweeted Christine Fair, a well-known South Asian expert on terrorist groups.

NBC news said Saeed's release could once again sour US relations with Pakistan.

The New York Times said, for decades, Pakistan has cast a benign eye on groups like LeT — which is perceived as an asset because its attacks target Indian soldiers in Kashmir — even as the government battles jihadist groups like the Pakistan Taliban that directly threatens the country.

"But despite its pressure on Pakistan to move against militants like Saeed, the United States has also sent mixed messages. Just a month ago, the United States Senate struck down a provision tying American government funding to Pakistan to the country's efforts to curb Lashkar-e-Taiba's operations.

"The provision, part of a broader Pentagon-funding legislation that Congress introduced this past summer, would have forced the secretary of defence to certify that Islamabad was thwarting Lashkar-e-Taiba's activities inside Pakistan or risk $350 million in American assistance," the Times wrote.

Meanwhile, in an op-ed, the Washington Examiner said the Trump administration "should work with India" to "capture or kill" Saeed.

"Trump should call Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and offer to work with him to capture or kill Saeed," the daily said, adding that Saeed intends to lead a new Muslim theocratic political bloc in next year's parliamentary polls.

"Although Pakistan's electoral commission has refused to certify the bloc, Saeed's populist power should not be understated. Charismatic and determined, if left unchecked in his political party or terrorist activities, Saeed could destabilise the region," the daily added.

The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attack.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/hafiz-saeed-has-blood-on-his-hands-former-cia-deputy-director/articleshow/61792216.cms

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US urges Pakistan to re-arrest Hafiz Saeed

Anwar IqbalUpdated November 25, 2017

WASHINGTON: The Uni­ted States urged Pakistan on Friday to re-arrest Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader Hafiz Saeed and charge him with the crimes he is accused of committing.

Mr Saeed, who has been designated a terrorist by the US Justice Department, was released early on Friday after a court on Wednesday rejected the government’s plea for a 60-day extension in his house arrest.

“The Pakistani government should make sure that he is arrested and charged for his crimes,” said the State Department in a statement issued hours after Mr Saeed’s release.

It is rare for the US government to issue a statement during the Thanksgiving holidays but the State Department felt that the issue was urgent enough to ignore this tradition.

“The United States is deeply concerned that Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed has been released from house arrest in Pakistan,” the department said, adding that “LeT is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens”.

The US Treasury Depart­ment branded the LeT chief a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in May 2008 and in December 2008 the United Nations also designated him a “terrorist individual”. Both designations blamed him for the November 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people, including six American citizens, were killed.

JamaatudDawa chief accuses India of fuelling terrorism in Pakistan

The State Department reminded Pakistan that LeT and several of its front organisations, leaders and operatives remained under State Department and Trea­sury Department sanctions.

Since 2012, the United States has offered a $10 million reward for information that brings Mr Saeed to justice.

In an earlier statement to the Indian media, Bruce Rie­del, who headed the team that formulated the Obama administration’s Afghan policy, urged Washington to take strong action against Pakistan for releasing Mr Saeed. “Nine years after 26/11, its mastermind still eludes justice. It is time to rescind Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally,” he said.

Pakistan rejects India’s ‘self-serving insinuations’

In response to a question regarding comments made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on the release of Hafiz Saeed, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that Pakistan remains committed to the implementation of UNSC 1267 sanctions regime and has taken several steps in this regard.

The spokesperson took exception to self-serving insinuations.

The courts in Pakistan, pursuant to their constitutional duty, are determined to uphold rule of law and due process for all citizens of Pakistan. Legal processes are anchored in rule of law, not dictates of politics and posturing.

It is in the interest of all states to speak and act in a manner that is consistent with the imperatives of adhering to rule of law at the national and international levels.

Pakistan’s resolve, actions and successes in the fight against terrorism, terrorist violence and terrorists is unmatched in the world. Pakistan condemns and opposes all forms of terrorism by any individual or group. Pakistan also opposes and condemns acts of terrorism inside Pakistan and elsewhere by India, which claims to be a champion of democracy, and international law, according to the spokesperson.

Our Staff Reporter in Lahore adds: Only a few hours after being released, Mr Saeed accused India of funding and fuelling terrorism and extremism in Pak­istan. He said evidence was available to substantiate this.

The JamaatudDawa chief was delivering the Friday sermon at Masjid-i-Qadsia. “Peace cannot be restored and maintained in Pakistan until notorious elements such as Kulbhushan [Jad­hav] are present in the country,” he said.

Terming Pakistan a gift from Allah, Mr Saeed said: “Today’s biggest problem is that Pakistani rulers are obeying the West like slaves. We have to free Pakistan. Freedom of Pakistan in real terms can ensure Kashmir’s independence.” He claimed that he was fighting the case for a free Pakistan and a free Kashmir. There was nothing personal about the affair.

“The day when the rulers will start taking their own decisions, foreign pressure will evaporate,” he said.

Mr Saeed urged the government to re-evaluate its priorities and reformulate its policies about India.

Pakistan should open a dialogue with India only after it pulls out its armed forces from occupied Kashmir.

“Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted from his office because he betrayed the Kashmiris,” he said.

The parliamentarians took the oath that they would protect Pakistan and Kashmir, he said and added that any deviation from it would have consequences.

dawn.com/news/1372700/us-urges-pakistan-to-re-arrest-hafiz-saeed

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South Asia

Senior ISIS leaders among 14 killed in Nangarhar airstrikes

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 26 2017

At least fourteen militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike conducted in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office issued a statement on Saturday afternoon and said the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Achin district.

The statement further added that the target of the airstrike apparently was senior ISIS leaders who were killed in the airstrike

The militants were targeted in the vicinity of Margha area of Mamand Dara of Achin district, the statement said, adding that the two ISIS leaders killed in the raid have been identified as AsadullahOrakzai and ShakirullahKunari.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the ISIS militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces however the Taliban and ISIS militants have increased their insurgency activities in some its remote parts during the recent years.

This comes as the military officials said Saturday that the US forces based in Afghanistan conducted a new airstrike on ISIS militants in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, wiping out of their hideouts in this province.

The officials further added at least 13 militant were killed as a result of the airstrike conducted in the vicinity of Haska Mina district.

The 201st Silab Corps officials in the East confirmed that the hideout of the terror group was wipedout and at least 13 militants were killed.

khaama.com/senior-isis-leaders-among-14-killed-in-nangarhar-airstrikes-03918

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Barmak admits writing error in leaked letter, rejects discrimination allegations

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 26 2017

The acting minister of interior Wais Ahmad Barmak said there was a writing error in the letter issued by the public order police order but rejected the allegations of discrimination against the ministry of interior.

Briefing the media in the aftermath of controversies sparked with the leakage of the letter, Barmak said President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the ministry leadership have decided to dissolve the public order and border protection police and include in the Afghan army ranks.

He said a request was made to the National Security Council and President Ghani by the ministry to leave 4,500 of the personnel to be recruited in the ranks of the riot police until the responsibilities of the war have been handed over from police to the army.

Barmak further added that the request was approved by President Ghani and a letter was composed regarding the formation of the riot police where a mistake was made.

This comes as President Ghani had earlier ordered an immediate probe into the alleged discrimination among the police recruits in public order police forces after a controversial governmental letter was leaked online.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said the issue was discussed during the meeting of the commander-in-chief meeting of the Afghan armed forces chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

The statement further added that the meeting was briefed regarding the letter which went viral on social media, sparking concerns among the people and disrupting their peace of mind.

President Ghani ordered the ministry of interior to brief the media and people regarding the facts and steps taken in this regard.

He also instructed the Attorney General’s office to immediate launch an investigation asking the ministry of interior to support the Attorney General regarding the investigations.

khaama.com/barmak-admits-writing-error-in-leaked-letter-rejects-discrimination-allegations-03917

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All condition set for win, Taliban cannot win: Gen. Nicholson

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 26 2017

The commander of the US forces in Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission General John Nicholson says all conditions have been set for the win, emphasizing that the Taliban group cannot win.

In an interview with the NBC News, the top US commander admitted that the war still remains in a ‘stalemate’ but added that all conditions have been set for the win.

“We are only 90 days into this new policy, but with the U.S. forces that will be arriving, with the new authority that we have been given, put the pressure on external enablers, with the fact that we are condition based and not time based, we’ve set all the conditions to win,” he added.

In regards to Pakistan’s support to Taliban, Gen. Nicholson said “It’s a political conversation between our two capitals, and here on the ground we are hoping to see a reduction with that support. The bottom line is the Taliban cannot win.”

The Resolute Support Mission commander also spoke regarding Russia’s meddling in the conflict and said “The Russians themselves have legitimized the Taliban.”

“We see indications that the Taliban themselves and the open media talk about Russians giving them fuel, and raise money for their operations, so there are many, many indicators of this,” he added.

khaama.com/all-condition-set-for-win-taliban-cannot-win-gen-nicholson-03913

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Civilians in Northern Syria Threaten SDF to Leave Region

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- People in the town of Manbij in Northern Aleppo took to the streets after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) started forced recruiting, dissident-affiliated websites reported on Saturday, adding that the people threatened the SDF to leave their town.

The websites reported that the Albu Bana tribe in a statement condemned the arrests of the youth and forced recruiting in the town of Manbij by the SDF.

The websites further said that the statement further gave a 24-hour-long ultimatum to the SDF to release the arrested people and announced that the tribe will not allow the SDF to arrest women in the region.

The statement added that if the arrested people are not freed before the ultimatum, the Albu Bana tribesmen will do whatever they can, including popular uprising or demonstration, to free them from the detention.

The Albu Bana tribesmen have also called on other tribes to stand stance over the anti-Arab policies of the SDF in the region.

The websites reported earlier this month that people in Manbij and several villages demonstrated against forced recruitment by the SDF in the region.

The shops and businesses in the region were also closed to oppose the SDF's move, the websites reported.The websites further said that following the strikes, demonstrations and tensions in the region, the SDF threatened Manbij's resident that it would arrest women as recruits if men do not obey the forced recruitment rule approved by the Kurdish Forces Legislative Council.   

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960904001230

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Mideast

Iran Dismisses Military, Missile Aid to Yemen

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General MassoudJazzayeri rejected allegations that the country has provided Yemen with military and missile aid.

"Yemen is in dire need of humanitarian aid by the world and we want all countries and world freedom-seekers to help the Yemeni people in any possible way," General Jazzayeri said on Saturday.

He stressed that Iran has only sent humanitarian aid to Yemen, and said, "The Yemeni fighters are so much capable that they confront and fight against the enemies without any need to others."

General Jazzayeri dismissed allegations on Iran's military and missile aid to Yemen, and said, "Yemen's legal government and fighters provide their defense needs themselves."

Earlier this month, the Iranian foreign ministry had also dismissed as "baseless" the Saudi-led coalition allegations that Tehran has supplied Yemen with the recent missile that was fired in the recent strike against an airport in Riyadh.

"The Saudis who have not been able to attain their ominous goals in the long war and military aggression put themselves in more bottlenecks using naïve and improper psychological operations by raising stupid, baseless and fully false allegations," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.

He described the Yemenis' reaction as an independent measure whose root causes should be found in the Saudis' aggressions and not another country's move or provocation.

Qassemi advised the Saudi coalition not to project the blame on others, immediately stop attacks against the innocent Yemeni people and pave the ground for Yemeni-Yemeni talks and establishment of peace in that country.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960904001604

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IRGC Commander Warns Europe Not to Force Iran to Increase Range of Missiles

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami declared that Iran has so far confined the range of its missiles to 2,000km given the dangers threatening the country but it will increase it if Tehran feels Europe has turned into a new threat.

"We tell the European countries that if we have confined the range of our missiles to 2,000km until today and have not increased it any further, it is not because of a lack of technology because we have no limitations for the range of our missiles in technological terms. But as all our actions derive from a strategic logic, our missiles' range is limited to the regions of threat," General Salami said in an interview with the state TV on Saturday night.

He referred to certain European countries' demand from Iran to hold talks on its missile program, and said, "If the Europeans want to enter the sanctum of our missiles, we may drop this limitation to the range (of our missiles)."

General Salami stressed that Iran has so far considered Europe as no threat and has not increased the range of its missiles to reach the European territories, warning, "But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, the range of our missiles will increase. We respect them. They should respect us too."

France has called for dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is defensive and not negotiable.

In relevant remarks on Thursday, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari blasted French President Emmanuel Macron for his remarks against Iran, stressing that the western states are uselessly attempting to persuade Tehran to hold talks about its missile and defense power.

"We consider the new French president's words on talks about (Iran's) missile power as a result of his youngness and naivety. He will soon conclude that such an attempt is fruitless," General Jafari told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

Stressing that Iran will never hold talks on its missile power, he said, "The government is not after such an issue at all and they (the westerners) will soon become aware of the fruitlessness of their attempts."

General Jafari explained that Iran's missile power is different from the nuclear case on which Iran held talks with the world powers, and said, "The nuclear issue was not related to the defense power but the missile power constitutes our defense power."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960905000366

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Iran Underlines Rigid Resolve to Deploy Warships to Gulf of Mexico

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- New Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced that his country is serious about sending its fleet of warships to Latin America and the Gulf of Mexico despite the US opposition.

"We are not faced with any restriction for deploying in the seas, and anywhere we feel that we have interests to develop ties… we will certainly deploy there and we enjoy this power too," Rear Admiral Khanzadi was quoted as saying by the Iranian media on Saturday.

"We will berth in the friendly states in Latin America and the Gulf of Mexico in the near future by deployment in the Atlantic Ocean," he added.

"The Americans had somewhere said that the Iranians cannot sail 9,000 miles from Bandar Abbas to the Gulf of Mexico, given their capabilities, but we will certainly prove them this capability and will contact our friends (in Latin America)," Rear Admiral Khanzadi underlined.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Rear Admiral Khanzadi announced the country's plans to dispatch a flotilla of warships to the Atlantic Ocean and launch a new home-made missile-launching warship.

"The missile-launching warship named Separ (Shield) will be launched in the Caspian Sea" on the occasion of the Navy Day in Iran (November 28), Rear Admiral Khanzadi told reporters in his first press conference after being appointed to the post in Tehran.

He also announced that a number of overhauled helicopters and vessels will join the Navy in the near future.

Noting that the massive 'Velayat' Naval drills will be staged by the Iranian Navy in early winter, Rear Admiral Khanzadi said, "Our fleet of warship will be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the near future and will visit one of the friendly states in South America and the Gulf of Mexico."

He also announced that production of 'Kamand' pin-pointing defense system is in the final stages and it will be mounted on the Iranian Navy's vessels soon.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960904000617

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Israel races to head off UN settlement 'blacklist'

AP | Updated: Nov 26, 2017, 13:05 IST

JERUSALEM: Israel and the Trump administration are working feverishly to prevent the publication of a UN database of companies operating in Israel's West Bank settlements, weeks ahead of its expected completion.

Israel is usually quick to brush off UN criticism but this time, officials say they are taking the so-called 'blacklist' seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms.

Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list.

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements, built on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, to be illegal. Israel rejects such claims, saying the matter should be resolved in negotiations.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/israel-races-to-head-off-un-settlement-blacklist/articleshow/61804198.cms

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraqi-commander--isil-s-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-in-us-forces--custody/d/113354

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