New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 07:25 AM

Islamic World News ( 12 Nov 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

ISIS Claimed Bombing Kills At Least 52 at Balochistan Sufi Shrine: Officials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: An FC soldier stands guard next to injured blast victim awaiting treatment in an ambulance at a hospital in Hub. -AFP

 

Lone Wolf Terrorists, Cells Equally Dangerous - Former French Intel Officer

Washington 'Wants Bloodshed in Aleppo to Continue'

Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future'

Pakistan

ISIS Claimed Bombing Kills At Least 52 at Balochistan Sufi Shrine: Officials

Islamic State Group Flourishes and Recruits in Pakistan

After Bollywood ban, Pakistan counts on Iranian movies

'Balochistan govt hindering inquiry into Quetta Civil Hospital attack’

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Europe

Lone Wolf Terrorists, Cells Equally Dangerous - Former French Intel Officer

France to Mark First Anniversary of Paris Attacks

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North America

Washington 'Wants Bloodshed in Aleppo to Continue'

US Shuts Down Embassy in Kabul after Bagram Base Blast

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Arab World

Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future'

Syrian Army Gives Militants Last Ultimatum to Surrender in Eastern Part of Aleppo

Yemeni Army Hits Saudi Arabia's Military Positions in Ta'iz, Lahij, Jizan Provinces

Syria: Gov't Forces Readying to Start Liberation Operation of Kahn Touman in Aleppo

Syria: Terrorists Fail again to Prevail over Gov't Positions in Hama

Syrian Advisor Cautiously Welcomes Trump's Victory

Commander: ISIL Orders Militants' Withdrawal to Mosul City Centre

Terrorists' Defeats in Aleppo Demoralize Comrades in Idlib

Nusra Centres Hit Hard in Army Offensives in Dara'a, Quneitra

Iraqi Forces Continue to Advance in Eastern Mosul, ISIL Resorts to Female Suicide Bombers

Several Oil Tankers of ISIL Destroyed in Syrian Army Attack in Sweida Province

Iranian reporter dies in Aleppo shelling

Militants in Five More Towns Join Peace Agreement with Syrian Gov't

Iraqi army takes control of two Mosul districts

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South Asia

23 ISIS Militants Including 13 Foreigners Killed In Afghanistan

3 Pakistani Terrorists Arrested Before Joining ISIS in Afghanistan

Pakistan says it strongly condemns attack on US base in Bagram

Dozens of Afghan women join fight against Taliban insurgents

Injury toll rises to 17 in the attack on US base in Bagram

Attacks on Hindus: Hasina calls for communal harmony

Afghan leaders urge lawmakers to halt confidence votes

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Mideast

It Is Not For West To Decide Reintroduction Of Death Penalty: President Erdoğan

Turkish President Invites Donald Trump To Turkey

Turkish army resumes anti-ISIL air strikes in Syria after talks with Russia, US

Turkey arrests Cumhuriyet CEO Akın Atalay

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Southeast Asia

Satellite Pics Show Rohingya Homes Torched In Myanmar

Myanmar Government, Anti-Muslim Leaders Alike Congratulate Trump

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India

Uniform Civil Code: Law Commission Open to Suggestions from Tribals

Line of Control villages sends 4 boys to IITs

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Africa

A Muslim Teacher Receives an Anonymous Note About Her Headscarf: ‘Hang Yourself With It’

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isis-claimed-bombing-kills-at-least-52-at-balochistan-sufi-shrine--officials/d/109087

 

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ISIS Claimed Bombing Kills At Least 52 at Balochistan Sufi Shrine: Officials

AFP | Nov 13, 2016

QUETTA: At least 52 people died and more than 100 others were injured on Saturday in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan, officials said, with the Islamic State group claiming the attack.

The blast hit worshippers participating in a ceremony at the shrine of the Sufi saint Shah Noorani, some 750 kilometres south of Quetta, the provincial capital of restive southern Balochistan province.

"At least 52 people have been killed and some 105 others wounded," provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti told AFP, adding that there were women and children among the victims.

Local officials said worshippers were taking part in a devotional dance session, which is held daily before dusk, when the blast occurred.

Authorities said they had dispatched ambulances and medical workers from Karachi, a three-hour drive from the shrine -- which is located in a remote, mountainous region with limited emergency facilities.

The shrine is revered and visited both by minority Shia and Sunni Muslims, but militant groups like the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) consider the practice against Islam.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack via its affiliated news agency Amaq, saying that a suicide bomber targeting the shrine had killed around 35 people and injured 95 others.

But the provincial home minister said it was not immediately clear whether this was a suicide attack.

Hafeez Ali, a 26-year-old mechanic from Karachi, said he was sitting on a hillside and watching the evening's dance to drumbeat when he heard a loud noise and saw smoke rising.

"We realised that it was a bomb blast. Two of us rushed down and saw the bodies scattered all around -- mostly children. We also saw the drum beater dead and his exploded drum was lying nearby," Ali told AFP.

Ali said the shrine sits on a hill which devotees have to climb for half an hour as no road goes there, causing difficulties for rescuers.

Pakistan Army spokesman Lieutenant General Asim said 20 ambulances and 50 soldiers had reached the site, while a further 45 ambulances 100 troops were on their way.

A military helicopter would attempt evacuations at night, he added, but medical teams could not access the area by plane as their were no air strips close by.

Four bodies and 21 of the injured had arrived in Karachi's Civil Hospital, officials said.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bombing in separate statements.

"The government is determined to eliminate terrorism and extremists from the country," Hussain said in a statement expressing sympathy with the victims and their families.

A statement from Sharif's office said the prime minister called for the "best medical treatment" to be given to the wounded.

Up to 600 people were at the shrine at the time of the attack, according to local official Tariq Mengal, who told Geo TV that many devotees travelled to the site from Karachi during weekends.

The bombing follows the killing of Amjad Sabri, a renowned Sufi singer, by two gunmen in Karachi in June.

Some observers have said that Sabri may have been assassinated because he was a high-profile Sufi.

Sufism, a mystic Islamic order that believes in living saints, worships through music, and is viewed as heretical by some hardline groups including the Taliban.

Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has oil and gas resources but is afflicted by Islamist terrorism, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims and a separatist insurgency.

Local militants claimed to have worked with the Islamic State group to attack a police academy in Balochistan last month, killing 61 people in the deadliest assault on a security installation in Pakistan's history.

In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital claimed by IS and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban killed 73 people.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/IS-claimed-bombing-kills-at-least-52-at-Balochistan-shrine-Officials/articleshow/55394822.cms

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Lone Wolf Terrorists, Cells Equally Dangerous - Former French Intel Officer © AP Photo/ Kamil Zihnioglu

13.11.2016

Both terrorists operating alone and in large groups represent a significant threat to the society, former French intelligence officer Alain Rodier told Sputnik on Sunday, the day France marks one year since the deadly November 13 attacks in Paris. © REUTERS/ NEIL HALL Terrorists in UK Seeking to Obtain Guns for Paris-Style Attacks MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "Both are significant latent threats," Rodier, who is now a research director at the French Research Centre on Intelligence (CF2R), said, when asked if cells affiliated with bigger terrorist organizations were more dangerous than loners. The intelligence expert added that organized groups were better connected and trained, but whether a group or a lone wolf terrorist were responsible for the death of a person, it did not diminish the severe strain it put on civilians. "In both cases, death of a man is always felt like an unbearable drama. The resilience of the population is put to a severe test," he said. © SPUTNIK/ VLADIMIR PESNYA What Is Known About November 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks Since 2015, France has faced a number of deadly terrorist attacks. On November 13, 2015, Daesh terrorists conducted a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital, killing 130 people and injuring more than 350, many critically. In early January 2015, Islamists killed a total of 17 people in attacks at satirical magazine  Charlie Hebdo’s office and a kosher food shop in Paris. On July 14, 2016, a truck rammed into a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice. At least 84 people, including children, were killed and hundreds of others were injured.

sputniknews.com/europe/201611131047383908-lone-wolf-cells-paris/

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Washington 'Wants Bloodshed in Aleppo to Continue' © REUTERS/ Khalil Ashawi

13.11.2016

Policymakers in the United States want Aleppo to remain a battlefield in a bid to use the Syrian Arab Army's operation to liberate the second largest city in the country as an opportunity to criticize Damascus and its allies, particularly Moscow, Syrian political analyst Salim Ali told Radio Sputnik. The expert's comments came after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) decided not to carry out a medical evacuation in eastern Aleppo due to security concerns. The ICRC "received security guarantees from Russia and the Syrian government as opposed to terrorists and 'moderate' opposition backed by the United States. I think this question should be directed to Washington. They are the key sponsor of armed groups. This is why it is the US that has to provide security guarantees" to aid workers, the analyst said. In Salim Ali's opinion, Washington has other plans for Syria, including Aleppo, in mind. Policymakers in the United States "want bloodshed in Aleppo to continue for public relations purposes, namely to criticize Russian and Syrian authorities," he said. "In other words, such statements are meant to generate publicity." Salim Ali criticized the ICRC for paying particular attention to Aleppo, while commenting less on the situation in Mosul, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa.  © AFP 2016/ GEORGES OURFALIAN Syrian Rebels Are 'Desperate': Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future' Iraqi security forces and their allies, including the US-led coalition and Kurdish fighters, have been engaged in a major operation aimed at liberating Mosul, Daesh's stronghold in Iraq. The second largest city in the country is home to approximately 1.5 million people, with many worried that the offensive could lead to massive civilian casualties.  The Russian Defense Ministry has provided information on several airstrikes launched by the US-led coalition which have claimed scores of civilian lives during the battle for Mosul. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the operation a "medieval slaughter, which primarily affects the civilian population." © SPUTNIK/ MIKHAIL VOSKRESENSKIY Bazaars, Café, Music: Aleppo Citizens’ Everyday Life Amid Terror Attacks (PHOTO) The same is true of Raqqa with its population of 200,000. The Pentagon has launched an operation to free the so-called capital of Daesh's caliphate. The first phase of the offensive will see Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces encircle and isolate the city. This tactic will likely have major humanitarian implications since the brutal group has not shied away from using civilians as human shields.   "I have not heard that the ICRC made any statements on Mosul, Dier ez-Zor and Raqqa. There are more civilians there than in eastern Aleppo. But the ICRC keeps silent. If they were thinking about people, they would have mentioned all the cities instead of talking about the one where Russia does not coordinate its activities with the United States," he lamented. The Syrian analyst further said that the ICRC was capable of conducting a medical evacuation in Aleppo, but opted out of it.  © REUTERS/ AMMAR ABDULLAH Syrian Army Fighting to Liberate Last Stronghold of Rebels in Western Aleppo "Humanitarian corridors were open for many days. There was an opportunity to deliver medical aid, but only on the condition that all deliveries would be inspected. This is necessary since there was a case of someone trying to smuggle weapons and ammunition disguised as humanitarian aid. This is why all medical supplies should be checked, but they don't want this to happen," he explained.  Earlier, Robert Mardini, the ICRC's regional director for the Middle East, told Sputnik that armed groups in eastern Aleppo did not provide security guarantees needed to carry out a medical evacuation from the area. The organization had planned to transport 200 critically injured and their families out of the rebel-held neighborhoods. This figure was later lowered to ten people, but the evacuation did not take place at all.

sputniknews.com/middleeast/201611131047384616-us-aleppo-bloodshed-aid/

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Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future'

13.11.2016

Damascus-led forces and their allies could well free Aleppo, the largest industrial, infrastructural and logistical center in northern Syria, "in the near future," RIA Novosti political analyst Alexander Khrolenko asserted, adding that the city's fate "has been sealed" since both Russia and the US appear to be ready to tackle al-Nusra Front. On November 11, US President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to take out al-Nusra Front leaders in what marked a major policy shift for Washington in Syria. "Obama has fundamentally changed Washington's foreign policy priorities" in the war-torn Arab country, the analyst said. "The United States had previously viewed 'Assad's regime' as the greater evil in the Middle East, while al-Nusra Front claimed the status of a viable opposition to the Syrian government." © SPUTNIK/ MIKHAIL VOSKRESENSKIY Bazaars, Café, Music: Aleppo Citizens’ Everyday Life Amid Terror Attacks (PHOTO) Meanwhile, Russia's aircraft carrier group deployed to the Mediterranean is reported to be ready to take part in counterterrorism operations in Syria. According to the analyst, the Aleppo offensive will likely see Russian naval forces in action. "Sea-based aviation of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has conducted reconnaissance flights in Syrian airspace on a regular basis to study the battleground and choose priority targets," he said. In addition, "Russian surveillance ships have monitored Syria's coastal areas and inland." Khrolenko added that Syrian rebels are "desperate." On Thursday, some 6,000 militants led by al-Nusra Front launched an operation aimed at breaking the government siege of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. But the offensive was ill-prepared and badly executed, with the militants "recklessly using all means of combat available to them." © REUTERS/ AMMAR ABDULLAH Syrian Army Fighting to Liberate Last Stronghold of Rebels in Western Aleppo These apparently included prohibited weapons. Earlier this week, the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RChBD) troops found traces of toxic agents following a militant attack on civilians and service personnel in the 1070 neighborhood of Aleppo. A snap analysis showed that they most likely used chlorine and white phosphorous. Khrolenko further mentioned strategic implications of Aleppo's liberation. Once the Syrian Arab Army frees the city, it will be able to "control northern Syria, Kurdish-populated areas on the border with Turkey and northwestern Iraq," he said. "Aleppo is located mere 145 kilometers (90 miles) from the largest Syrian sea port of Latakia, home to more than 550,000 people, and a Russian military base." © REUTERS/ ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL This is Where Syrian Rebels Obtain Chemical Weapons Aleppo's liberation "will destroy the economic base of militant groups," he said. It will also sever communications with militants located in neighboring Turkey and the Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called capital of Daesh's caliphate. Khrolenko maintained that a victory in Aleppo will "deliver a crushing blow to foreign adversaries of Syrian President bashar al-Assad." In addition, Aleppo's liberation will also dramatically change the facts on the ground in Syria in favor of Damascus and will significantly weaken Islamists in the Idlib province, which has served as a magnet for groups opposed to Assad.

sputniknews.com/middleeast/201611131047383230-syria-aleppo-liberation/

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Pakistan

ISIS Claimed Bombing Kills At Least 52 at Balochistan Sufi Shrine: Officials

AFP | Nov 13, 2016

QUETTA: At least 52 people died and more than 100 others were injured on Saturday in a bomb blast at a remote Sufi shrine in Pakistan, officials said, with the Islamic State group claiming the attack.

The blast hit worshippers participating in a ceremony at the shrine of the Sufi saint Shah Noorani, some 750 kilometres south of Quetta, the provincial capital of restive southern Balochistan province.

"At least 52 people have been killed and some 105 others wounded," provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti told AFP, adding that there were women and children among the victims.

Local officials said worshippers were taking part in a devotional dance session, which is held daily before dusk, when the blast occurred.

Authorities said they had dispatched ambulances and medical workers from Karachi, a three-hour drive from the shrine -- which is located in a remote, mountainous region with limited emergency facilities.

The shrine is revered and visited both by minority Shia and Sunni Muslims, but militant groups like the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) consider the practice against Islam.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack via its affiliated news agency Amaq, saying that a suicide bomber targeting the shrine had killed around 35 people and injured 95 others.

But the provincial home minister said it was not immediately clear whether this was a suicide attack.

Hafeez Ali, a 26-year-old mechanic from Karachi, said he was sitting on a hillside and watching the evening's dance to drumbeat when he heard a loud noise and saw smoke rising.

"We realised that it was a bomb blast. Two of us rushed down and saw the bodies scattered all around -- mostly children. We also saw the drum beater dead and his exploded drum was lying nearby," Ali told AFP.

Ali said the shrine sits on a hill which devotees have to climb for half an hour as no road goes there, causing difficulties for rescuers.

Pakistan Army spokesman Lieutenant General Asim said 20 ambulances and 50 soldiers had reached the site, while a further 45 ambulances 100 troops were on their way.

A military helicopter would attempt evacuations at night, he added, but medical teams could not access the area by plane as their were no air strips close by.

Four bodies and 21 of the injured had arrived in Karachi's Civil Hospital, officials said.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bombing in separate statements.

"The government is determined to eliminate terrorism and extremists from the country," Hussain said in a statement expressing sympathy with the victims and their families.

A statement from Sharif's office said the prime minister called for the "best medical treatment" to be given to the wounded.

Up to 600 people were at the shrine at the time of the attack, according to local official Tariq Mengal, who told Geo TV that many devotees travelled to the site from Karachi during weekends.

The bombing follows the killing of Amjad Sabri, a renowned Sufi singer, by two gunmen in Karachi in June.

Some observers have said that Sabri may have been assassinated because he was a high-profile Sufi.

Sufism, a mystic Islamic order that believes in living saints, worships through music, and is viewed as heretical by some hardline groups including the Taliban.

Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has oil and gas resources but is afflicted by Islamist terrorism, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims and a separatist insurgency.

Local militants claimed to have worked with the Islamic State group to attack a police academy in Balochistan last month, killing 61 people in the deadliest assault on a security installation in Pakistan's history.

In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital claimed by IS and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban killed 73 people.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/IS-claimed-bombing-kills-at-least-52-at-Balochistan-shrine-Officials/articleshow/55394822.cms

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Islamic State group flourishes and recruits in Pakistan

AP | Nov 13, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Islamic State group is increasing its presence in Pakistan, recruiting Uzbek militants, attracting disgruntled Taliban fighters and partnering with one of Pakistan's most violent sectarian groups, according to police officers, Taliban officials and analysts.

Its latest atrocity was an attack yesterday on a Sufi shrine in southwestern Pakistan that killed at least 50 people and wounded 100 others. The group said in a statement that a suicide bomber attacked the shrine with the intent of killing Shiite Muslims and issued a picture of the attacker.

When IS circulated a photograph of one of the attackers in last month's deadly assault on a police academy in southwestern Baluchistan province, two Taliban officials told The Associated Press that the attacker was an Uzbek, most likely a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

More than 60 people, most of them police recruits, were killed in that October 26 attack when three assailants battled security forces for hours before being killed or detonating their suicide vests.

The Taliban officials, both of whom are familiar with the IMU, spoke on condition of anonymity because their leadership has banned them from talking to the media.

Authorities initially said the police academy attack was orchestrated by militants hiding out in Afghanistan and blamed Pakistan's virulently anti-Shiite group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. But IS later claimed responsibility and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi spokesman Ali Bin Sufyan said they partnered with IS to carry out the assault.

In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the extremist group has adopted the name the Islamic State in Khorasan - a reference to an ancient geographical region that encompassed a vast swath of territory stretching from Turkmenistan through Iran and Afghanistan.

IS in Khorasan has set up its base in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, and while it has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, it remains unclear whether there are direct operational or financial links between the two.

According to police, Afghan officials and IS media outlets, the majority of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan are Pakistani nationals, mostly from the tribal regions.

Disgruntled Taliban fighters from Pakistan and Afghanistan have joined along with foreign fighters, mainly from central Asia. The group's leader until his death in July in a drone strike was Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Pakistani Taliban commander. IS has never acknowledged Khan's death, which was confirmed by both the Afghan and US militaries.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Islamic-State-group-flourishes-and-recruits-in-Pakistan/articleshow/55399127.cms

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After Bollywood ban, Pakistan counts on Iranian movies

Omer Farooq Khan | Updated: Nov 13, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Film distributors in Pakistan have started screening Iranian films after a ban on Indian movies following rising tensions along the Line of Control+ (LoC).

The move is an attempt for survival as well as to restore the glory of Pakistani cinema, which has been on a precipitous decline over the last few years. Considering extreme popularity of Indian films in Pakistan, it is uncertain whether the move would save the Pakistan film industry but distributors believe that it could be the beginning of a revival.

Fouzia Saeed, executive director of Pakistan National Institute for Folk and Traditional Heritage, in an interview with IRNA, an Iranian news agency , said that Persian films are culturally very close to Pakistani society and ought to be screened across the country . "Iranian movies are being appreciated globally and their screening in Pakistan must be encouraged," she said. Mohsin Yaseen, general manager marketing of Pakistan's Cinepax Cinema, said that they would experiment with Iranian movies as movies are the best way of cultural exchange. Media reports had earlier said that Pakistan film distributors have initiated formal contacts in Iran and Turkey for the import of their movies.

The ban on Bollywood movies comes after the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) prohibited its members from hiring Pakistani actors as long-standing tensions between the two countries escalated after attack on Indian Army camp in Kashmir's Uri town+ in September. Pakistan's domestic film industry had started screening Indian movies in 2007.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/After-Bollywood-ban-Pakistan-counts-on-Iranian-movies/articleshow/55396299.cms

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‘Balochistan govt hindering inquiry into Quetta Civil Hospital attack’

November 13th, 2016

QUETTA: Discrepancy in remarks by the Balochistan chief minister, the government spokesperson and the Quetta DIG had only damaged proceedings on the attack on Sandeman Civil Hospital in Quetta, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is heading the Supreme Court judicial commission’s inquiry into the attack, noted during Saturday’s hearing.

He remarked that it appeared as if the provincial government was deliberately trying to impede the court’s proceedings. “Controversies and difference in statements...have created the impression that the provincial government is deliberately trying to damage court proceedings.”

He said that the chief minister had claimed that the mastermind behind the attack had been arrested while the Quetta DIG had denied any knowledge of the development. The judge also raised questions about a statement of a government spokesperson in this regard.

“The judicial commission will not allow the government to play politics. We will call the chief minister to appear before the commission to record his statement regarding the arrest of the man behind the attack,” Justice Isa said.

Sandeman Civil Hospital Resident Medical Officer Dr Javed Akhtar submitted that the explosion had occurred while he was entering the X-ray room. “Then I saw people bathed in blood,” he said.

He told the commission that doctors, paramedics and nurses had not moved to provide emergency first aid. He said that routine patients had been registered in the hospital register, but, the people injured in the blast could not be registered. He submitted an X-ray of Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi showing a bullet lodged in the body.

The DIG told the commission that police personnel had taken into custody the mobile phones of the deceased and injured lawyers to obtain data. He said the government had made it seem as if the policemen had stolen their mobile phones.

Advocate Masoom Kakar, a witness, submitted that law enforcement personnel had arrived at the hospital almost half an hour after the attack had occurred. During that time, media people were busy shooting footage of the deceased and injured lawyers instead of helping them, he said.

“Lawyers conducted the rescue operation as neither law enforcement personnel nor media persons present there had helped us,” he said. Later, the law enforcement officials arrived at the hospital and ordered the lawyers to vacate the hospital saying that the army chief and other VVIPs were arriving, Mr Kakar said. Scores of lawyers were killed and injured in the suicide attack at the Sandeman Civil Hospital in Quetta on Aug 8.

dawn.com/news/1296011/balochistan-govt-hindering-inquiry-into-quetta-civil-hospital-attack

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Europe

Lone Wolf Terrorists, Cells Equally Dangerous - Former French Intel Officer © AP Photo/ Kamil Zihnioglu

13.11.2016

Both terrorists operating alone and in large groups represent a significant threat to the society, former French intelligence officer Alain Rodier told Sputnik on Sunday, the day France marks one year since the deadly November 13 attacks in Paris. © REUTERS/ NEIL HALL Terrorists in UK Seeking to Obtain Guns for Paris-Style Attacks MOSCOW (Sputnik) — "Both are significant latent threats," Rodier, who is now a research director at the French Research Centre on Intelligence (CF2R), said, when asked if cells affiliated with bigger terrorist organizations were more dangerous than loners. The intelligence expert added that organized groups were better connected and trained, but whether a group or a lone wolf terrorist were responsible for the death of a person, it did not diminish the severe strain it put on civilians. "In both cases, death of a man is always felt like an unbearable drama. The resilience of the population is put to a severe test," he said. © SPUTNIK/ VLADIMIR PESNYA What Is Known About November 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks Since 2015, France has faced a number of deadly terrorist attacks. On November 13, 2015, Daesh terrorists conducted a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital, killing 130 people and injuring more than 350, many critically. In early January 2015, Islamists killed a total of 17 people in attacks at satirical magazine  Charlie Hebdo’s office and a kosher food shop in Paris. On July 14, 2016, a truck rammed into a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice. At least 84 people, including children, were killed and hundreds of others were injured.

sputniknews.com/europe/201611131047383908-lone-wolf-cells-paris/

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France to mark first anniversary of Paris attacks

Nov 13, 2016

PARIS: France will on Sunday hold a series of sombre ceremonies to mark a year to the day since gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State group killed 130 people in Paris.

President Francois Hollande will unveil plaques commemorating the victims at six sites targeted on November 13, 2015.

The first will be outside the Stade de France national stadium where three suicide bombers detonated their explosives during an international football match, killing a man and starting the series of devastating attacks.

Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will then unveil plaques at bars and restaurants in the trendy neighbourhood where gunmen sprayed bullets at revellers enjoying a Friday evening out.

The final ceremony will take place at the Bataclan, the concert hall where 90 people were killed by three attackers during a rock gig in the culmination of the carnage.

Rock superstar Sting reopened the refurbished Bataclan with a hugely symbolic show on Saturday.

"We will not forget them," the British singer told the crowd in French after a minute's silence for the victims.

"Tonight we have two tasks to achieve: first to remember those who lost their lives in the attack, and then to celebrate life and music in this historic place," he said.

Sting began the emotionally charged concert with his song "Fragile", singing: "Nothing comes from violence and nothing will."

Many in the crowd wept during the first song, before the more upbeat "Message In a Bottle".

"I'll send an SOS to the world," he sang. "Only hope can keep us alive."

Scores of survivors of the attack attended the sold-out concert.

Among them was Aurelien, who had been determined to return to the scene of so much horror.

"It's the first time I've been in a public space for a year. I haven't been to the cinema, to a concert, I get my shopping delivered -- I've always stayed at mine," said the man in his thirties, who did not want to give his full name.

"Tonight I'm taking my life back like it was before. It's a duty, there's an obligation to be here — because there are 90 people who can't come anymore," he added, visibly moved, his hands trembling.

The Bataclan's co-director said he had prevented two members of the US group Eagles of Death Metal — who were on stage when the bloodshed started last year -- from entering the Sting concert over controversial remarks by their lead singer Jesse Hughes.

"They came, I threw them out — there are things you can't forgive," said the venue's co-director Jules Frutos.

However the band's manager Marc Pollack denied members of the group had tried to enter the concert hall at all.

Hughes caused dismay in France earlier this year by suggesting Muslim staff at the Bataclan were involved in the attack.

A rare right-wing rocker and supporter of US president-elect Donald Trump, Hughes will however be present outside the concert hall on Sunday for the unveiling of the plaque to the victims.

The wave of attacks profoundly shook France but Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed Saturday that "Islamist terrorism" would be defeated once and for all.

"Terrorism will strike us again," he warned. "But we have in ourselves all the resources to resist and all the strength to beat it," he said.

France is part of the international coalition launching air strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

At home, the country remains under a state of emergency, while terrorism and the role of Islam are key themes six months before presidential elections.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/France-to-mark-first-anniversary-of-Paris-attacks/articleshow/55396049.cms

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North America

Washington 'Wants Bloodshed in Aleppo to Continue' © REUTERS/ Khalil Ashawi

13.11.2016

Policymakers in the United States want Aleppo to remain a battlefield in a bid to use the Syrian Arab Army's operation to liberate the second largest city in the country as an opportunity to criticize Damascus and its allies, particularly Moscow, Syrian political analyst Salim Ali told Radio Sputnik. The expert's comments came after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) decided not to carry out a medical evacuation in eastern Aleppo due to security concerns. The ICRC "received security guarantees from Russia and the Syrian government as opposed to terrorists and 'moderate' opposition backed by the United States. I think this question should be directed to Washington. They are the key sponsor of armed groups. This is why it is the US that has to provide security guarantees" to aid workers, the analyst said. In Salim Ali's opinion, Washington has other plans for Syria, including Aleppo, in mind. Policymakers in the United States "want bloodshed in Aleppo to continue for public relations purposes, namely to criticize Russian and Syrian authorities," he said. "In other words, such statements are meant to generate publicity." Salim Ali criticized the ICRC for paying particular attention to Aleppo, while commenting less on the situation in Mosul, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa.  © AFP 2016/ GEORGES OURFALIAN Syrian Rebels Are 'Desperate': Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future' Iraqi security forces and their allies, including the US-led coalition and Kurdish fighters, have been engaged in a major operation aimed at liberating Mosul, Daesh's stronghold in Iraq. The second largest city in the country is home to approximately 1.5 million people, with many worried that the offensive could lead to massive civilian casualties.  The Russian Defense Ministry has provided information on several airstrikes launched by the US-led coalition which have claimed scores of civilian lives during the battle for Mosul. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the operation a "medieval slaughter, which primarily affects the civilian population." © SPUTNIK/ MIKHAIL VOSKRESENSKIY Bazaars, Café, Music: Aleppo Citizens’ Everyday Life Amid Terror Attacks (PHOTO) The same is true of Raqqa with its population of 200,000. The Pentagon has launched an operation to free the so-called capital of Daesh's caliphate. The first phase of the offensive will see Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces encircle and isolate the city. This tactic will likely have major humanitarian implications since the brutal group has not shied away from using civilians as human shields.   "I have not heard that the ICRC made any statements on Mosul, Dier ez-Zor and Raqqa. There are more civilians there than in eastern Aleppo. But the ICRC keeps silent. If they were thinking about people, they would have mentioned all the cities instead of talking about the one where Russia does not coordinate its activities with the United States," he lamented. The Syrian analyst further said that the ICRC was capable of conducting a medical evacuation in Aleppo, but opted out of it.  © REUTERS/ AMMAR ABDULLAH Syrian Army Fighting to Liberate Last Stronghold of Rebels in Western Aleppo "Humanitarian corridors were open for many days. There was an opportunity to deliver medical aid, but only on the condition that all deliveries would be inspected. This is necessary since there was a case of someone trying to smuggle weapons and ammunition disguised as humanitarian aid. This is why all medical supplies should be checked, but they don't want this to happen," he explained.  Earlier, Robert Mardini, the ICRC's regional director for the Middle East, told Sputnik that armed groups in eastern Aleppo did not provide security guarantees needed to carry out a medical evacuation from the area. The organization had planned to transport 200 critically injured and their families out of the rebel-held neighborhoods. This figure was later lowered to ten people, but the evacuation did not take place at all.

sputniknews.com/middleeast/201611131047384616-us-aleppo-bloodshed-aid/

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US shuts down embassy in Kabul after Bagram base blast

13 Nov, 2016

The US Embassy in Afghanistan was closed on Sunday after militant attacks on the largest US military base in the country and the German Consulate.

In a statement released late Saturday, the embassy said it will be closed for routine services on Sunday “as a temporary precautionary measure,” AP reported Sunday.

The suicide bomb attack on the Bagram Airfield on Saturday killed two US soldiers and two contractors, also injuring 17 others, one Polish serviceman among them, according to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

“For those who carried out this attack, my message is simple. We will not be deterred in our mission to protect our homeland and help Afghanistan secure its own future,” Carter said Saturday.

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The attack was carried out by a man wearing a suicide vest early Saturday morning as people were gathering for a post-Veterans Day fun run. The base was put on lockdown following the blast.

Bagram Airfield, the largest US military base in Afghanistan, is located in the Parwan Province. The base is occasionally used by the US Armed Forces and is mainly occupied by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). It features several layers of security, including retinal scans. An investigation will be conducted to determine, among other things, how someone with a suicide vest could get in.

The attack on the German Consulate in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif two days earlier resulted in six people being killed, with more than 100 injured.

rt.com/news/366764-us-embassy-kabul-closed/

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Arab World

Damascus-Led Forces Set to Free Aleppo 'in the Near Future'

13.11.2016

Damascus-led forces and their allies could well free Aleppo, the largest industrial, infrastructural and logistical center in northern Syria, "in the near future," RIA Novosti political analyst Alexander Khrolenko asserted, adding that the city's fate "has been sealed" since both Russia and the US appear to be ready to tackle al-Nusra Front. On November 11, US President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to take out al-Nusra Front leaders in what marked a major policy shift for Washington in Syria. "Obama has fundamentally changed Washington's foreign policy priorities" in the war-torn Arab country, the analyst said. "The United States had previously viewed 'Assad's regime' as the greater evil in the Middle East, while al-Nusra Front claimed the status of a viable opposition to the Syrian government." © SPUTNIK/ MIKHAIL VOSKRESENSKIY Bazaars, Café, Music: Aleppo Citizens’ Everyday Life Amid Terror Attacks (PHOTO) Meanwhile, Russia's aircraft carrier group deployed to the Mediterranean is reported to be ready to take part in counterterrorism operations in Syria. According to the analyst, the Aleppo offensive will likely see Russian naval forces in action. "Sea-based aviation of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has conducted reconnaissance flights in Syrian airspace on a regular basis to study the battleground and choose priority targets," he said. In addition, "Russian surveillance ships have monitored Syria's coastal areas and inland." Khrolenko added that Syrian rebels are "desperate." On Thursday, some 6,000 militants led by al-Nusra Front launched an operation aimed at breaking the government siege of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. But the offensive was ill-prepared and badly executed, with the militants "recklessly using all means of combat available to them." © REUTERS/ AMMAR ABDULLAH Syrian Army Fighting to Liberate Last Stronghold of Rebels in Western Aleppo These apparently included prohibited weapons. Earlier this week, the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RChBD) troops found traces of toxic agents following a militant attack on civilians and service personnel in the 1070 neighborhood of Aleppo. A snap analysis showed that they most likely used chlorine and white phosphorous. Khrolenko further mentioned strategic implications of Aleppo's liberation. Once the Syrian Arab Army frees the city, it will be able to "control northern Syria, Kurdish-populated areas on the border with Turkey and northwestern Iraq," he said. "Aleppo is located mere 145 kilometers (90 miles) from the largest Syrian sea port of Latakia, home to more than 550,000 people, and a Russian military base." © REUTERS/ ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL This is Where Syrian Rebels Obtain Chemical Weapons Aleppo's liberation "will destroy the economic base of militant groups," he said. It will also sever communications with militants located in neighboring Turkey and the Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called capital of Daesh's caliphate. Khrolenko maintained that a victory in Aleppo will "deliver a crushing blow to foreign adversaries of Syrian President bashar al-Assad." In addition, Aleppo's liberation will also dramatically change the facts on the ground in Syria in favor of Damascus and will significantly weaken Islamists in the Idlib province, which has served as a magnet for groups opposed to Assad.

sputniknews.com/middleeast/201611131047383230-syria-aleppo-liberation/

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Syrian Army Gives Militants Last Ultimatum to Surrender in Eastern Part of Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has given Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in Eastern Aleppo city a 24-hour ultimatum to surrender, military sources said Sunday.

"Concurrent with the army soldiers' large-scale operation in the Western and Southwestern parts of Aleppo, the army has given 24 hours to the militants to lay down arms and leave the Eastern districts of the city," the sources said.

"The army has warned terrorists of incoming attacks after the deadline," they added.

The sources said the army has told the militants "we give 24 hours to all the militants in the Eastern districts of Aleppo to decide and leave the city. Your abroad-based commanders cannot save you. Those who want to remain alive must lay down their army and in return we ensure their security. After the deadline ends, our attack will start, using the most precise weapons".

The Syrian army has sent the ultimatum to the mobile phones in Aleppo in the form of SMS messages after its victories against militants in the Western parts of Aleppo city on Friday and Saturday.

Some media sources said that after the army's ultimatum to the terrorists to exit Aleppo's Eastern neighborhoods, reconnaissance planes have been continuously flying over the city.

The Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups is on the verge of collapse after its repeated failures in the first and second waves of the Great Epic Operation in Western and Southwestern Aleppo city.

After the terrorist groups sustained crushing defeats their offensive on the Western and Southwestern parts of Aleppo, codenamed Great Epic Operation, and suffered thousands of casualties, military sources now say that the terrorist front is on the verge on collapse.

"The recent victories of the Syrian army and popular forces in Southwestern Aleppo and liberation of Housing Project 1070, al-Hikmah School, army's advances in the neighborhood of al-Rashedeen, the Western flank, government forces' successful cleansing operation in Zahiyeh al-Assad and Menyan districts and the continued defeats of the terrorists in Jam'iyat al-Zahra district have caused the terrorists to grow hopeless, paralyzed and depressed," the sources said on Saturday.

"The terrorists are now accusing each other of betrayal. The accusations find their roots in the escape of several terrorist commanders from battlefields in Western Aleppo and their shooting at each other," the source added.

The army soldiers imposed full control over Zahiyeh al-Assad district and then carried out mop-up operation to hunt the remaining militants hidden in the buildings, the sources said.

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Yemeni Army Hits Saudi Arabia's Military Positions in Ta'iz, Lahij, Jizan Provinces

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army pounded several military bases of the Saudi forces in Ta'iz, Lahij and Jizan provinces on Sunday.

The Yemeni army destroyed an armored vehicle of the pro-Saudi forces Northeast of Kahoub in Lahij province, inflicting heavy losses on them.

Meantime, the Yemeni army continued attacking the Saudi military positions in Jizan province with missiles.

The Yemeni missiles hit al-Qarn military base in al-Khobeh region in Jizan province, killing a number of the Saudi-led forces.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces continued their advances in Jizan province in Southern Saudi Arabia, and managed to take full control of several strategic villages in al-Khobeh region.

"A number of important villages in al-Khobeh region were seized back by the Yemeni forces after 12 hours of clashes with the Saudi forces," the Arabic-language media quoted senior Ansarullah Commander Nasreddin Ameri as saying.

He said that tens of Saudi army troops were killed and many more fled the battlefield, adding, "6 armored Bradly Tanks and 2 Abrams Tanks of the Saudi army were destroyed while the Saudi army's other military hardware were also torched by the Yemeni troops."

Last week, the Yemeni army's artillery units pounded Saudi Arabia's military bases in the kingdom's Southern provinces, inflicting heavy losses on the Riyadh government's troops.

The Saudi regime's military bases in Najran, Jizan and Assir provinces came under the Yemeni army's heavy artillery fire.

"The Yemeni army and popular forces hit the gathering centers of Saudi army troops in the Northern part of Midi desert near al-Mousem village in Jizan province," a local source said.

The Yemen artillery unit also pounded the Saudi Mos'an military base in Southern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni forces also targeted Manfaz border crossing in Assir province, killing a large number of the Saudi troops.

The Yemeni army also destroyed two armored vehicles of the Saudi army near al-Khazra border crossing, killing all their crew members.

Earlier in November, the media reports said that the Riyadh government had evacuated over half of its rural areas along the kingdom's border with Yemen.

"More than 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's villages located along Saudi Arabia-Yemen border have been evacuated by the kingdom's border guards," the Arabic-language al-Ahad news website reported.

Lieutenant Commander of al-Arezeh Border Guards in Jizan Province Ali al-Amri said that the evacuation of the villages took place at the order of senior Saudi officials.

He reiterated that the Saudi border guards are doing their best to facilitate the evacuation of citizens from border villages.

On Tuesday, the Yemeni Army and their popular allies captured a strategic point near Yemeni-Saudi border region after a fierce clash with the Saudi army and border guards.

Yemeni forces continue to penetrate into Saudi Arabia in response to Saudi aggression which has seen thousands of civilians killed by their airstrikes.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 12,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.

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Syria: Gov't Forces Readying to Start Liberation Operation of Kahn Touman in Aleppo

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army soldiers and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters are preparing to start massive offensive to push back terrorists from one of their main bases in Southern Aleppo, military sources disclosed Sunday.

"Liberation of the air-defense battalion and its surrounding hills, the Housing project 1070 and al-Hikmah School gave the upper hand to the army men and popular forces and paved the ground for the army and Hezbollah to start joint operations to free the town of Khan Touman from terrorists," the sources said.

"The army forces, Hezbollah and the Iraqi al-Nujaba movement will deploy their fighters in Southern Aleppo for the final phase of Khan Touman operation," the sources added.

"Syrian fighter jets, for their part, have targeted militant centers in Khan Touman in recent weeks," they went on to say.

Military sources said earlier today that Syrian Army troops inflicted major losses on Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition and drove them out of a key checkpoint in al-Rashedeen neighborhood.

"In tandem with the pro-government forces' advances in Southwestern Aleppo, including al-Rashedeen neighborhood and after the liberation of Housing Project 1070 and al-Hikmah school, the Syrian army and popular forces scored more victories and retook al-So'warah checkpoint they lost to the militants two weeks ago," the sources said.

"Fierce clashes are underway between the Syrian army and terrorists groups in al-Rashedeen," they added.

"Simultaneous with the army advances in Southwestern Aleppo, the terrorist front in this region is on verge on collapse," the sources underlined.   

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Syria: Terrorists Fail again to Prevail over Gov't Positions in Hama

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and Air Force repelled jointly an offensive launched by Fatah al-Sham coalition to break through the government forces' positions in Northwestern Hama, killing scores of terrorists.

Army soldiers, backed up by the country's fighter jets, fended off Jeish al-Fatah terrorists' attack on their positions near the small town of al-Qahera, killing nine of them and wounding several others in hours of clashes.

The army also targeted a camera-equipped spy drone of the terrorists coming from the town of Tal Bazam towards the town on Morek.

The Syrian Air Force, for its part, targeted Jeish al-Fatah's bases and gatherings in the towns and villages of Morek, al-Lahaya, Taybat al-Imam, Wadi al-Anz, al-Nasiriyeh, Albuiyzeh, al-Masaseneh, Tal (hill) al-Naseriyeh, North of Souran and Kafr Zita in Northern Hama, killing and wounding a large number of militant and destroying their tanks and vehicles.

The army and National Defense Forces, backed up by air force, targeted terrorists' gatherings in the small town of al-Zalaqiyat, leaving several militants dead and wounded.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, missile units of the Syrian pro-government forces targeted a long military column of ISIL terrorists in Northeastern Hama near Ithriya road to the town of Khanasser in Aleppo, destroying at least 30 military vehicles.

Hundreds of ISIL fighters, deployed on the Eastern side of a road connecting town of Ithriya in Hama to Khanasser raided army defense lines East of the village of Jubb al-Ali to cut off the supply road to Aleppo.

The army missile units targeted terrorists' column with anti-armored missiles and destroyed at least 30 vehicles carrying militants and equipment.

The ISIL also suffered a heavy death toll and pulled the remaining pockets of its forces back from the battlefield.

The terrorists planned to block the army's supply route to Northern Syrian, including to Aleppo, but failed. 

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Syrian Advisor Cautiously Welcomes Trump's Victory

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- An advisor to Syrian information minister expressed the hope that Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election would end the crisis in Syria, adding that it is a "cautious optimism".

"Syria cannot hastily say that Trump's position is the new US administration's position since his positions are his personal and his advisors' views and we can be hopeful that he would be able to make Pentagon, the CIA and the neoconservatives accompany him," Ali al-Ahmad was quoted as saying by Sputnik on Sunday.

Trump's unchanged stances on Syria after the election will create hopes to find a solution to settle the crisis in the near future, he said, meantime, adding that it is a "cautious optimism".

His remarks came after former Syrian Vice-President George Jabbour underlined that the Syrian nation and government have welcomed remarks by Trump during his campaign, and expressed the hope that he would keep his words on considering the ISIL as the first enemy and preparing to cooperate with Bashar al-Assad.

Jabbour referred to Syria's first official statement on Trump's victory in the presidential election, and said that Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, has said that should Trump’s policies coincide with Damascus’ expectations, Damascus will be ready for any cooperation with the United States and any other countries which respect Syria’s sovereignty and do not intervene in Syria’s affairs.

He also pointed to certain politicians' comments that the US president cannot make basic changes in his country's policies, and said bodies and organizations cannot undermine the president's role and as witnessed during Obama's tenure, he could make the US administration prevent expansion of Israel's settlement constructions in the Palestinian territories despite the pressures of the Israeli lobbies on the US decision-making centers.

Jabbour underlined Trump's comments on agreement between Russia and the US on many issues in the Middle-East, and expressed the hope that the new US president would act upon his promises and cooperate with Russian President Vladimir Putin in campaign against terrorism.

Speaking to US media group National Public Radio on Thursday – just after Trump’s seismic victory in the US general election – Bouthaina Shaaban cautiously suggested the Syrian government would "wait to see what are the policies of the President-elect... particularly towards terrorism," ahead of any collaboration on Syria’s almost six-year-long civil war.

“I think the American people have sent a great, a very important message to the world,” she added.

The US has tacitly supported rebels in the war both logistically and financially.

Trump has indicated that his foreign policy stance will be less interventionist than his predecessors'. He stated in the second presidential debate that regime change only causes more instability in the Middle-East and while Assad is not exactly a welcome partner, shoring up his government is the best way to stem the extremism that has flourished in the chaos of Syria’s civil war.

Trump has suggested withdrawing support for the Syrian rebels still fighting in East Aleppo, neighboring Idlib province and the South of the country, which could prove to finally tilt the war in the Syrian government's favor.

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Commander: ISIL Orders Militants' Withdrawal to Mosul City Center

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of 'We Are Coming Nineveh' Military Operation Najm al-Jabouri said the ISIL has ordered its militants to withdraw from their positions to the center of the city of Mosul.

"The advances made by the Iraqi forces from several directions have resulted in ISIL's withdrawal to Mosul city center," the Arabic-language media quoted al-Jabouri as saying on Sunday.

The commander said that ISIL's withdrawal order came from fear of confrontation with the Iraqi security forces.

He noted that Iraq's joint security forces are forcefully and rapidly advancing towards towns located to the East and North of Mosul city.

The senior Iraqi commander, meantime, said that the Iraqi forces are now in full control of al-Arbajiyah and Qadsiyah strategic districts in Mosul city.

In relevant remarks earlier on Saturday, Commander of the Golden Brigade of Iraq's Counterterrorism Department Major General Ma'an al-Sa'adi announced that the country's joint military forces have seized back 10 districts in the city of Mosul on the Western bank of the Tigris River.

"The Iraqi forces have managed to win full control of 10 from the total number of 56 districts of Mosul city from the ISIL terrorists," the Arabic-language media quoted General al-Sa'adi as saying.

Meantime, Commander of Iraq's Counterterrorism Department Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi announced that the Iraqi forces have arrested 60 ISIL terrorists during recent clashes with them.

"A sum of 60 ISIL terrorists had hidden among people, but they were identified and arrested," he said.

The official media page of the Iraqi army declared on Friday that the army had entered the strategic district of Qadsiyah after fierce battle with the ISIL terrorists.

"Iraqi forces entered the district from its Eastern corridor after launching a surprise assault this morning," Massdar quoted army's media page as saying.

Also on Saturday, General al-Assadi announced that the country's joint military forces have seized back several strategic regions in the Western flank of Mosul.

"We have liberated important regions on the Western side of Mosul and will fully take control of the region in the coming days," the Arabic-language media quoted al-Assadi as saying.

He reiterated that whatever has remained to be seized back is in the fire-range of Iraq's joint military forces and winning them back is very easy.

"The war in al-Qaddessiya region and before that the clashes in al-Zahra region proved to us that the ISIL has lost its capability to confront us," al-Assadi added.

Reports said on Wednesday that dozens of ISIL terrorists were reportedly killed during separate operations in and around Mosul as Iraqi government troops and their allies were tightening noose around the extremists controlling the Northern city.

Iraqi fighter jets, backed by those of the US-led military coalition, have hit ISIL's positions in Albu Seif village South of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers North of the capital Baghdad, leaving 40 of the terrorists dead.

Pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units also launched an offensive against ISIL hideouts in Mawali village, situated about 20 kilometers West of Mosul, killing 22 terrorists.

Meanwhile, there were reports that heavy clashes were going on between Iraqi security forces and ISIL militants in Mosul’s Eastern district of al-Zahra.

A local source, requesting anonymity, also said ISIL terrorists moved more than 80 families from the Eastern Mosul neighborhood of Faisaliyah to a Western district at gunpoint.

The source added that the displacement came as Iraqi soldiers together with their allied Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces were making advancements in battles against ISIL militants in and around Mosul.

After months of preparation, Iraqi army soldiers, backed by volunteer fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation on October 17 to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the ISIL terrorists.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, would be fully recaptured by year-end.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that it has set up 82 “rapid response teams” to manage potential disease outbreaks, chemical exposure and other health concerns among people fleeing Mosul.

The UN agency said internally displaced persons from Mosul could face difficulties with water distribution and sanitation as a direct result of their growing numbers, warning that the risk of food- and water-borne diseases such as cholera is high.

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Terrorists' Defeats in Aleppo Demoralize Comrades in Idlib

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorists' heavy defeats in Aleppo have left grave impacts on Jeish al-Fatah militants, a source said, adding that tough infighting erupted between the Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa terrorist groups which have recently joined Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra) Front.

"After one of Jund al-Aqsa militants mocked at Ahrar al-Sham's heavy casualties in Aleppo clashes, fierce clashes erupted between the two groups which killed and wounded several terrorists," a dissident source close to Ahrar al-Sham said, the Arabic-language Al-Watan reported.

"The clashes will likely spread to the outskirts of Idlib too," the source added.

Different sources close to the terrorists have also said that Jeish al-Fatah's failures and their large casualties in Aleppo, specially in Menyan, Housing Project 1070, al-Hikma School and Dhahiyat al-Assad regions, have dissuaded the youth in Idlib from joining the terrorist group and others like Ahrar al-Sham. Many militants have moved to Idlib along with their families and their younger brothers and relatives join the terrorist groups through these elder members. A number of others are forced by the militants to join armed rebelion against the Central government.

Different sources have announced that during the first and second stages of the Great Epic Operation in Western and Southwestern Aleppo city, over 3,000 terrorists from Idlib have been killed, most of them young militants who had been sent to the Aleppo front.

The great losses incurred by different militants groups in Aleppo and across the country has now lowered the morale of the militants who blamed each other for their great losses.

Military sources said Sunday that the Syrian army has given Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in Eastern Aleppo city a 24-hour ultimatum to surrender.

"Concurrent with the army soldiers' large-scale operation in the Western and Southwestern parts of Aleppo, the army has given 24 hours to the militants to lay down arms and leave the Eastern districts of the city," the sources said.

"The army has warned terrorists of incoming attacks after the deadline," they added.

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Nusra Centers Hit Hard in Army Offensives in Dara'a, Quneitra

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops targeted the gatherings and concentration centers of Fatah al-Sham Front (the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the two provinces of Dara'a and Quneitra, inflicting major losses on the militants.

Army soldiers targeted the hideouts and gatherings of Fatah al-Sham in Khirbet Awadiyeh, East of Um al-Owsaj and North-West of the refugee camp in Dara'a al-Balad district, killing a number of militants and destroying their weapons and positions.

The Army men and National Defense Forces targeted the gatherings and movements of two groups of Fatah al-Sahm terrorists in Tal (hill) Qaba'a al-Hamriyeh and Tal (hill) Saeed Badriyeh in the Southwestern province of Quneitra, killing the entire militants.

In the meantime, army soldiers targeted the gatherings of a group of Fatah al-Sham near Borj (tower) al-Zera'eh in Harraj Jabata al-Khashab, leaving several militants dead or wounded and their equipment destroyed.

Reports said on Friday that at least 15 members of Fatah al-Sham Front were killed or wounded in the Syrian Army soldiers' offensive on the terrorist group's positions near a key town East of Dara'a province.

Fatah al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll in the army men's assault on its defense lines near the town of al-Na'eimeh.

In the meantime, Syrian military forces struck Fatah al-Sham's centers in Southeastern side of Bosra square, East of al-Talaibi square and in the nearby areas of Bir (well) Um al-Daraq in Dara'a al-Balad district, killing and wounding a number of the militants and destroying their weapons and equipment. 

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Iraqi Forces Continue to Advance in Eastern Mosul, ISIL Resorts to Female Suicide Bombers

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's joint military forces continued to move ahead in several directions inside Mosul and seized back several more districts Southeast of the city, while the ISIL has resorted to dispatching female suicide bombers to war fronts to prevent the army's further advances.

"The Iraqi forces entered the Eastern flank of the city from the Southeastern side and purged terrorists from al-Entesar, Jadideh al-Mufti, al-Shima, al-Salam and Youness al-Sabawi regions as well as all the villages located to the North of al-Zab river," Senior Iraqi Commander Abdel Amir Rashid Yarallah said on Sunday.

Meantime, the Iraqi local sources disclosed that the ISIL terrorist group has resorted to using female suicide bombers to make up for its losses and defeats.

They said that these women suicide attackers target Iraq's joint military forces in Southeastern Mosul city by exploding their suicide belts.

The suicide attacks are one of the most common methods used by the ISIL to block the army advances toward Mosul city.

Yet, Yarallah said that in the Eastern part the Iraqi forces have purged terrorists from al-Arbajiyah, Qadsiyah-I, Aden, al-Bakr, al-Zahabiyeh and Karkoukli strategic districts.

"In the Northern part, the Iraqi forces continue with their mop-up operations and in the West, the terrorists are being purged from the liberated villages and the road linking al-Hazar and Adayeh regions.

In relevant remarks earlier on Sunday, Commander of 'We Are Coming Nineveh' Military Operation Najm al-Jabouri said the ISIL has ordered its militants to withdraw from their positions to the center of the city of Mosul.

"The advances made by the Iraqi forces from several directions have resulted in ISIL's withdrawal to Mosul city center," the Arabic-language media quoted al-Jabouri as saying.

The commander said that ISIL's withdrawal order came from fear of confrontation with the Iraqi security forces.

He noted that Iraq's joint security forces are forcefully and rapidly advancing towards towns located to the East and North of Mosul city.

The senior Iraqi commander, meantime, said that the Iraqi forces are now in full control of al-Arbajiyah and Qadsiyah strategic districts in Mosul city.

Also on Saturday, Commander of the Golden Brigade of Iraq's Counterterrorism Department Major General Ma'an al-Sa'adi announced that the country's joint military forces have seized back 10 districts in the city of Mosul on the Western bank of the Tigris River.

"The Iraqi forces have managed to win full control of 10 from the total number of 56 districts of Mosul city from the ISIL terrorists," the Arabic-language media quoted General al-Sa'adi as saying.

Meantime, Commander of Iraq's Counterterrorism Department Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi announced that the Iraqi forces have arrested 60 ISIL terrorists during recent clashes with them.

"A sum of 60 ISIL terrorists had hidden among people, but they were identified and arrested," he said.

The official media page of the Iraqi army declared on Friday that the army had entered the strategic district of Qadsiyah after fierce battle with the ISIL terrorists.

"Iraqi forces entered the district from its Eastern corridor after launching a surprise assault this morning," Massdar quoted army's media page as saying.

Also on Saturday, General al-Assadi announced that the country's joint military forces have seized back several strategic regions in the Western flank of Mosul.

"We have liberated important regions on the Western side of Mosul and will fully take control of the region in the coming days," the Arabic-language media quoted al-Assadi as saying.

He reiterated that whatever has remained to be seized back is in the fire-range of Iraq's joint military forces and winning them back is very easy.

"The war in al-Qaddessiya region and before that the clashes in al-Zahra region proved to us that the ISIL has lost its capability to confront us," al-Assadi added.

Reports said on Wednesday that dozens of ISIL terrorists were reportedly killed during separate operations in and around Mosul as Iraqi government troops and their allies were tightening noose around the extremists controlling the Northern city.

Iraqi fighter jets, backed by those of the US-led military coalition, have hit ISIL's positions in Albu Seif village South of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers North of the capital Baghdad, leaving 40 of the terrorists dead.

Pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units also launched an offensive against ISIL hideouts in Mawali village, situated about 20 kilometers West of Mosul, killing 22 terrorists.

Meanwhile, there were reports that heavy clashes were going on between Iraqi security forces and ISIL militants in Mosul’s Eastern district of al-Zahra.

A local source, requesting anonymity, also said ISIL terrorists moved more than 80 families from the Eastern Mosul neighborhood of Faisaliyah to a Western district at gunpoint.

The source added that the displacement came as Iraqi soldiers together with their allied Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish Peshmerga forces were making advancements in battles against ISIL militants in and around Mosul.

After months of preparation, Iraqi army soldiers, backed by volunteer fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation on October 17 to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the ISIL terrorists.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, would be fully recaptured by year-end.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that it has set up 82 “rapid response teams” to manage potential disease outbreaks, chemical exposure and other health concerns among people fleeing Mosul.

The UN agency said internally displaced persons from Mosul could face difficulties with water distribution and sanitation as a direct result of their growing numbers, warning that the risk of food- and water-borne diseases such as cholera is high.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950823001110

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Several Oil Tankers of ISIL Destroyed in Syrian Army Attack in Sweida Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian military forces targeted a long convoy of ISIL terrorists' oil tankers in Eastern Sweida, destroying several tankers and killing several militants accompanying the convoy, military sources disclosed Sunday.

"The army men carried out a special operation against ISIL in Eastern Sweida and destroyed fuel tankers of the terrorist group in al-Bayader region," the sources said.

"After tracing several ISIL's oil tankers carrying stolen fuel in al-Bayader region in Eastern Sweida, a unit of the Syrian army targeted the convoy and destroyed it," the sources said, adding, "Several militants accompanying the convoy were killed in the attack."

Late in October, the Syrian army troops, backed by popular forces and their allies, inflicted major damage and casualties on the terrorist groups stationed in Sweida and Dara'a provinces.

"The Syrian army units targeted the ISIL terrorists who were moving from Wadi (desert) al-Qabib region towards Tal (Hill) Basineh in Northeastern Sweida with artillery fire, killing a large number of them and destroying their military equipment and weapons," the source said.

According to the source, after monitoring the moves of a terrorist group as it was moving towards al-Lajah region between Dara'a and Sweida, the Syrian soldiers targeted them for the second consecutive day and killed most of its members.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950823000840

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Iranian reporter dies in Aleppo shelling

13.11.2016

A correspondent for Iranian IRIB broadcaster, Mohsen Khazaei, was killed in mortar shelling in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo during a fierce fighting between government forces and the militants, IRIB reported, adding that its operator was also injured in the incindent. The Iranian crew fell under heavy mortar fire by militants in the western part of the city.

rt.com/news/line/

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Iraqi army takes control of two Mosul districts

November 13th, 2016

BAGHDAD: Iraqi special forces backed by US and Iraqi air power took control of two districts of eastern Mosul on Saturday after heavy fighting in which they destroyed at least 10 cars deployed by the militant Islamic State group as suicide bombs, the military said.

Infantry and armoured division troops also advanced in a nearby neighbourhood, destroying three rocket launchers and killing 30 militants, it said in a statement.

Iraqi troops have been fighting for 10 days inside eastern Mosul, trying to expand their small foothold in the city which IS has controlled since mid-2014, when its leader declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

The nearly four-week campaign to drive IS out of the biggest city under its control in either country has brought together an alliance of 100,000 Iraqi fighters, also backed by thousands of Western personnel on the ground.

They have faced fierce resistance from a few thousand militants who have deployed hundreds of suicide car bombers and waves of attacks by snipers, assault fighters and rocket teams.

Lieutenant-General Abdul Wahab al-Saidi of the Counter Terrorism Service said his forces had completely taken over al-Arbajiya district and were halfway through clearing the adjacent al-Qadisiya al-Thaniya.

“We destroyed more than 10 suicide car bombs and killed snipers and weapons teams,” Saidi told Iraqi television. “The clearing is continuing and in the coming hours, God willing, this quarter will be completely cleared.” Saidi said there were 50 districts in the eastern half of Mosul, which is divided by the Tigris river. Military reports suggest troops have controlled or entered less than a quarter of those. Several times they have lost territory overnight and had to fight to retake it.

The IS group has used a network of tunnels around the city and merged into the civilian population of 1.5 million people still living there, helping it launch surprise raids and ambushes on the troops in areas they believed had been cleared.

“The biggest challenge, which is holding up the advance, is the presence of civilians ... and their use as human shields by the terrorists,” Saidi said.

“There are Daesh (Islamic State) elements on the roofs while families are present on the ground floor — that means we have to find a way to deal with the Daesh forces on the roofs without damaging the house or the families.” Sometimes, while troops are helping residents evacuate “we notice a group of armed men among the civilians who open fire on the troops”, he added.

Further south, but still on the eastern fringes, troops from the First Infantry and Ninth Armoured divisions attacked the jihadists in the Salam neighbourhood, the military said.

Security forces and army troops are also advancing on southern and northern fronts close to the city, aiming to open new fronts inside Mosul to put further pressure on the ultra-hardline Islamists.

The attacking forces include Iraqi army troops and special forces and federal police units. Outside the city, Kurdish peshmerga forces are holding territory to the northeast and mainly Shia paramilitary forces are deployed to the west.

They are supported by US-led air power, including jets and Apache helicopters, and Western military advisers who have accompanied Iraqi forces on the edge of Mosul.

dawn.com/news/1296002/iraqi-army-takes-control-of-two-mosul-districts

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Militants in Five More Towns Join Peace Agreement with Syrian Gov't

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria said militants in five more towns have given up fight against the Syrian army and joined the peace plan with Damascus in the last 24 hours.

"Militants in three towns in Hama province and two towns in Lattakia province have joined the nationwide reconciliation plan," the Russian Center declared in its latest statement.

"With these five towns in Lattakia and Hama, the total number of towns, villages and regions that have joined the peace plan with Damascus came to 929," the center added.

Based on the Russian center, peace talks are still underway in the provinces of Hama, Homs, Damascus and Aleppo to persuade more regions to join the reconciliation process.

The Center declared on Wednesday that militants in six towns across Syria joined the nationwide reconciliation plan.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950823000881

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South Asia

23 ISIS militants including 13 foreigners killed in Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 13 2016

At least 23 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrike was carried out in Achin district of Nangarhar.

No further details were given regarding the airstrike and it is yet not clear if the raid was conducted by the Afghan Air Force or the US forces based in Afghanistan.

The loyalists of ISIS terrorist group have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as at least 13 loyalists of the terror group were killed in a similar airstrike carried out by the US forces in Nangarhar           on Friday.

The Afghan forces and US forces based in Afghanistan are regularly targeting the ISIS loyalists and other militant groups.

The US forces based in Afghanistan have increased airstrikes against the militants after the Obama administration granted broader role to them amid deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/23-isis-militants-including-13-foreigners-killed-in-afghanistan-02268

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3 Pakistani terrorists arrested before joining ISIS in Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 13 2016

isisA group of three Pakistani terrorists were arrested before they join the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said the three individuals were arrested from eastern Kunar province.

NDS further added that the detained individuals were identified as Sher Wali famous as Hanifa son of Fatah, Hamza son of Adul Rahim, and Noor Hamid Jan son of Hazrat Ali.

According to NDS, the three suspects are originally residents of Jandul village in Bajaur and were arrested from Asadabad city, the provincial capital of Kunar.

This comes as the local officials in Nangarhar province earlier said the majority of the ISIS fighters in Afghanistan are coming from outside the country.

The officials further added that the residents of Orakzai Agency in Pakistan are forming the majority of the foreign fighters comprising the ISIS loyalists in Afghanistan.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani in July said the documents obtained from the dead bodies and those arrested during the operations in Achin, Kot, Haska Mina and other parts of Nangarhar, reveal that they are originally residents of Orakzai Agency.

khaama.com/3-pakistani-terrorists-arrested-before-joining-isis-in-afghanistan-02270

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Pakistan says it strongly condemns attack on US base in Bagram

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 13 2016

Pakistan says it strongly condemns the attack on the largest US base in Bagram district of Parwan province that left at least 4 people dead and 17 others wounded.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office of Pakistan, Nafees Zakaria, said “We strongly condemn terrorist attack on Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan today. Our condolences to the government and people of US and profound sympathies to bereaved families.”

Zakaria also condemned attack on the German consulate in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Pakistan.

The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility behind the incident and claimed several people were killed or injured in the attack.

However, the  NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan, said  “An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties. Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been wounded. We will provide updates as appropriate.”

The alliance in a statement later said at least three more injuries were reported in the attack taking the toll of the injury to 17.

khaama.com/pakistan-says-it-strongly-condemns-attack-on-us-base-in-bagram-02267

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Dozens of Afghan women join fight against Taliban insurgents

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 13 2016

Dozens of Afghan women have joined the fight against the Taliban insurgents who are trying to expand insurgency in key Northern provinces.

The uprising has taken shape in the northern Jawzjan province under the leadership of a female militia commander to stop the Taliban insurgents seize control of the strategic areas in this province, including Darzab district.

The group led by a 53-year-old woman, Zarmina, has risen to 45 fighters, including mainly Uzbeks and Aimaqs, a Persian-speaking minority in Jowzjan, a multiethnic province that borders Turkmenistan to the north.

 “The number of police personnel was too small, so we had to take up guns alongside our husbands,” Zarmina told RFE/RL’s Afghan Service. “As the Taliban attacked a police post, I put aside my scarf and fired from different places.”

“I had 21 bullets and killed seven Taliban,” she claimed.

The latest uprising by the Afghan women in the North comes as an Afghan woman killed at least 25 Taliban militants late in 2014 to avenge the murder of her son who was a police officer in western Farah province.

The woman, Reza Gul, was forced to pick up arms after her son was shot dead by Taliban militants in front of her eyes.

Her son was leading a small group of police forces in a check post located in a village of Farah province.

khaama.com/dozens-of-afghan-women-join-fight-against-taliban-insurgents-02266

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Injury toll rises to 17 in the attack on US base in Bagram

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Nov 12 2016

The NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan reported three more injuries from today’s attack in Bagram airfield, the largest US military base in Afghanistan.

With the disclosure of three more injuries, the casualties toll increases to 4 dead and 17 wounded in the attack.

“An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties. Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been wounded. We will provide updates as appropriate,” the alliance said in a statement.

“To the family and friends of those who lost their lives today, we share your loss and our thoughts are with you. We offer you our deepest condolences. For the family and friends of those wounded in today’s attack, let me assure you they are receiving the best care possible, and we will keep them in our thoughts today,” said General John W.Nicholson, US Army, Commander of Resolute Support.

Gen. Nicholson further added “To those who target Coalition forces, ANDSF, and Afghan civilians, Resolute Support and USFOR-A will continue to pursue our Train, Advise, and Assist mission to help our partners create a better Afghanistan.”

No further details were disclosed regarding the identities of the individuals who lose their lives in the attack.

The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility behind the incident.

khaama.com/injury-toll-rises-to-17-in-the-attack-on-us-base-in-bagram-02262

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Attacks on Hindus: Hasina calls for communal harmony

Nov 12, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said as a Muslim majority country it is the moral responsibility of the citizens to take care of minorities, as nationwide protests continued over the recent spate of attacks on Hindu temples and households.

"Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony which should be maintained at any cost for development and brighten the country's image," Hasina said at a video conference with local representatives and officials of northwestern Rajshahi from her official Ganobhaban residence.

"As a Muslim majority country it is the moral responsibility of all of us to take care of the minorities," she said.

The prime minister added: "You have to remain careful so that no such incidents, which are taking place sporadically in different parts of the country, take place anywhere in the country."

As many as a dozen Hindu temples and over 20 Hindu households at Nasirnagar area of Brahmanbaria were attacked and vandalised earlier this month after an offensive Facebook posting on Islam, allegedly by a Hindu, went viral.

The Hindu community leaders and civil society activists staged a series of protests in the capital and other major cities blasting the administration for failure to protect the minority community.

Authorities withdrew the local administrative chief and officer in charge of the local police station while over 50 suspected attackers were detained as part of the investigation.

The statutory National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in its report said that the attacks on the Hindu temples and households were carried out under a well orchestrated plan by an orgainsed group.

It said near simultaneous attacks were carried out at several temples and Hindu households at different locations at Nasirnagar area.

Hindu community leaders have said that the attacks were carried out to forcefully evict Hindus from their own land by creating an atmosphere of fear.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Attacks-on-Hindus-Hasina-calls-for-communal-harmony/articleshow/55390665.cms

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Afghan leaders urge lawmakers to halt confidence votes

Reuters | Nov 13, 2016

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah have urged parliament to halt confidence votes against ministers, fearing further dismissals could rock an already fragile Western-backed government, lawmakers said on Sunday.

In a bold move on Saturday parliament dismissed three cabinet ministers, including the minister of foreign affairs, because of poor performance and vowed to use their votes against 14 more ministers.

Hours later, Afghanistan's two leaders invited lawmakers to the presidential palace and pleaded with them to suspend further votes.

"President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah told MPs that their decision will deal a huge political blow to the government at this critical time and urged them to stop the process," Mirdad Najrabi, chairman of parliament's security commission, told Reuters.

Despite the pleas from Ghani and Abdullah, many lawmakers looked determined to continue the confidence votes with the finance, education and transportation ministers scheduled to appear later on Sunday.

"If the ministers do not want to come, we will vote anyway to keep them or dismiss them," said lawmaker Gul Padsha Majidi. "This is our right and we will use it and will not let the government politicise this process," he added.

A statement released by Ghani's office said the government did not want confrontation and respected the decision of the parliament, but asked the House of Representatives to suspend its decision.

The Afghan constitution gives parliament the power to sack ministers.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Public Works Minister Mahmood Baligh and Social Services Minister Nasreen Oryakhel failed to win confidence votes and were declared to have been dismissed by the speaker.

Afghanistan's national unity government, which the United States helped broker following the disputed 2014 election, has been weakened by infighting and a resurgent Taliban.

Kabul was supposed to have overseen fresh parliamentary elections and a constitutional grand council to re-establish political legitimacy.

However, a two-year deadline has passed with none of the promised steps taken, leaving question marks over the future of the government at a time when political uncertainty is already being stoked by rising ethnic tensions.

The deteriorating political situation could become a major foreign policy challenge for US President-elect Donald Trump, who said little about Afghanistan on the campaign trail.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Afghan-leaders-urge-lawmakers-to-halt-confidence-votes/articleshow/55399380.cms

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Mideast

It is not for West to decide reintroduction of death penalty: President Erdoğan

November/12/2016

Turkey will decide whether or not to reinstate the death penalty, not the West, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 12.

“The issue on the reintroduction of death penalty is also on the government’s agenda. I said ‘I, as the president, will approve the decision after the parliament decides.’ The West cannot make decision regarding this, but we can,” Erdoğan said speaking during the funeral ceremony of Muhammet Fatih Safitürk, the district governor of the southeastern province of Mardin’s Derik, who was killed in an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attack on Nov. 11.

“The forgiver of crimes committed against the person is not the state but heirs. This is not a crime committed against the state. The state can forgive crimes committed against it and that is another issue. However, the only forgiveness authority is heirs in crimes against the person. Therefore, what George or Hans say does not concern us. What concerns us is what the God says,” the president added.

Amid the ongoing discussions on the reintroduction of death penalty in the country, a progression report by the European Commission on Nov. 9 noted that the rejection of the death penalty was an essential element, expressing the Union's concern on the issue.

“Regarding the renewed considerations to introduce a bill in parliament to reinstate the death penalty, the EU recalls that the unequivocal rejection of the death penalty is an essential element of the EU acquis and a central international obligation to which Turkey has committed,” the report said.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said a “limited measure” could be drafted to restore the death penalty, which was formally abandoned in 2002, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterating that he would approve such a measure if parliament backed it.

hurriyetdailynews.com/it-is-not-for-west-to-decide-reintroduction-of-death-penalty-president-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=106053&NewsCatID=338

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Turkish president invites Donald Trump to Turkey

November/13/2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invited newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump to Turkey on Nov. 12, daily Hürriyet has reported.

Erdoğan evaluated the victory of Trump while returning from Belarus, where he paid a one-day visit, answering questions from journalists.

Erdoğan said he believed that ongoing anti-Trump demonstrations indicated that people could not digest the mogul’s victory.

“I congratulated him on the first night he was elected. He will take over the duty of the presidency on Jan. 20, 2017. We can also meet before this date if possible. I said during the phone call that we would be pleased to meet reciprocally as soon as possible. I remarked that we would be pleased if Turkey is one of his first visits abroad. He responded positively,” Erdoğan stated.  

Erdoğan also said Trump’s team had a similar view to Iraq and Syria as Turkey.

“For instance, the no-fly zone issue is very important. They [Trump’s team] have similar opinions on this issue. This issue is a vital subject for us. Why? We are referring to the area that has been purged of terror.

 But the area which was purged from terror should also be a no-fly zone. When that issue is solved, there is one thing to do: train and equip. We are already involved in training and equipping,” he said. 

Erdoğan also stated that Trump did not receive any money from the Gülenist movement.

“These demonstrations against Trump are temporary, in my opinion. I will not be surprised if the group that is protesting Trump, falls in line to get an appointment from him. Trump did not win the election by receiving money from FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization]. He has financial power and he subsidized his election campaign by his own means. The rumors about the other side [Hillary Clinton] getting money from the [FETÖ] was reflected in the press. There is some news about those claims that will be investigated,” he added.

Trump called roughly a dozen foreign heads of government the day after his election victory, including leaders in Ireland, Turkey, India, Japan and Mexico.

The president-elect also spoke with leaders in Egypt, Israel, Australia and South Korea, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed. A day later, he had phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-invites-donald-trump-to-turkey-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=106065&NewsCatID=510

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Turkish army resumes anti-ISIL air strikes in Syria after talks with Russia, US

November/12/2016

Turkish warplanes hit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in west of Salva town in Syria late on Nov. 11, resuming its flights in Syrian airspace after more than two weeks of suspension.

18 members of the ISIL were killed in strikes targeting two buildings, two command centers and a vehicle of the group, according to security sources who asked to remain anonymous.

Resumption of flights by Turkish Air Forces in Syria came after consensus between Ankara and Moscow during a meeting of Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar in Russia on Nov. 1, sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) offensive on Al-Bab, with the backing of the Turkish military, was slowed down after a Syrian warning about the use of its airspace on Oct. 26. Since then, neither Turkish nor other U.S.-led coalition planes have been able to operate in the region because of the Russian-made Syrian air defense.

“The Americans had concerns about agitating the Syrian regime or Russia. But they agreed to work on the planning, and hopefully they will give the air support we have requested within a week for Al-Bab,” another source earlier told Daily News after a meeting between. Gen. Akar and General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in Ankara on Nov. 6.

Akar has informed Dunford about his talks with the Russian Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov on Nov. 1 in Moscow, where the Turks assured the Russians that the Al-Bab operation would not threaten the outskirts of Aleppo and would be limited to taking the town and other areas around it from ISIL.

The Turkish Air Forces launched their last airstrike in Syria on Oct. 22, targeting ISIL positions. Since then, Turkey had not launched further strikes as Syria’s Russian-made air defense system was activated to cover the region under the Euphrates Shield operation.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-army-resumes-anti-isil-air-strikes-in-syria-after-talks-with-russia-us.aspx?pageID=238&nID=106044&NewsCatID=352

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Turkey arrests Cumhuriyet CEO Akın Atalay

November/13/2016

Turkish judicial authorities arrested the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet on Nov. 12, a day after he was detained as he arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport following a trip to Germany.

Akın Atalay was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization.”

The CEO’s lawyer, Bahri Belen, released a statement, saying they would continue to defend “law until the very end.”

“We will defend law, democracy, rights and freedoms as lawyers until the very end because the salvation of this country will come with determined lawyers,” Belen said, while also thanking those that supported them.

“We know that this is not a judicial decision, but a political one. Of course we will object to it, even though we know the objection will be rejected,” he said.

Nine more of the newspaper’s staff were arrested last week, including its editor-in-chief, Murat Sabuncu. The staff are accused of “terrorist” activities in connection with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is widely believed to have masterminded the July 15 failed coup attempt.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-arrests-cumhuriyet-ceo-akin-atalay.aspx?pageID=238&nID=106057&NewsCatID=339

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Southeast Asia

Satellite pics show Rohingya homes torched in Myanmar

 

Hundreds of buildings in Rohingya villages have been torched, satellite images released this week show. This comes as deadly fighting has flared in the strife-torn region of western Myanmar.

Children recycle goods from the ruins of a market which was set on fire at a Rohingya village outside Maugndaw in Rakhine state (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has promised investigations into unrest in Rakhine State, where human rights workers have said Muslims are being persecuted. Suu Kyi made the remarks during an official visit to Japan. (04.11.2016)

Ten dead in clashes between troops and Muslim minorities in Myanmar

Myanmar mob burns down mosque as Buddhist-Muslim tensions rise

At least eight people have died and 36 have been arrested in clashes between the army and what the Myanmar government alleges are Rohingya Muslim militants in western Rakhine State, state media reported Sunday. This is the largest escalation of the month-old conflict yet.

It comes as new satellite images released by Human Rights Watch show what the group said was evidence of around 400 homes destroyed by arson near the border with Bangladesh.

Human Rights Watch's Asia Director Brad Adams says the new photos showed "widespread destruction" that was worse than previously believed. "Burmese [Myanmar] authorities should promptly establish a UN-assisted investigation as a first step toward ensuring justice and security for the victims," Adams said in a statement.

Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims are the majority in Rakhine, but they are denied citizenship and other basic rights, with many majority Buddhists regarding them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. They also face severe travel restrictions. Myanmar soldiers have killed several dozen people and arrested scores in their hunt for the attackers, who the government claims are radicalized Islamist militants with links to overseas militants.

International pressure

The crisis and reports of grave rights abuses being carried out in tandem with the security crackdown have put international pressure on Myanmar's new civilian government and raised questions about its ability to control its own military. The deadly violence in Rakhine has deepened and complicated a crisis that already posed a critical challenge to the new administration led by former pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar has simmered with religious tension ever since waves of violence between the majority Buddhist population and the Muslim Rohingya left more than 200 dead in 2012. The then junta-led government pushed more than 100,000 people, mostly Rohingya, into displacement camps where they have since languished.

International rights groups - which applauded Suu Kyi's ascension to power in recent elections - complain that the minority still faces apartheid-like restrictions on movement and have repeatedly called on her to work toward a solution. But Buddhist nationalists at home oppose granting citizenship to Muslims, despite their long roots in the Southeast Asian country.

dw.com/en/satellite-pics-show-rohingya-homes-torched-in-myanmar/a-36374856

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Myanmar Government, Anti-Muslim Leaders Alike Congratulate Trump

2016-11-10

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi sent a letter of congratulations on Wednesday to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, expressing her hope that the two countries maintain and strengthen their ties, while anti-Muslim leaders in the Southeast Asian nation did the same but for different reasons.

“Our people are happy with the mutually beneficial and dynamic relations that Myanmar shares with the United States, and I look forward to working closely with Your Excellency to further strengthen the existing friendship, cooperation and partnership between our two countries,” she wrote.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who also is Myanmar’s foreign minister and de facto leader, has enjoyed warm relations with U.S. President Barack Obama, who in early October lifted sanctions that had been in place against the country for almost two decades to isolate a former military junta noted for human rights abuses and corruption.

Obama decided to drop the sanctions because of political reforms that in the Southeast Asia country under the pro-democracy, civilian government that came to power in early April. Aung San Suu Kyi was instrumental in freeing detained students and other political prisoners and holding nationwide peace talks.

Aung San Suu Kyi paid an official visit to the U.S. in September during which she courted the American business community to drum up investment for Myanmar.

Free from jihadism

Ashin Wirathu, an outspoken leader of Myanmar’s ultranationalist Buddhist monk group Ma Ba Tha, took to on his Facebook page to congratulate Trump who has said he will ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Wirathu, who has spoken out against the country’s Rohingya Muslims and their defenders, emphasized the need to ensure safety for American citizens and expressed his wish that the U.S. remain free from jihadism.

Founded in 2013, Ma Ba Tha has led frequent demonstrations against the Rohingya, and last year pushed for the passage of legislation known collectively as the Race and Religion Protection Laws, which restrict religious conversions, polygamy, interfaith marriages, and childbirth by Muslims. Rights advocates say the laws discriminate against women and Muslims in the conservative country.

Likewise, Aye Maung, chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Arakan National Party (ANP) based in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state sent a letter to Trump carrying congratulations from the party and the Rakhine people.

“Being engulfed in Islamization and illegal immigration problems, we the Arkanese people look up to you as a new world leader who will change the rigged system being infested with jihadi infiltrators,” he wrote.

“We wish you two consecutive successful tenures and hope that your leadership will steer the U.S. and the world into a safer place without radical Islamic terrorism,” the letter said.

The ethno-centric ANP and Buddhist hardliners have denounced a government’s advisory commission on Rakhine state appointed by Aung San Suu Kyi in August, to examine the restive area’s religious conflict and human rights situation.

Rakhine is home to more than 1.1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims whom many Burmese call “Bengalis” because they consider them illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. The Buddhist majority have long subjected the Rohingya to persecution and attacks and denied them basic rights, including citizenship.

Some state and national government leaders have blamed deadly attacks on border guard posts in northern Rakhine last month on a militant Rohingya group that received training and financial support from the Islamist terrorist organization Aqa Mul Mujahidin.

Last month, the ANP asked government ministers to protect ethnic Rakhine villages in Maungdaw township where the attacks and subsequent violence between security forces and armed groups occurred and to provide residents there with food.

rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/myanmar-government-anti-muslim-leaders-alike-congratulate-trump-11102016145711.html

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India

Uniform Civil Code: Law Commission open to suggestions from tribals

PTI | Nov 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: With a section of the tribal population up in arms against the government's move seeking opinion of the Law Commission on possibility of having the Uniform Civil Code, the panel said it was "open" to objections and suggestions from the community.

"The tribal community should make representation before the Commission. We would also like to know their stand," Law Commission Chairman B S Chauhan told PTI.

He said the Commission considers tribals as a stakeholder in the entire exercise in which representations are coming from various communities.

"The tribals can also participate and debate in the entire exercise," the former apex court judge said.

The opposition from a section of the tribal community assumed importance as a group has also moved the Supreme Court contending that the government was making an attempt to impose the UCC which will be against their ethos, customs and religious practices. The Rashtriya Adivasi Ekta Parishad, a group that claims to work for protecting Adivasi interests, has filed a petition in the apex court seeking protection of their customs and religious practices, including their right to practice polygamy and polyandry.

Further, it has contended that any attempt to impose the Uniform Civil Code would have adversely impact on their distinct customs, culture and heritage.

The petition in the apex court claimed the Adivasis (tribals) had their own personal laws and do not come in the category of Hindus as they worshipped nature instead of idols and performed burial of the dead.

The marriage ceremonies of tribals are also different from that of Hindus, it submitted.

"In case of Uniform Civil Code, the Adivasis' right to perform marriage, worship, last rites and other ceremonies would be abrogated," the NGO said.

The petition is likely to come for hearing when the apex court will take up a batch of matters relating to the validity of triple talaq and polygamy in the Muslim community. PTI

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Uniform-Civil-Code-Law-Commission-open-to-suggestions-from-tribals/articleshow/55396452.cms

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Line of Control villages send 4 boys to IITs

Rohan Dua | TNN | Updated: Nov 13, 2016

SHINDRA (Poonch): Four boys, aged between 17 and 19, from two villages barely 16km from the Line of Control in J&K's Poonch district have made history by making it to IIT. Poonch has now become a 'battleground' for the Indian Army and Pakistan-based and - sponsored militants.

Nineteen-year-old Shahid Afridi (his real name) can't hit a six, but became the first person from Shindra village to bag a seat in IIT Kanpur. The backward region of Gujjar Muslims erupted in joy when Aqib Mujtaba (18), Us man Hafiz (17) and Hilal Ahmad (19), all from village Kalai, also made it to the elite engineering school.

Shahid is studying computer science at IIT Kanpur, Aqib mechanical engineering at IIT Bhubaneswar, Usman electrical engineering at IIT Delhi and Hilal computer science at IIT Patna.

"We're IITians only because we're in India," says Shahid, who, two years ago, was handpicked by an NGO and sent to prepare for the IIT entrance test to Rajasthan's Bundi town. The other boys took coaching classes independently in Delhi.

"I may not be a good batsman like my namesake, but I fend off bouncers from curious friends at IIT when they ask me if all Muslims turn to militancy. I take pride in explaining to them the significance of living in border areas."

The news of their achievement was out in May, months before militant Burhan Wani's killing in July. These teens are testimony to the fact that militant Burhan Wani and stonepelters are not the only face of the youth in this troubled state. The four represent the J&K's new-age youth. They seek their state's development, more job opportunities and openly cheer India.

"It's time J&K's youth understand that those who ask them to turn into stone-pelters are instigators, not wellwishers. Poonch has seen no industry. The first thing that comes to mind is to bring rail connectivity and the knitwear industry to my region," says Usman.

Their parents are proud their children took on the twin challenges — first to convince them to venture beyond their home-state, and then to prepare for the engineering exams in Delhi. "Since childhood, we've heard only gunshots, tales of infiltration and war. We're glad our kids have stayed away from militancy .They pursue real careers," says Hilal's father Riyaz.

While two of the four sets of parents have taught kids at schools for free, Aqib's father has worked in remote villages as anaesthetist.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jammu/Line-of-Control-villages-send-4-boys-to-IITs/articleshow/55395050.cms

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Africa

A Muslim teacher receives an anonymous note about her headscarf: ‘Hang yourself with it’

By Kristine Guerra November 12 at 2:52 PM

A Muslim teacher in a Georgia high school said someone left her an anonymous note in her classroom on Friday, telling her that her “headscarf isn’t allowed anymore.”

The note, scribbled in black ink, also told her to “tie” her headscarf around her neck and “hang yourself with it.”

The note ended with the word “America” along with a drawing of the American flag.

Mairah Teli, a teacher at Dacula High School in Gwinnett County, located outside Atlanta, posted a picture of the note to her Facebook page Friday.

“As a Muslim, I wear a headscarf as a practice of my faith. I want to share this to raise awareness about the reality and climate of our community. Spreading hate isn’t going to ‘make America great again,’” she wrote.

Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Schools, said in a statement that school officials are working to find out who wrote the note.

“We take a threat against a staff member a serious matter,” Roach said.

It’s unclear at this time whether the person who wrote it was inspired by Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, but Teli’s post on Facebook assumed as much.

[University of Oklahoma student suspended after racist social media sent to black UPenn freshmen]

“I feel children feel safe making comments that are racist or sexist because of him,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The incident comes as similar incidents involving harassment and hateful messages against people from certain backgrounds were reported in other parts of the country following Trump’s victory. On the campaign trail, the president-elect had promised to keep Muslims from entering the United States. He later backed off from a complete ban, saying his proposal would keep immigrants from countries that have been “compromised by terrorism.”

In his victory speech, Trump kept a unifying tone and promised to be “president of all Americans” — a departure from his campaign rhetoric.

“He said, ‘We’re going to calm the waters. We’re going to bring people together,'” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox News on Wednesday morning.

But the aftermath of the election is anything but calm, as waves of anti-Trump protests — some more violent than others — spread across the country. Protests continue Saturday, four days after the election.

[‘It’s now or never’: How anti-Trump protests spread across the U.S.]

Trump echoed his victory speech in a tweet:

 Follow

 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

This will prove to be a great time in the lives of ALL Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!

8:35 PM - 12 Nov 2016

  45,977 45,977 Retweets   168,066 168,066 likes

But division and vitriol seem to have intensified in the past few days.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there have been more than 200 incidents of harassment and intimidation since Trump was elected. Many were directed toward African Americans, immigrants, Muslims and the LGBT community.

The nonprofit group tallied individual incidents reported on the news and on social media, as well as those reported directly to the organization’s website. The center, however, cautioned that not all incidents involved direct references to Trump, and not every incident could be independently verified. Many of the incidents were vandalisms, while others involved direct attacks.

In Ohio, a Muslim woman, her children and elderly parents were threatened by a man while they were stopped at a traffic light, according to the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The man allegedly approached the family’s car, banged on the window, and told the woman that she “doesn’t belong in this country” — while yelling obscenities and taking pictures of her children.

[Video shows Pennsylvania teenagers celebrating, shouting ‘white power’ after Trump win]

In Pennsylvania, students were seen on video holding a Trump sign and parading through the hallways of their York County school. One student shouted “white power,” police said. Minority students at the York County School of Technology said the harassment has been an issue for a month but has gotten worse since Trump was elected.

Victorria Markle, who is part black, told the York Dispatch that other students have called her the n-word and have threatened to kill her. Eibreha Drayden, who is part Mexican, said students have called her “Papi” and whistled at her like a dog.

In Michigan, students at Royal Oak Middle School chanted “build the wall” during lunch period in their school’s cafeteria. A Facebook video that appears to show the incident had been viewed 10 million times as of Saturday.

[Middle schoolers chant ‘build that wall’ during lunch in aftermath of Trump win]

In Georgia’s DeKalb County, located next to the county where Teli teaches, a teacher was removed from class after allegedly going on a racist tirade against undocumented immigrants, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Washington Post was unable to immediately contact Teli on Saturday.

Teli, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is a California native who grew up in Gwinnett County and teaches language arts at Dacula High School.

She told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that after receiving the note, she told her students that she would be happy to speak with them about why she wears a headscarf.

“We are living in a time with a lot of disagreement, a lot of conflict,” Teli said, adding that it’s important to teach students to disagree peacefully and respectfully.

washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/11/12/a-muslim-teacher-receives-an-anonymous-note-about-her-headscarf-hang-yourself-with-it/

 

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