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Islamic World News ( 5 Jan 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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KP Govt Offers Rs10mn Bounty for TTP's Mullah Fazlullah

 

 

 

 

Members of an honour guard stand at attention at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier on Iraqi Army Day. A suicide blast and subsequent clashes with IS militants killed at least 23 troops and allied Sunni fighters

  

 

Pakistan

KP Govt Offers Rs10mn Bounty for TTP's Mullah Fazlullah

Taliban commander used LinkedIn to recruit?

The offer that wasn't: How Pak FM bungled up on 'US aid'

Eight of Sindh’s 33 ATCs acquitted all the suspects they tried in 15 months

NA approves 21st Constitutional Amendment

Bahria Town denies link with any religious, political group

Four Pakistani civilians killed in firing along India border

JUI-F, JI rattle govt on military courts law

Govt officials among nine kidnapped in Balochistan

Army to help implement Action Plan in KP, says COAS

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Arab World

23 Iraq Troops, Sunni Fighters Killed In Clashes with Islamic State

Gunmen Shoot Dead 2 Police Officers in Eastern Egypt

Syria Tells UN That Mccain And Former Diplomats Visited Illegally

Saudi Arabia refuses visa for Turkey’s ‘rock singer imam’

Saudi border guards killed in attack

Bahrain arrest of Sheikh Salman unconstitutional: Opposition groups

Saudi youth agog over Korean music and TV

Egyptian Christians detained in Libya freed: Source

'Morocco envoy leaves Egypt amid tensions'

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Mideast

Turkish Govt Gives Go-Ahead for First Church in Century

Turkey, US to Sign Deal on Training Syrian Militants

Secret Mass-Executions of Drug-Convicts in Iran

Hamas opposed to Abbas’ resubmission of UN bid

Rafsanjani slams certain states for supporting ISIL

Iran favours security coop. with Afghanistan: Official

IRGC arrests terrorist group in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan

Visiting Al-Aqsa ‘every Muslim’s right’

KSA to help in Gaza reconstruction

3 Prisoners Hanged at Central Prison of Zahedan

Iran: Seven prisoners secretly hanged in Orumieh prison

Iran: Four prisoners hanged, 10 transferred to await execution

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North America

Muslim Prison Guard Alleges Years of Slurs and Taunts from Co-Workers at Folsom

No US clean chit to Pak on fight against terror

Jury selection begins in Boston bombing trial

No Kerry-Lugar fund for Pakistan since 2013: US

Americans want troops to stay in Afghanistan

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India

7 Youths Arrested For Displaying Banner with Pakistani Flag

Attack on Muslims on Sunday Night Was Planned: Chairman Minority Panel

India to release report on ‘terror boat’

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Southeast Asia

High Court Rejects Kassim Ahmad's Bid to Quash Jawi Arrest

Former Aides of Ex-Selangor MB to Legally Challenge Severance Pay Issue

Marriage certificate of Awie and wife fake, court hears

US embassy issues threat warning for Indonesia’s second biggest city

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South Asia

Confined Khaleda Announces Nonstop BLOCKADE

Taliban attack EU vehicle in Kabul; passerby dies

Four killed in BD as Khaleda stopped from leading anti-Hasina rally

 ‘BNP-Jamaat’ men pound cops’ heads with bricks in Rajshahi

Afghanistan seeks NATO info on unexploded ordnance

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Africa

Niger Border Region Fears Boko Haram Incursion

Tunisian policeman stabbed to death by terrorists

US charges two men over Gambia coup bid

Al-Shabab claims deadly Somalia car bombing

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Europe

Bulgaria to extradite three would-be militants to Spain

German anti-Muslim protesters rally despite Merkel plea

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kp-govt-offers-rs10mn-bounty-for-ttp-s-mullah-fazlullah/d/100881

 

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Pakistan

 

KP govt offers Rs10mn bounty for TTP's Mullah Fazlullah

January 6th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday announced a bounty worth Rs10 million rupees (US$100,000) for information leading to the arrest or death of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief, Mullah Fazlullah, officials said.

“The provincial government has set a bounty of Rs10 million for any information/help that can lead to the arrest or killing of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah,” a senior official in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government told AFP, requesting anonymity.

He said that the KP government had prepared a list of 615 high profile militants and was offering a combined bounty of Rs760 million (US$7.5 million).

The official said the list also includes Mangal Bagh, chief of Lashkar-i-Islam, a Taliban-linked militant group operating in the Khyber tribal district.

Mushtaq Ghani, the provincial information minister confirmed the bounty.

Meanwhile, the country's parliament deferred voting on legislation regarding the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases until Tuesday, after the chief of a religious party objected to the contents of the national plan of action.

The bill will be presented in parliament on Tuesday for voting, after which military courts will be made legal. At present the military courts deal only with cases related to the military.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases after a deadly Taliban attack on military-run school in Peshawar that killed more than 148 people, 134 of them children.

Also read: Nawaz removes moratorium on death penalty

The prime minister also ended the country's six-year-old moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases last month in the wake of the slaughter at the school.

Seven convicted militants have been hanged since the de facto ban on capital punishment ended.

Six of those executed were found guilty of trying to assassinate the then-military dictator Musharraf in Rawalpindi in 2003 and the seventh was sentenced in connection with a 2009 attack on the army headquarters.

Officials have said they plan to hang 500 convicts in the coming weeks, drawing condemnation from international human rights campaigners.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155276/kp-govt-offers-rs10mn-bounty-for-ttps-mullah-fazlullah

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Taliban commander used LinkedIn to recruit?

Agencies

New Delhi, January 05, 2015 , A senior Taliban commander, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has been caught using professional networking site LinkedIn in an apparent bid to recruit terrorists.

Ehsan, who made 69 connections, claimed he was a spokesperson for the ruthless Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and listed 'jihad and journalism' as his skills on his LinkedIn account, British newspapers reported on Sunday.

The account was taken down by the company on Friday after it was approached by reporters from The Sunday Telegraph, who saw Ehsan's claims.

A spokesperson for LinkedIn said the company's security team had decided to 'restrict' the account and it would no longer be in operation. She also said there was suspicion that it was a fake account, pointing to the 'lack of Taliban recruiting messages'.
Ehasan's Taliban splinter group in Pakistan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, had threatened to attack Britain in October to retaliate against the arrest of Anjem Choudary, a radical Islamist cleric and eight other extremists in London.

Ehsan formed Jamaat-ul-Ahrar along with former commanders of the the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan wing of the Taliban. The group declared their separation in August 2014.

The newly-formed terror group was blamed for the devastating suicide bombing on the Attari-Wagah border in Pakistan last November that left at least 61 dead.

Days after the attack, Ehsan issued a series of tweets, including one that identified the bomber and another that threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He had his Twitter account suspended after the incident, but now operates using a different name.

When he was with the TTP, Islamabad had declared a $650,000 bounty on his head after he boasted of the Taliban's hand in the attack on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in October 2012 for wanting to go to school.

After the attack, Ehsan said: “She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol. She was young, but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/taliban-commander-ehsanullah-ehsan-used-linkedin-to-recruit/article1-1303401.aspx#sthash.Fz6Wkxcd.dpuf

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The offer that wasn't: How Pak FM bungled up on 'US aid'

Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times

Washington, January 06, 2015

Pakistan blew this one and cheaply.

Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar was told of a civilian aid package of $532 million in a private conversation by US ambassador Richard Olson on December 29.

The Pakistani foreign ministry promptly put out a statement about it within hours of that conversation. And soon it was the leading headline in Pakistani media.

Americans were in holiday mood then — no one really works then, even those on duty — and did not see it, not in Islamabad, which was apparently short-staffed then, not in Washington DC.

For a week, Pakistan relished the aid, or the prospect of it. Until Monday, when America returned to work.

"Congress has not been notified of a request (for fresh assistance for Pakistan under the KLB act)," said state department spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday.

She went on to dismiss any suggestion, in news reports that caused the clarification, that the aid was cleared because the US approved progress made by Pakistan on counter-terrorism.

The money was gone with the certification.

It seems, based on multiple off-the-record interviews with officials and congressional aides, the US may have been working on a civilian aid package for Pakistan. And Olson conveyed it to the Pakistanis in preparation for a coming visit by secretary of state John Kerry, which also went off the table on Monday.

President Barack Obama is traveling to India for the Republic Day parade — as the first American chief guest — and Pakistan has privately, and publicly, felt aggrieved.

Much was made in Pakistan, therefore, about a call from Obama to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to let him know shortly after India and the US announced his visit.

A tour by Kerry with a half-billion dollar aid package could have helped. And the US wanted to — the draw-down in Afghanistan is top on the list of its priorities for relations with Pakistan.

But the finance ministry misread the meeting with Olson.

The US has completely denied there is an aid package coming. In fact, sources said they were bewildered by the number — $532 million.

"Where has that come from?" asked an official.

This may be theatre to save a blundered situation. But multiple sources confirmed Monday that the administration is yet to propose a financial assistance package for Pakistan.

Under the KLB Act (Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act), passed in 2009 and amended later, any aid to Pakistan — civilian or non-civilian (military, security related) is conditional upon the administration certifying that Pakistan was "cooperating with the United States in counterterrorism efforts against the Haqqani Network, the Quetta Shura Taliban, Lashkar e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, al Qaeda, and other domestic and foreign terrorist organisations, including taking steps to end support for such groups and prevent them from basing and operating in Pakistan and carrying out cross border attacks into neighboring countries". And there are other conditions, such as prevention of nuclear proliferation.

But to give the administration flexibility the law allowed it to seek waiver of those conditions in national security interest, only for security-related aid in the original law, extended to cover all kinds of assistance in 2012.

Apart from a "blank certification" of Pakistan fulfilling all stipulated conditions in 2012, assistance under this act has been cleared mostly on the basis of waivers.

The US "employed the national interest waiver provided for in the legislation in part because the criterion … required to be met has not been met", said the state department spokesperson.

That may well be the course adopted for clearing the next tranche — Pakistan is supposed to get $1.5 billion every year under the KLB act — whenever that happens.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/how-pakistan-finance-ministry-bungled-us-aid-offer/article1-1303709.aspx#sthash.p4aRxQBI.dpuf

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Eight of Sindh’s 33 ATCs acquitted all the suspects they tried in 15 months

Ishaq Tanoli

January 6th, 2015

KARACHI: With a conviction rate of nearly 32 per cent, the antiterrorism courts in Sindh have disposed of 798 cases between September 2013 and November 2014 while around 2,700 cases are still pending, it emerged on Monday.

The statistics of 33 ATCs in the province showed that of the 798 disposed of cases, accused were acquitted in 543 cases and convicted in 255 cases.

Eight of the total ATCs had a cent per cent acquittal rate in the 15-month period.

The ATCs were established under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 for speedy trial of cases pertaining to terrorism, sectarian killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.

According to Section 19 (7) of the ATA, the court shall, on taking cognizance of a case, proceed with the trial from day to day and shall decide the case within seven days. Section 13 (2) of the law said that the cases shall be assigned to a court on the basis of one case at a time.

However, a huge backlog of cases is one of the main reasons behind an inordinate delay in their disposal. The number of pending cases before the ATCs of the province is 2,697.

The province has 18 permanent ATCs, including nine in Karachi and one each in Hyderabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur and Kashmore/Kandhkot.

In March 2013, the government on the directives of the apex court had given 15 sessions courts in Karachi the additional task of acting as ATCs and trying the cases falling within the ambit of the ATA to clear the backlog of cases.

The provincial government has recently set up ATC-X at Karachi, but the court has yet to try the cases for want of a prosecutor.

The figures showed that ATC/1st ADJ South, ATC/2nd ADJ South, ATC/3rd ADJ South, ATC/1st ADJ West, ATC/1st ADJ East, ATC/2nd ADJ East, ATC/2nd ADJ Malir and ATC Shaheed Benazirabad had a zero conviction rate.

The ATCs in Karachi have disposed of 290 cases —150 acquittals and 140 convictions — during the 15-months period, while 1,782 cases are still pending.

Of the 140 guilty verdicts, 62 cases relate to illicit weapons possession, 23 to extortion, 22 to kidnapping for ransom, 17 to murder, 11 to attempted murder and five to possession of explosives.

The 15 sessions courts currently holding trial in ATA cases decided 43 cases during the 15-month period with 36 acquittals and seven convictions.

According to the official figures, the ATC-I disposed of 74 cases with 31 guilty verdicts; ATC-II 65 cases with 41 convictions; ATC-III 15 cases with four conviction; ATC-IV 37 cases with 18 convictions; ATC-V 67 cases with 29 convictions; ATC-VII three cases with one conviction; ATC-VIII 11 cases with five convictions and ATC-IX decided 18 cases with 11 convictions. ATC-VI did not dispose of any case.

Four of the ATCs — ATC-VI to IX — were established in September 2014, while the ATC-VI was lying vacate since November 2014.

The ATC Hyderabad decided 83 cases and gave 18 guilty verdicts; ATC Badin disposed of 76 cases with 17 convictions; ATC Mirpurkhas 22 cases with eight convictions; ATC Shaheed Benazirabad 39 cases with no conviction; ATC Khairpur 59 cases with 22 convictions; ATC Sukkur 43 cases with six convictions; ATC Larkana 56 cases with 13 convictions; ATC Shikarpur 46 cases with 18 convictions and ATC Kashmore/Kandhkot disposed of 41 cases with six convictions.

More than 10 cases have still been awaiting disposal in the ATCs for the past one decade. The case against a suspected militant of Jundullah, Qasim Toori, who had allegedly masterminded the 2004 attack on a convoy of the then Karachi corps commander, a 2003 murder case against accused Shahnawaz, 2006 Nishtar Park bombing case, a 2001 case pertaining to the killing of the elder brother of former Sindh governor Moinuddin Haider against alleged Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants and around five sectarian killing cases of 2002 against LJ militants are still pending before ATCs.

Legal experts blamed defective investigations and a lack of protection to witnesses for low conviction rate.

Advocate M. R. Syed said that the investigation officers were not properly trained and their defective investigation mainly led to the acquittal of the accused persons.

The government must arrange training programmes for the IOs and prosecutors in order to improve the conviction rate, he added.

Senior lawyer Mushtaq Ahmed was of the view that the cases were not being investigated properly, as the police created evidence instead of honestly collecting it. Besides, the police foisted connected cases such as police encounter, illicit weapons and explosive substances on the accused, which eventually result in acquittal in the main case, he added.

Lack of protection for witnesses and other people connected with the trial also damage the cases of the prosecution.

Sindh’s former prosecutor general and senior lawyer Shahadat Awan said that lacunas in the investigation benefited the accused party.

Besides, he said, there was a shortage of IOs and prosecutors.

He said that the government had sanctioned 400 posts for investigation and law officers for the police department and these positions must be filled immediately in order to improve the performance of the investigating agencies.

Mr Awan said that the recruitment of prosecutors, legal assistant for police and protection of witnesses were also necessary to improve the conviction rate.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155170/eight-of-sindhs-33-atcs-acquitted-all-the-suspects-they-tried-in-15-months

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NA approves 21st Constitutional Amendment

January 6th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment unopposed after 245 members of National Assembly voted in favour of the law aimed to set up constitutionally protected military courts to try civilian terrorism suspects, said NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Members of the National Assembly belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F) abstained from voting.

The two bills – the Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) — were expected to have been passed a day earlier but voting was deferred after the government fell short of the required two-thirds majority – 228 members – for the passage of the amendments.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, delivered the opening speech of the session during which he said that, "We have not been in favour of military courts in the past but the Pakistani public's safety is our priority and it is the governments responsibility to keep the masses safe in this country," the veteran Pakistan Peoples Party leader added.

"No matter who it is, no one can speak against religion. The country has been a victim of terrorism for a long time. It is a sin for us to even pass laws here which go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)."

Also read | Military courts: Parliament now taking its last breath, says Raza Rabbani

The opposition leader said that the Pakistani nation believes in unity and that terrorism must be dealt with.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155271/na-approves-21st-constitutional-amendment

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Bahria Town denies link with any religious, political group

January 6th, 2015

ISAMABAD : Apropos a news item published in Dawn on January 4 with the headline: ‘Lal Masjid’s expansionism, militant links alarms agencies’, Bahria Town has denied any association with any religious or political group.

The spokesperson for the housing scheme, Nida Zahoor, has said Lal Masjid was severely damaged during the 2007 operation and Bahria Town worked to renovate it and restore its sanctity.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155176/bahria-town-denies-link-with-any-religious-political-group

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Four Pakistani civilians killed in firing along India border

Imran Sadiq

January 6th, 2015

SIALKOT: Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling along the Working Boundary in Sialkot's Zafarwal and Shakargarh sectors on Monday killing four Pakistani civilians, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“2 more civilians embraced martyrdom due to Indian unprovoked firing and shelling,” the Pakistani military’s media wing said.

The ISPR said Indian border forces had resorted to shelling “on civilian population in Shakargarh sector in villages Sukhmaal, Bheke Chak and Bhurey Chak.”

“Exchange of firing continues. Pakistani troops [are] targeting Indian BSF positions which are firing in Pakistan area,” said the statement.

The latest casualties on Monday mounted the civilian death toll on the Pakistani to four.

Earlier, two civilians, including a woman and an 18-year-old boy died as a result of the firing, the ISPR had said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155068/four-pakistani-civilians-killed-in-firing-along-india-border

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JUI-F, JI rattle govt on military courts law

January 6th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Two religious parties and two smaller government allies seemed to have rattled the government in the National Assembly on Monday, opposing some religion-related passages of a key constitution amendment bill despite assurances from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that speedy trial military courts sought to be set up to try terrorists would be no kangaroo courts.

It was earlier expected that the Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Bill, tabled in the house on Saturday at military’s behest, would steer quickly without much ado after it was exempted from scrutiny by a house standing committee soon after its introduction, so it could go to the Senate on Tuesday.

But Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq allowed a previously unexpected debate after the government-allied Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F) expressed its reservations at a news conference before coming to the house.

The main opposition PPP also conveyed to the government its hesitation to vote for military courts on the 87th birth anniversary of its founder, executed former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155141/jui-f-ji-rattle-govt-on-military-courts-law

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Govt officials among nine kidnapped in Balochistan

January 6th, 2015

QUETTA: Suspected activists of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan kidnapped nine people, including government officials, in the past 24 hours.

“Nine people who were travelling in a passenger bus and a car have been kidnapped by armed men near Zhob,” Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said at a press conference here on Monday.

Armed men intercepted a Zhob-bound passenger bus coming from Quetta on Sunday and took away five people with them.

Sources said the kidnappers checked national identity cards of the passengers and separated five people, including government officials and a student of Bolan Medical College, Quetta, from the others.

The home minister said security forces had launched a search operation in Zhob and Qila Saifullah areas to recover the kidnapped people.

He said four other people, who were travelling to Quetta from Islamabad, were also kidnapped.

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but Mr Bugti said the TTP was involved in both incidents. “The Taliban are behind the kidnapping of nine people,” he said.

The minister said at least eight militants had been killed and over 15 arrested during a weeklong operation against the militants involved in kidnapping for ransom, attacking personnel of security forces and Frontier Works Organisation, target killings and bomb blasts in Kalat and Panjgur districts. “Two camps of the militants were destroyed in the operation,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155137/govt-officials-among-nine-kidnapped-in-balochistan

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Army to help implement Action Plan in KP, says COAS

January 06, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has assured the KP apex committee on the National Action Plan (NAP) that Army would give full support for judicious and speedy implementation of the plan to eliminate not only terrorists but also their abetters, facilitators and sympathisers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

He was addressing the meeting of Provincial Apex Committee for KP and FATA, which was held in Peshawar on Sunday.

Governor KP Sardar Mahtab Abbasi, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, senior provincial govt and FATA Secretariat Officials, DG ISI, IG Frontier Constabulary, Peshawar Corps Commander and IG Police KP attended the meeting.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/06-Jan-2015/army-to-help-implement-action-plan-in-kp-says-coas

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Arab World

 

23 Iraq troops, Sunni fighters killed in clashes with Islamic State

January 6, 2015 Iraqi officials say a suicide blast targeting security forces and subsequent clashes with Islamic State militants have killed at least 23 troops and allied Sunni fighters in the embattled western Province of Anbar.

The officials say a suicide bomber first struck a gathering of pro-government Sunni fighters near the town of al-Baghdadi on Tuesday morning. The town is about 180 km northwest of Baghdad.

Soon after, Islamic State extremists attacked nearby Army and police positions, setting off clashes.

Police and hospital officials say 23 were killed and 28 were wounded on the government side. They did not say give casualties on the militants’ side.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Islamic State kills 8 for ‘cooperating’ with govt.

Earlier in the day, the Islamic State group said it has killed eight men in Iraq’s Salahuddin Province north of Baghdad for allegedly cooperating with the government security forces and international airstrikes targeting the group.

A collection of photos posted late Monday on a Twitter account frequently used by the militants showed eight bearded men in orange jumpsuits with their hands tied behind their backs. Five were identified as police officers and two as informants, but no information was provided on the eighth victim.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/iraq-troops-sunni-fighters-killed-in-clashes-with-islamic-state/article6760534.ece

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Gunmen shoot dead 2 police officers in eastern Egypt

Jan 6, 2015

Unknown gunmen have shot dead two Egyptian police officers who were standing guard at a Coptic Christian church in a city south of the capital Cairo, local security sources say.

Egyptian security sources said the policemen were killed instantly on Tuesday after being shot by masked men in the city of Minya.

Earlier on Monday, a bomb attack wounded at least four police officers in the city of el-Arish, situated 344 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo.

The development came a day after Egyptian military forces killed seven militants and arrested 15 others during separate operations in the volatile Sinai.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391858/Gunmen-kill-2-Egyptian-police-in-Minya

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Syria tells UN that McCain and former diplomats visited illegally

January 6 2015

Syria has complained to the United Nations that U.S. Senator John McCain, former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and former U.S. diplomat Peter Galbraith entered the country without visas in separate visits in violation of its sovereignty.

Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the 15-member Security Council to pressure governments to take "the necessary measures against their nationals who enter Syrian territory illegally."

"Such actions are a blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty and of the resolutions of the Security Council concerning Syria," Ja'afari wrote in a letter dated Dec. 30 and seen by Reuters on Jan. 5.

He complained generally about "certain journalists and prominent figures" entering Syria illegally but singled out McCain for entering Syria in June 2013. McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, visited Syria in May 2013 and met with some Syrian rebels, his spokesman said at the time.

Ja'afari also cited Kouchner for visiting in November 2014, Galbraith for traveling to Syria in December 2014 with other U.S. political and military leaders, and former Kuwaiti politician Walid al-Tabtaba'i for entering Syria in September 2013.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-tells-un-that-mccain-and-former-diplomats-visited-illegally.aspx?pageID=238&nID=76536&NewsCatID=359

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Saudi Arabia refuses visa for Turkey’s ‘rock singer imam’

January/05/2015

A Turkish imam who sings in a rock band and attracted considerable media attention after releasing an album last year, has announced that Saudi Arabia refused to grant his request for a visa ahead of a scheduled concert in the Gulf country.

“Twice I have given concerts in the United States, a non-Muslim country. But the fact that an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia rejected my visa application is thought-provoking,” Ahmet Muhsin Tüzer told Doğan News Agency on Jan. 5.

Tüzer’s heady mixture of prayers, sermons and rock ‘n’ roll brought him some media notoriety in Turkey, and he has been giving concerts both at home and abroad since 2013 when he formed his band, “FiRock.”

Following a nine-month internal investigation last year, his employer the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) issued only a “warning” to Tüzer, which he hailed for showing the “tolerance” of Turkey’s religious body.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/saudi-arabia-refuses-visa-for-turkeys-rock-singer-imam.aspx?pageID=238&nID=76525&NewsCatID=341

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Saudi border guards killed in attack

05 Jan 2015

Attackers have killed two border guards and injured another near Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq in a shooting and suicide assault, according to the kingdom's Interior Ministry.

The attackers opened fire on a border patrol near the city of Arar early on Monday, the ministry said.

When security officers responded, one of the attackers was captured and detonated an explosives belt, the ministry said in a brief statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It said another attacker was killed by security forces but did not specify the number of assailants.

Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, who has been covering the conflict in Iraq, says the attack was probably carried out by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.

"ISIL has attacked the border before," he said.

"ISIL has long held that the Saudi royal family doesn't have legitimacy and therefore is a target.

"This attack is only likely to strengthen the resolve of Riyadh and Baghdad to strengthen relations, which includes reopening the Saudi embassy in Baghdad which has been shut for nearly 25 years, and to fight ISIL."

But Saudi's Interior Ministry said that it would not know which group was responsible until it had identified the remains of the attackers, a process it said would take some time.

Saudi Arabia has joined the US-led alliance against ISIL and is participating - along with Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - in air strikes in Syria, with logistical support from Qatar.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/01/saudi-border-guards-killed-attack-20151573425245939.html

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Bahrain arrest of Sheikh Salman unconstitutional: Opposition groups

Jan 6, 2015

Bahrain’s opposition groups have condemned the arrest of the country’s top opposition figure Sheikh Ali Salman as “unconstitutional.”

In a joint statement on Tuesday, several movements, including the National Democratic Action Society and the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, rejected the accusations leveled against Sheikh Salman, saying they violate the constitution.

Seeking regime change is one of the four charges formally brought against Shiekh Salman, who is also the secretary general of the Al-Wefaq.

The opposition groups said that the arrest of Salman was aimed at “targeting the principle of political activities.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391870/Bahrain-govt-arrest-of-Salman-illegal

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Saudi youth agog over Korean music and TV

6 January 2015

Increasing numbers of Saudi youngsters are watching Korean television serials and music shows on the Internet, rather than the traditional staple of those produced in Turkey, a researcher has found.

The most popular are Boys over Flowers and Sorry, I Love You, which are dubbed or translated into various languages, including Arabic. They are either downloaded or streamed from various Internet sites. Many youths are also trying to learn the basics of the Korean language.

Khaled Jalban, a family and community medicine consultant, said that the growing popularity of shows from Western and other cultures are an indication that young Arabs are losing contact with their own culture.

“We are not against the learning of foreign languages but we are opposed to Western customs and traditions taking a foothold in our midst and this language becoming part of our lives.” Jalban believes these youth do not have self-confidence.

He commended the efforts of several organizations to promote local culture among young people, which would help prevent them from losing their Islamic and Arab identities. He said Mexican, Turkish and Korean customs can influence young Saudis and create a barrier between them and their communities in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/685241

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Egyptian Christians detained in Libya freed: Source

Jan 6, 2015

Thirteen Coptic Christians from Egypt who were held in Libya’s coastal city of Sirte a few days ago have been freed, a tribal leader says.

"The Egyptians were held by a group that deals in illegal people smuggling, because of a dispute involving money and transportation to the Harawa region east of Sirte," Muftah Marzuq, the head of the council of elders in Sirte, said on Monday.

On Saturday, a source close to the Libyan government accused the Ansar al-Sharia militant group of kidnapping the Christians, adding that seven other Egyptian Christians had also been seized over the past few days in Libya.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391863/Egypt-Christians-held-in-Libya-freed

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'Morocco envoy leaves Egypt amid tensions'

Jan 6, 2015

Moroccan Ambassador to Egypt Mohammed Saad Alami has reportedly returned to his country amid rising tensions between Rabat and Cairo.

Tensions between the two Arab capitals intensified in recent days after two Moroccan state TVs broadcast a program criticizing the Egyptian government.

In the program, former Egyptian army leader and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was called “the coup leader,” while former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013, was named the country’s “democratically-elected president.”

It was the first time for Moroccan state media to describe the Egyptian army’s ouster of Morsi as a “coup.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391852/Morocco-envoy-leaves-Egypt-amid-tension

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Mideast

 

Turkish govt gives go-ahead for first church in century

January 6th, 2015

ANKARA: Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government has authorised the building of the first church in the country in nearly a century, officials said on Saturday.

The church is for the tiny Syriac community in Turkey and will be built in the Istanbul suburb of Yesilkoy on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, which already has Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Catholic churches.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Turkey’s religious leaders in Istanbul on Friday and said no faith that has lived in the country could be regarded as foreign.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1154965/turkish-govt-gives-go-ahead-for-first-church-in-century

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Turkey, US to finalise Syrian rebel training in January in order to battle IS

5 January 2015

Turkey and the United States aim to finalise an agreement on equipping and training moderate Syrian rebels in January, a senior foreign ministry official said on Monday, part of the US-led campaign to battle Islamic State militants.

The training is expected to start in March, simultaneously with similar programmes in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the Turkish official said. The aim is to train 15,000 Syrian rebels over three years. "Around 1,500 to 2,000 people are expected to be trained in Turkey (in the first year)," the official said, adding that a "limited number" of US soldiers would come to Turkey to help carry out the training jointly with Turkish colleagues. The training is planned to take place at a base in the central Turkish city of Kirsehir.

Islamic State militants, who implement a hardline version of Sunni Islam, have seized large swathes of territory in Syria and around one third of Iraq. They seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, in June 2014. Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the US-ledcoalition against the insurgents, refusing a frontline military role despite its 1,200 km border with Iraq and Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-turkey-us-to-finalise-syrian-rebel-training-in-january-in-order-to-battle-islamic-state-2049935

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Secret Mass-Executions of Drug-Convicts in Iran

DECEMBER 30, 2014

Tens of prisoners have been executed in the past few months in the prison of Kerman (Southeastern Iran) and their executions have not been announced by the official media. Most of the prisoners have been convicted of drug-related charges. It is not known how long these executions have been going on but it is certain that the executions are not limited only to the past few months. Iran Human Rights (IHR) is investigating further details of the executions.

Iran Human Rights, December 28, 2014: At least 33 prisoners have been executed in the prison of Kerman since August 2014, according to sources Iran Human Rights(IHR) has been in contact with. The prisoners have often been executed in groups of 6-8 at a time, according to these sources. Except for one prisoners who was charged with murder, all the other prisoners had been sentenced to death for drug-related charges.  No executions in the prison of Kerman has been reported by the official Iranian sources in this period.

Human rights groups have reported secret mass-executions of prisoners convicted of drug-related charges in several Iranian prisons in the pas few months. These prisons include Ghezelhesar Prison of Karaj, prison of Bandar Abbas, prison of Zahedan, prison of Urmia and Adelabad prison of Shiraz.

Full report at:

http://iranhr.net/2014/12/secret-mass-executions-of-drug-convicts-in-kerman-prison-southeastern-iran/

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Hamas opposed to Abbas’ resubmission of UN bid

Jan 5, 2015

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has criticized Mahmoud Abbas’ plans for resubmitting a bid to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on ending Israeli occupation.

A spokesman for Hamas on Monday said the plan to re-file a resolution on ending Israeli occupation would be “political foolishness.”

Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas is totally opposed to any attempt by the Palestinian Authority to go back to the UNSC.

He described such a potential move as a “dangerous game” with the destiny of the Palestinian nation.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/01/05/391776/Hamas-wants-Abbas-to-end-UN-bid

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Rafsanjani slams certain states for supporting ISIL

Jan 6, 2015

The chairman of Iran's Expediency Council says certain states’ support for the ISIL Takfiri terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria is politically imprudent.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday that such a policy widens rifts between Muslims and strengthens the terrorist groups in various parts of the Islamic world.

“The result of discord (among Muslims) strengthens groups like ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Nusra Front, Wahhabis and Salafis,” Rafsanjani said in a meeting in Tehran with Ammar Hakim, the chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

Rafsanjani called on prominent Shia and Sunni clerics to take care of the unity and integrity of the Muslim community and prevent the enemies from sowing discord among the Muslims.

Hakim, for his part, elaborated on the increasing unity between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq, which, as he said, has “infuriated” the enemies.

“Despite internal disagreements, Iraq believes in the principle of democracy and is committed to its necessities,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391841/Supporting-ISIL-politically-imprudent

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Iran favors security coop. with Afghanistan: Official

Jan 6, 2015

A senior Iranian official has underlined the need for extensive and strategic cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan and the continuation of security consultations between the two neighboring countries.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a Monday meeting with Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar in Tehran, where the Iranian official underscored the achievement of lasting solutions for the establishment of security along the joint border of the two countries.

Shamkhani pointed to the historical and cultural commonalities between Iran and Afghanistan as the main deterrent factor in the face of the divisive policies of the enemies of both countries.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Shamkhani said that the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan would serve as a suitable opportunity for the country’s army and security forces to prove their capabilities in defending national interests and countering terrorism.

The Iranian official said that the spread of insecurity and terror has been a long-time policy of certain powers to undermine the national capacities and regional standings of Muslim countries to justify their military, economic and political interference.

“The era of using terrorism as an instrument for meddling in the region and advancing colonialist objectives is over,” Shamkhani said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391836/Iran-favors-security-coop-with-Kabul

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IRGC arrests terrorist group in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan

Jan 5, 2015

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it has arrested a terrorist group in the southeast of the country.

According to the IRGC on Monday, the members of the terrorist group were arrested in the region of Sarbaz in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan.

The terrorists are behind the killing of several teachers and Basij volunteer forces in the area.

The Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province has been the scene of a number of terrorist attacks in recent years.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/05/391712/Terrorist-group-detained-in-southeast-Iran

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Visiting Al-Aqsa ‘every Muslim’s right’

6 January 2015

JERUSALEM: The head of the world’s largest Islamic organization on Monday paid a rare visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, urging Muslims to follow suit and come to the city in a bid to strengthen Palestinian claims to the holy site.

The visit by Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, came at a sensitive time following months of tensions and violence surrounding the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City. The hilltop compound is revered by Muslims.

Al-Aqsa is Islam’s third-holiest site after Makkah and Madinah.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/685271

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KSA to help in Gaza reconstruction

6 January 2015

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, has promised the Palestinian government that the Kingdom would support the reconstruction of Gaza.

At a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Riyadh on Monday, the crown prince said that Saudi Arabia was committed to helping the Palestinians speed up the rebuilding process, which was caused by Israel’s unjustified war.

The two sides discussed ways to support Jerusalem, particularly the health and education sectors, and to ensure Palestinians living in the holy city remain in their homes.

Hamdallah thanked the crown prince for the continued support of the Saudi government. He said Saudi political and financial support has helped strengthen the resilience of the Palestinian people, particularly those living in the Gaza Strip.

Hamdallah briefed the crown prince on the latest political and economic developments, including efforts to raise funds for the reconstruction of Gaza.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/685246

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3 Prisoners Hanged at Central Prison of Zahedan

29th December, 2014

HRANA News Agency – In the morning of 27th December, 3 prisoners were executed at the yard of Central prison of Zahedan by hanging.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), at the dawn of 27th December, 3 prisoners were executed in the yard of Central Prison of Zahedan by hanging.

Bahram Balouchi was one of them who were sentenced to death on charge of corruption on earth and Mohammad Paseban, the other prisoner, was charged with drug related crimes.

There is no information about the third prisoner’s name and his accusations, so far.

Full report at:

https://hra-news.org/en/3-prisoners-hanged-central-prison-zahedan#more-11714

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Iran: Seven prisoners secretly hanged in Orumieh prison

30 December 2014 20:23

NCRI – The Iranian regime’s henchmen hanged a group of seven prisoners on Monday in the main prison in the city of Orumieh in northwestern Iran.

Those executed were residents of Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Shiraz. No other information is available on the victims.

The clerical regime in Iran has refused to halt its cycle of atrocities and executions even during Christmas. The regime henchmen hanged at least seven prisoners in the Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on Christmas day.

On December 18 and 14, ten other prisoners were secretly hanged in same prison that it is known for being one with most appalling condition.

Meanwhile, a judiciary official of the Iranian regime rejected the international criticism of the regime’s high rate of execution related to drug charges and said: “No sentence can replace death verdict.”

Mohammadreza Habibi, the head of judiciary in Yazd province (central Iran) said on Saturday said: “Decisive dealing and executions would reduce the drug trafficking and intensify control in the country. And those bringing these materials [drugs] to the country should be severely punished.”

Full report at:

http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/human-rights/17736-iran-seven-prisoners-secretly-hanged-in-orumieh-prison

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Iran: Four prisoners hanged, 10 transferred to await execution

01 January 2015

NCRI - The clerical regime in Iran secretly executed four more prisoners this week in the cities of Noshahr and Shiraz.

Three prisoners were hanged early morning on Tuesday in Adelabad prison in city of Shiraz. At least one prisoner had been sentenced to death for drug-related crimes.

A prisoner hanged in the main prison of Noshahr was in his thirties and a resident of the town of Quchan.

Furthermore, a group of seven prisoners in Kerman and three prisoners in the city of Bandar Abbas were transferred to isolation on Wednesday to await their execution.

Meanwhile, an Iranian official has defended the regime's soaring execution rate for drugs offences under so-called 'moderate' President Hassan Rouhani.

Mohammadreza Habibi, the head of judiciary in Yazd province, said 'no sentence can replace the death verdict' as a means of reducing drug trafficking across the country.

He added: "There are some who are critical of the execution of drug traffickers. These should know that if there is no firmness and execution, drugs would be easily distributed across the country."

Full report at:

http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/human-rights/17741-iran-four-prisoners-hanged-10-transferred-to-await-execution

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North America

 

Muslim prison guard alleges years of slurs and taunts from co-workers at Folsom

01/05/2015

Alleging years of intense harassment and retaliation at New Folsom prison, Muslim correctional officer Elsiddig Elhindi has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state Corrections Department.

The lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was filed on Elhindi’s behalf Dec. 31 by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. It alleges that Elhindi, an immigrant from Sudan married to a U.S. citizen, endured numerous anti-Muslim slurs and taunts from co-workers at California State Prison, Sacramento, from early 2006 until the fall of 2014.

At a press conference at Sacramento CAIR offices Monday with his attorney, Brice Hamack, Elhindi, 56, said his complaints were at first ignored, and later prompted retaliation. Elhindi also filed charges with the department’s internal Equal Employment Opportunity Division and reported the harassment to supervisors numerous times, but alleged they were dismissive.

“The stress level is unbelievable – it amounts to emotional torture,” Elhindi said. He alleged that his co-workers tried to incite inmates against him, putting his life at risk.

“It never stopped,” he said.

Elhindi, an observant Muslim, prays five times a day, and his religion required him to pray two or three times daily at work, depending upon his shift, according to the lawsuit. Each prayer takes approximately two minutes to complete.

The suit alleges that once his co-workers realized he was Muslim, one co-worker asked: “Is your vest like ours, or is it a suicide bombing vest?” Another allegedly said: “Here is Elhindi, we need bomb-sniffing dogs.”

Full report at:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article5471484.html

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No US clean chit to Pak on fight against terror

Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times

Washington, January 05, 2015 The United States on Monday denied it had issued any certification on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and said no fresh request had been sent to Congress for assistance to that country.

US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson had announced last week Congress had notified a civilian assistance of $532 million for Pakistan, according to the Pakistani finance ministry.

News reports suggested this aid was cleared after US state department certified, as is the legal provision, that Pakistan had met all necessary conditions, including on terror.

“Congress has not been notified of a request (for fresh assistance for Pakistan),” said state department spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday. She also dismissed suggestions in reports implying US “approval of progress made” by the US.

Dealing with aid requests in the past, Psaki said, the state department “employed the national interest waiver provided for in the legislation in part because all the criterion … required to be met to be met has not been met”.

It is still not clear where that leaves $532 million assistance announced by the US ambassador — if it’s fresh fund, or the result of an earlier request.

Reacting to earlier reports, India had said it does “not believe that Pakistant is showing sustained commitment or making significant effort or ceasing support or dismantling bases of operations of the Laskhar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Haqqani network and quite possibly the al-Qaeda”.

The aid, given under Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, was announced last week in Islamabad by US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson at a meeting with finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Congressional sources said a request for waiver was indeed made in July 2014, but Psaki said the last waiver request was in 2013, and that’s when the last time assistance was released for Pakistan under this legislation.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/no-clean-chit-from-us-to-pakistan-on-terror/article1-1303660.aspx#sthash.lNjgEUHT.dpuf

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Jury selection begins in Boston bombing trial

06 Jan 2015

A US federal judge has began the process of selecting the jury that will hear the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev could get the death penalty if convicted of killing three people and injuring more than 260 others by detonating a pair of homemade bombs placed amid a crowd of thousands of spectators at the race's finish line on April 15, 2013.

The 21-year-old ethnic Chechen and naturalised US citizen has pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges against him.

Tsarnaev sat quietly between his lawyers during Monday's proceedings, looking down and fidgeting. He did not speak but nodded curtly at jurors when the judge pointed him out.

US District Judge George O'Toole acknowledged that people picked to be among the 12 jurors and six alternates will be aware of the bombing, but reminded prospective jurors that their job during the trial, expected to last three to four months, would be to consider only the evidence presented in court.

The judge told two groups of prospective jurors, each numbering around 200 people, that Tsarnaev is charged in connection with the marathon bombing and the fatal shooting of a police officer three days later.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2015/01/jury-selection-begins-boston-bombing-trial-201515215732691185.html

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No Kerry-Lugar fund for Pakistan since 2013: US

Anwar Iqbal

January 6th, 2015

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Monday that no funds have been issued to Pakistan from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman provision since 2013.

At a news briefing at the State Department, spokesperson Jen Psaki also rejected an Indian suggestion that it had issued a certification to Pakistan.

Last week, the Ministry of Finance announced in Islamabad that the US Congress had cleared an instalment of $532 million of civilian aid to Pakistan from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill.

The ministry said that they received the information from the US ambassador in Islamabad who met Pakistani officials last week to prepare for Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Islamabad later this month.

“Congress has not been notified of a request, Congress has not approved a request,” Ms Psaki told the briefing when asked to comment on statements issued in Islamabad and New Delhi.

She noted that some media reports had also suggested that an approval has been made in the past, which was incorrect, as no approval has been made from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill since 2013.

An additional funding, however, could not be ruled out in future, she said, adding that there were other provisions, besides Kerry-Lugar-Berman, that were used for providing funds to Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155205/no-kerry-lugar-fund-for-pakistan-since-2013-us

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Americans want troops to stay in Afghanistan

January 6th, 2015

WASHINGTON: More than half of Americans want the United States to keep its troops in Afghanistan after ending the combat mission, says a new opinion survey released on Sunday.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 54 per cent Americans also want those troops to conduct counter-insurgency operations, besides training Afghan security forces.

The results have surprised many as earlier surveys showed a steadily decline in support for the Afghan war.

Some surveys also showed that many in the United States were against keeping a small residual force in Afghanistan after the combat mission, which ended last week.

But the Post-ABC New survey shows that this trend is reversing, particularly among the Republicans with 66pc of them now favouring the war. And 52pc Democrats and 51pc independents also want to keep a small residual force in Afghanistan.

The Republicans now control both chambers of the US Congress and their support can translate into more funds for the war.

The survey also finds that after falling to record lows, support for the Afghanistan war has been rising steadily since 2013.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155103/americans-want-troops-to-stay-in-afghanistan

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India

 

7 Youths Arrested For Displaying Banner with Pakistani Flag

Jan 6, 2015

GWALIOR: Seven youths have been arrested here for allegedly putting up a banner with an image of Pakistani flag on it, police said on Tuesday.

Initially, six Muslims and a Hindu youth were booked for allegedly putting up the hoarding with the Pakistani flag printed on it on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi two days back after some Hindu organisations filed a complaint in this regard at the Kotwali police station.

After probing the matter, police arrested all of them on Monday and produced them in a court which sent them to fortnight-long judicial custody, inspector general, Gwalior Range, Adarsh Katiyar said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/7-youths-arrested-for-displaying-banner-with-Pakistani-flag/articleshow/45776779.cms

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Attack on Muslims on Sunday Night Was Planned: Chairman Minority Panel

By Zeeshan Shaikh

January 6, 2015

A day after the communal clashes at Parel, Byculla, Dadar and Worli, the State Minority Commission on Monday wrote to the Mumbai Police claiming that the assault on several Muslim youths at Lalbaug on Sunday night was a planned conspiracy aimed at instilling fear in the minds of members of the minority community.

“On Sunday night, those returning from a procession celebrating Prophet Mohammed’s birth anniversary were attacked. The visual evidence available shows that the incidents in Parel, Byculla, Dadar and Worli were pre-planned,” the minority panel’s chairman Munaf Hakim said in the letter. He further stated that an armed mob deliberately stopped and assaulted Muslims who were travelling in vehicles.

“The visual evidence clearly shows that a mob emerged from these localities and stopped cars and motorcycles and assaulted people,” the letter stated while demanding action against all those found to be involved in the incidents.

“These incidents have occurred in the same majority-dominated areas where such attacks have taken place earlier too. These attacks have been carried out to disturb the law and order situation in the state and also instil fear in the minds of the minorities,” Hakim said.

Byculla MLA Waris Pathan too claimed that members of the minority community were deliberately targeted. “Some people complained to me they were stopped because of their appearance and assaulted,” Pathan said.

However, Shiv Sena MLA Ajay Chaudhary, who was at the spot on Sunday night, refuted the charge. He claimed the clash was not because of an accident, as some people claimed, but because of behaviour of the bikers who were returning from the procession. “People returning from the procession abused people on the road. Firecrackers were thrown by these people towards those bystanders. They even surrounded a traffic warden at Bharatmata signal and were about to assault him. It was only then that the public got involved and assaulted some of them,” Chaudhary said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/attack-on-muslims-on-sunday-night-was-planned-says-panel/

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India to release report on ‘terror boat’

January 6th, 2015

NEW DELHI: Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar reiterated on Monday that the mysterious boat that blew itself off Porbander coast on New Year night had terror link and it was in constant touch with Pakistan.

Mr Parrikar was quoted as saying that the intercepts from the boat were investigated and the truth would come out in a few days. According to the Indian Express, however, he categorically said that he was not aware of what was inside the boat.

“Govt will release all analysis on the suspected Pakistani boat in 3-4 days,” he said.

The minister said the actions of the men on the boat backed what he had said.

“(I am) not speculating that it had explosives but it had some activity in mind that does not fit the description of a smuggling boat. Which smuggler would commit suicide? That much I can say,” Mr Parrikar said adding that their intentions were not right.
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Southeast Asia

 

High Court rejects Kassim Ahmad's bid to quash Jawi arrest

BY M. MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: January 6, 2015, Academician Kassim Ahmad (pic) has lost his judicial review application over his prosecution for allegedly insulting Islam.

High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad dismissed Kassim's challenge on Tuesday.

Kassim filed his application on June 26 requesting a court order to quash the decision of Federal Territory Syarie chief prosecutor Ibrahim Deris to charge him at the Putrajaya Syariah High Court in March.

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/01/06/Court-Kassim-Ahmad-Judicial-review/

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Former aides of ex-Selangor MB to legally challenge severance pay issue

BY AKIL YUNUS

PETALING JAYA: January 6, 2015, The eight aides of former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will mount a legal challenge against a letter from Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI) ordering them to return severance payments amounting to RM2.6mil.

Former MBI chief executive officer Faekah Husin (pic) said that all the recipients of the severance scheme would be consulting their lawyers to study the letter of demand before taking further action.

She denied that there were any financial irregularities or wrongdoing in the payments, as suggested in the findings of an audit report on the matter.

“Personally, I deny that the payment of the money under a Mutual Severance Scheme (MSS) was done wrongly and without obtaining approval, as claimed in the letter.

“The letter also fails to clearly specify any violation of laws and financial procedures, or any wrongdoing that occurred when they payment was made,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

She also criticised the new Selangor administration under Mentri Besar Azmin Ali for ‘transgressing its limits’ in the MSS issue, stating that the payment was made in a trustworthy and professional manner upon the agreement of all employees involved in the previous administration.

“The MSS approach was taken to allow the new government to pursue its own agenda and administration style without having to deal with employees from the previous team.

“I regret that the mutual agreement has now been breached by the new administration, and we hereby challenge that decision,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/01/06/Selangor-former-aides-challenge/

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Marriage certificate of Awie and wife fake, court hears

KUALA LUMPUR: January 6, 2015, Former Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department officer Yusoff Abu Bakar told the Syariah High Court here that the marriage certificate of singer Awie and his wife Rozana Misbun is a fake.

Asked by counsel Jamal Lokman Mohd Sulaiman, who is representing Awie's wife, Yusoff concurred with the question posed.

He said on July 4, a data search was made to verify the authenticity of the certificate using the Marriage, Divorce and Reconciliation online application system Penang E-Munakahat based on Rozana's name and identification card number.

"A third search was also made on July 8 but the search was based on the marriage certificate serial number applied by the applicant's husband, Ahmad Azhar Othman, which is Awie's real name.

"The result of the search showed only the serial number but it was in the name of another individual," said Yusoff who had direct knowledge of the false certificate of marriage as claimed by Rozana.

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/01/06/wings-awie-and-wife-marriage-cert-fake-court-hears/

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US embassy issues threat warning for Indonesia’s second biggest city

03 January, 2015

JAKARTA (AFP) - The US embassy in Indonesia warned Saturday of a potential threat against American interests in country s second biggest city Surabaya.

"The US Embassy has been made aware of a potential threat against US-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya, Indonesia," the embassy said in a statement published on its website.

"The US Embassy recommends heightened vigilance and awareness of one s surroundings when visiting such facilities," it added, without providing any further details.

Indonesia has waged a crackdown on extremist groups over the past decade following attacks against Western targets, including the 2002 Bali bombings -- a campaign that has been credited with weakening key networks.

Full report at:

http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/World/253255-US-embassy-issues-threat-warning-for-Indonesia%E2%80%99s

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South Asia

 

Confined Khaleda announces nonstop BLOCKADE

January 06, 2015

BNP chief Khaleda Zia yesterday called a countrywide blockade for an indefinite period from today to protest the government's not allowing her party and allies to hold rallies in the capital and elsewhere.

Having been confined to her Gulshan office since Saturday midnight, Khaleda made several efforts to come out yesterday afternoon, but law enforcers locked the main gate from outside and stood guard in several layers.

Cops also used pepper spray to disperse the party leaders and activists waiting inside the gate. Several BNP leaders and journalists were injured in the police action.

BNP leaders said Khaleda wanted to go to the party's central office at Nayapaltan, where leaders and activists were asked to gather for holding a rally to denounce the January 5 one-sided parliamentary election. The opposition party, which boycotted the polls last year, dubs the day as the “Democracy Killing Day”.

After the police action, the former prime minister announced the blockade of roads, railways and waterways across the country.

The blockade was called also to protest the BNP chairperson's confinement in her Gulshan office for the last two days and to demand a fresh general election under a nonparty administration.

"The blockade will continue until our demand is met," said a seemingly annoyed Khaleda, while talking to journalists at her office.

Ambulances, press vans, vehicles of fire brigade and utility services, and restaurants, hotels and drug stores will remain out of the purview of the blockade, party sources said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League and its various front organisations defied an indefinite police ban on political activities in the capital. They brought out processions and held rallies and human chains in many parts of the city to celebrate the day as the "Victory Day for Democracy”.

But the government took every measure to thwart the BNP's bid to hold any rally in the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/confined-khaleda-announces-nonstop-blockade-58498

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Taliban attack EU vehicle in Kabul; passerby dies

January 6th, 2015

KABUL: A Taliban suicide bomb hit a European Union police vehicle in Kabul on Monday, killing at least one passer-by, officials said, days after the Nato combat mission ended in Afghanistan.

The blast, which was heard across the city, was the first major attack since the New Year when US-led Nato forces were downgraded from a combat mission to support and training duties helping the Afghan army and police.

The European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (Eupol) works to improve the country’s police force, one of the many efforts to try to boost security as international troops withdraw. “A Eupol vehicle was involved in a vehicle-borne suicide attack whilst it was travelling east on the Jalalabad Road in Kabul,” the mission said in a statement.

“The vehicle’s occupants were uninjured.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155099/taliban-attack-eu-vehicle-in-kabul-passerby-dies

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Four killed in BD as Khaleda stopped from leading anti-Hasina rally

January 6th, 2015

DHAKA: Clashes between police and opposition activists and a separate attack by unidentified gunmen left at least four people dead in Bangladesh on Monday amid heightened tensions on the anniversary of elections boycotted by a major opposition alliance last year.

Two men on a motorbike opened fire on a group of anti-government activists in northwestern Bangladesh, killing two, while two others died in separate clashes elsewhere.

The shooting took place in Natore district, 160 kilometres northwest of the capital, Dhaka, which has remained largely cut off from the rest of the country since Sunday, said Aminul Haque, a leader of the local unit of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Police would not immediately confirm the identities of the dead, but Haque said they were activists from the party’s student wing.

The identities of the two men on the motorbike were not immediately known.

Separately, police and ruling party activists clashed with opposition activists in the northwestern districts of Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj, leaving two others dead and dozens injured, including police, police said.

In both cases police opened fire and used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing activists who attempted to march, ignoring a police ban. Similar violence was reported in the northeastern district of Chittagong, where the opposition said at least 300 party activists were arrested.

The Jan 5 elections last year were boycotted by a major opposition alliance led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Tensions heated up recently after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party said it would hold rallies to celebrate the anniversary, while Zia — her archrival — announced that anti-government protests would take place.

The violence, which follows a year of relative calm since last year’s elections, demonstrates that the country’s politics remain deeply divided. Zia denounced Monday’s police actions and asked her supporters to continue road, rail and waterway blockades across the country for an indefinite period.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1155101/four-killed-in-bd-as-khaleda-stopped-from-leading-anti-hasina-rally

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 ‘BNP-Jamaat’ men pound cops’ heads with bricks in Rajshahi

January 06, 2015

Alleged activists of BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami pounded two policemen with bricks on their heads in Rajshahi city to begin the non-stop countrywide blockade this morning.

Constables Shafiqul Islam and Abdul Kuddus were rushed to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital in a critical condition, reports our Rajshahi correspondent quoting police.

“The pro-blockade activists showered the policemen with brick chips. The two policemen sustained wounds and fell down. They pounded their heads brutally with bricks,” Rajshahi city police Additional Commissioner Sardar Tamijuddin told our correspondent.

A group of BNP-Jamaat activists brought out a procession in the Shalbagan area around 10:30am protesting on the road with burning tyres, the police official said.

A team of the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) said to have come to the rescue, but no one could be detained from the scene, according to the official.

Elsewhere in the country, reports came in of arson on a human-hauler in Dhaka which burned an Ansar man and BNP men clashed with police in Narayanganj in the morning.

In Dhaka, Ansar man Monowar Hossain was burned on his face and wrists when the vehicle was torched near Kadamtali’s Lalmasjid around 5:10am, said Md Abdus Salam Mia, officer-in-charge of Kadamtali Police Station. “He received primary treatments.”

A sub-inspector, who was present at the scene, requested anonymity to tell The Daily Star Online that about three-four youths broke the front window of the vehicle, under requisition of the police, and poured petrol before setting it on fire.

No one could be detained from the spot.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/bnp-jamaat-men-pound-cops-heads-with-bricks-in-rajshahi-58629

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Afghanistan seeks NATO info on unexploded ordnance

Jan 6, 2015

Afghanistan has called on US-led foreign forces to hand over more information about their unexploded ordnance (UXO) across the war-torn country.

Mohammad Sediq Rashid, the director of the Mine Action Coordination Center for Afghanistan (MACCA), said Tuesday that the information would save lives.

“They used weapons and they know that unexploded ordnance (UXO) will be left behind. This information is life-saving,” said Rashid.

Rashid added that Afghan authorities have raised the issue with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); but, so far, there has been no action.

He warned that if the US-led forces do not provide Afghans with more required coordinates and locations, lots of people, especially children, will lose their lives.

“If they gave us the location of where it happened, with the coordinates, it really helps. But we don’t get it. They have given some (information), but that’s not enough. They should give more,” he said.

Experts believe about 10 percent of all ammunition used by the US-led forces remain unexploded.

This leaves a deadly legacy for decades to come in Afghanistan after 13 years of the US-led war.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/06/391845/Afghanistan-seeks-NATO-info-on-UXO

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Africa

 

Niger border region fears Boko Haram incursion

January 06, 2015

NIAMEY – Towns in Niger are living in fear following the advance of extremist group Boko Haram into neighbouring northeast Nigeria, the mayor of a border town told AFP on Monday.

Boko Haram overran two Nigerian towns near Niger in October after fierce fighting with the Nigerian army. On Saturday, in one of its boldest moves yet, the militants seized control of a Nigerian military base in a series of blistering raids near Lake Chad, sending soldiers and civilians fleeing.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/06-Jan-2015/niger-border-region-fears-boko-haram-incursion

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Tunisian policeman stabbed to death by terrorists

5 January 2015

TUNIS: Suspected militants captured and killed a Tunisian police officer, stabbing him and slashing his throat as he traveled home off-duty south of the capital, the government said on Sunday.

Nine suspected militants were arrested after the officer was killed on Saturday night near El Fahes in the Zaghouan region, around 60 km southwest of Tunis, the interior ministry said.

Tunisia has been praised for its young democracy after its 2011 uprising toppled autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and allowed free elections and a new constitution.

But militants are waging a campaign against security forces, who are trying to flush them out from the Chaambi mountains bordering Algeria.

Authorities are also worried about extremists using remote, desert areas of neighboring Libya as a base.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/684531

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US charges two men over Gambia coup bid

06 Jan 2015

S prosecutors have charged two men with conspiring to overthrow the government of Gambia, in the latest fallout from last week's failed coup attempt in the small West African nation.

Papa Faal, a US-Gambian dual national, and Cherno Njie, a US resident, were arrested in the US after they returned from Gambia, where they had travelled to help launch a December 30 coup attempt against President Yahya Jammeh's government, according to the US Justice Department, which released the criminal complaint against the two men.

Faal, 46, was expected to make an initial appearance in court on Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Njie, 57, was to appear the same day in the US District Court in Baltimore, Maryland.

"These defendants stand accused of conspiring to carry out the violent overthrow of a foreign government, in violation of US law," Eric Holder, US attorney general, said in a statement.

"The United States strongly condemns such conspiracies. With these serious charges, the United States is committed to holding them fully responsible for their actions."

Last month's attack on the presidential palace in Banjul was repulsed by Gambian security forces, and at least three suspected attackers died during the fighting, according to unconfirmed reports.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/01/us-charges-two-men-over-gambia-coup-bid-20151516246691248.html

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Al-Shabab claims deadly Somalia car bombing

05 Jan 2015

A suicide bombing has struck Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, killing five people including the bomber, with the armed group al-Shabab quickly claiming responsibility.

Witnesses reported a loud explosion, followed by gunfire and plumes of smoke, in Waaberi district on Sunday.

The area is close to the heavily fortified international airport.

Witnesses told Al Jazeera the attack targeted Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency and that security forces opened fire to disperse approaching onlookers.

Ahmed Adan, a Somali police official, told AFP news agency: "There was a car bomb explosion near the Afisiyone area.

"We are getting information that a suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a pickup truck."

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/01/huge-explosion-rocks-somali-capital-20151414255877618.html

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Europe

 

Bulgaria to extradite three would-be militants to Spain

Jan 5, 2015

A court in Bulgaria has ordered the extradition of three suspected ISIL followers to Spain.

The court said on Monday that a Brazilian and two Moroccans, all residents of the city of Barcelona, will be sent to Spain.

A 15-year-old boy and his two friends were arrested weeks ago when they were allegedly trying to cross into Turkey from southeastern Bulgaria. The three were allegedly heading to Syria or Iraq to join ISIL Takfiri terrorists.

The regional court in the city of Haskovo, south of Bulgaria, has identified the terror suspects as Kayke Guimaraes from Brazil, and Mohamed El Gharbi and Taoufiq Mouhouch from Morocco.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/01/05/391766/Bulgaria-to-extradite-three-ISIL-followers

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German anti-Muslim protesters rally despite Chancellor Angela Merkel plea

6 January 2015

Protesters marched in several German cities on Monday against higher levels of immigration and what they see as the growing influence of Islam, in defiance of an appeal from Chancellor Angela Merkel to spurn rallies she views as racist.

The rallies, organised by a new grassroots movement known as PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, have become an almost weekly event in the east German city of Dresden in recent months.

Some 18,000 people, the biggest number so far, turned out in Dresden on Monday but similar rallies in Berlin and the western city of Cologne were heavily outnumbered by counter-protesters who accuse PEGIDA of fanning racism and intolerance.

The PEGIDA protesters waved Germany's black, red and gold flag and brandished posters bearing slogans such as "Against religious fanaticism and every kind of radicalism".

One poster in Cologne called for "potatoes rather than doner kebabs", a swipe at ethnic Turks who at around three million represent Germany's largest immigrant community.

Germany has some of the world's most liberal asylum rules, partly due to its Nazi past. The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany, many from the Middle East, jumped to around 200,000 last year -- four times as many as in 2012.

In her New Year address last week, Merkel urged Germans to shun the anti-Muslim protesters, saying their hearts were full of hatred.

"We need to say that right-wing extremism, hostility towards foreigners and anti-Semitism should not be allowed any place in our society," Merkel said on Monday in the eastern town of Neustrelitz.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-german-anti-muslim-protesters-rally-despite-chancellor-angela-merkel-plea-2050052

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kp-govt-offers-rs10mn-bounty-for-ttp-s-mullah-fazlullah/d/100881

 

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