New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 09:11 AM

Islamic World News ( 22 Jun 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Kurds Capture ISIS Base North Of Syria's Raqqa






Pakistani men sit with their animals under a bridge during a heatwave on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sunday.  Getty Images


 Arab World

Kurds Capture ISIS Base North Of Syria's Raqqa

Algeria Army Kills 2 Islamists in Ambush

ISIL Takfiri Terrorist Killed By Druze in Occupied Golan Heights

Hezbollah condemns Roumieh torture scandal

Saudi Imam Apologises To ‘Apostate’ Comedian

U.S. airstrike kills ISIS operative in Iraq’s Mosul

IS Ties 2 Boys to Pole for Eating In Ramazan: Monitor

Egypt receives two Fast Missile navy vessels from U.S.

Egypt army digs trench along Gaza border to prevent smuggling

Syrian army advances in ISIS-held Palmyra

Gunmen kill two Interior Ministry officers in Baghdad

Blasts in Egypt's North Sinai wound police and civilians

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South Asia

Afghan Forces Retake Char Dara District from Taliban

Former Jihadi Commander among Three Gunned Down In Khost

Taliban Gunned Down A Local Mullah In Nimroz

India asks international community to reconsider military force pullback from Afghanistan

Terrorist attack on Afghan parliament widely condemned

Afghan Govt, Taliban Negotiators to Meet In a Week, Says Aziz

Afghanistan faces unprecedented convergence of militants: Afghan envoy

14 become members of Bangladesh Press Council

No representation of Bangladeshi universities!

Bangladesh: Protecting the rights of migrant workers

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Mideast

Arab Warplanes Continue Strikes on Houthis

Israel Revokes Eased Ramadan Security Measure Following Attacks

Outrage in Israel as Arab MP says to join Gaza flotilla

'War crimes' likely by both sides in 2014 Gaza war: U.N.

Iran urges dialogue to resolve Yemen crisis

Question mark over Erdogan as Turkish parties jockey for power

Both sides ‘committed’ war crimes in Gaza

Kurds find ISIS tunnel near Turkish border

Hundreds of refugees cross back into Syria from Turkey

Extremism in Afghanistan threat to regional security: Iran

Israeli, Turkish officials secretly meet in Rome: Report

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India

Call Goes Out To Mosques from Muslim Law Board: Rally against Rising Hindutva Forces

Malaysian Visa Biometric Tests Fleece Indian Aspirants

No Indian injured in Afghan Parliament attack

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Africa

Four Killed, Several Wounded In Burundi Grenade Attacks

Somali troops stage raid on ‘senior’ Al-Shabab leaders

S. Africa: No plan to protect Bashir

French defence minister in Mali to support peace deal

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North America

US ‘Created ISIL For Sake Of Israel’: Ex-CIA Contractor

Pentagon Pays $400 to Rebels in Syria per Month to Fight ISIL

Obama hosts Iftar dinner to mark Ramadan — and reach out to Muslims

More Muslims in Latin America are fasting this Ramadan: Report

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Pakistan

National Consensus in Place to Crush Terror: PM

SC Can’t Hear Plea against Military Courts, Says Govt

Karachi Heat wave Death Toll Crosses 400

Possible extradition of suspect linked to MQM leader murder challenged

NGOs won’t be allowed in ‘sensitive’ areas: Nisar

ATC gets notice for acquitting Manawan attack accused

Cyber crime response centre remains disconnected

 ‘Attack On Provincial Autonomy to Harm Federation’: Acting President

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Southeast Asia

ISIS in Indonesia: 500 Recruits and Counting

Court orders ‘Allah’ CDs returned to Christian

Ulema in PAS Out to Divide and Rule

Malaysia Non-Muslims Foster Ramadan Joy

China Academic Defends Beer Festival in Muslim Region

Atlaoui to face firing squad after Ramadhan

Malaysia: Nightspots Can Stay Open Till 1am, Muslims Out By 11pm

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Europe

Top Security Chief Warns Against Portraying Muslims as 'Intrinsically Extremist'

‘Kill Jews’ village changes name, but ‘Kill Muslims Valley’ won’t

North Carolina man charged in plot to kill Americans for ISIS

Swiss court maintains freeze on Assad’s wealthy cousin

British Muslims react to call to thwart ISIS among youth

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Australia

Spy Agencies to Verify Australian ISIL Fighters' Deaths

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kurds-capture-isis-base-north-of-syria-s-raqqa/d/103618

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 Arab World

Kurds capture ISIS base north of Syria's Raqqa

Jun. 23, 2015

BEIRUT: Activists say Kurdish fighters and their allies have captured an ISIS military base in northern Syria.


The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based activist group, and Kurdish activist Mustafa Bali said Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units, or YPG, captured the base known as Brigade 93 Monday night.


Bali and the Observatory said Tuesday that YPG fighters and their allies have entered parts of the nearby town of Ein Eissa, the last major residential area north of the extremists' de facto capital of Raqqa.


Last week, YPG fighters and allied rebel factions captured the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border, in a major setback for ISIS.


http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jun-23/303393-kurds-capture-isis-base-north-of-syrias-raqqa.ashx


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Algeria army kills 2 Islamists in ambush


Jun. 23, 2015


ALGIERS: Algerian troops have killed two armed Islamists in an ambush in Tizi Ouzou province, east of the capital, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.


They recovered a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a pistol and ammunition in the operation, which occurred Monday in the municipality of Azzeffoun, the ministry said on its website.


Islamist-linked violence rocked Algeria in the 1990s but has since waned, although armed groups remain active in central and eastern Algeria where they mount attacks on security forces.


The army says it has now killed 61 armed Islamists this year, after more than 100 were killed in 2014.


http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2015/Jun-23/303415-algeria-army-kills-2-islamists-in-ambush.ashx


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ISIL Takfiri terrorist killed by Druze in occupied Golan Heights


Jun 23, 2015


An ISIL Takfiri terrorist has been killed by a group of Syrian Druze residents in the occupied Golan Heights as he was being transported to Israel for treatment.


On Monday, more than 150 Druze protesters attacked an Israeli ambulance carrying two injured Syrian Takfiri terrorists near the Druze town of Majdal Shams in the southern foothills of Jabal al-Shaykh mountain (Mt. Hermon), north of the Golan Heights. 


According to reports, the attack worsened the condition of the wounded terrorists, and one of them succumbed to its injuries as they were being airlifted to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.


Two Israeli troops also suffered slight injuries in the attack and were taken to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.


The Druze protesters have also called for a protest outside the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, where the Tel Aviv regime is treating other wounded terrorists.


The attack was strongly condemned by Druze community leader Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, saying, “This is not our way, and we are hurting over the criminal act done by lawbreakers, and call on authorities to act." 


The incident took place just two weeks after al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra front terrorists massacred at least 20 Druze in northwestern Syria.


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417081/syria-druze-isil-takfiri


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Hezbollah condemns Roumieh torture scandal


Jun. 23, 2015


BEIRUT: Hezbollah denounced Tuesday the torture scandal at Lebanon’s notorious Roumieh Prison, in what marks the party’s first response to leaked videos showing security forces beating Islamist inmates.


“We condemn this unjustifiable and immoral attack on inmates in Roumieh prison,” Hezbollah MP Nawar Sahili said in a statement released by the party’s news office, calling on officials to hold all those involved accountable.


The MP described the torture scandal as an act that violates “a minimum standard of morality” and “a flagrant violation of human rights.”


The party calls for the good treatment of prisoners during investigation and during the period of his detention, he added.


“we consider that the prisoner enjoys rights that should be observed and fully protected.”


The conditions in Roumieh Prison have come under scrutiny this week after footage leaked online showed ISF officers torturing inmates. The video, according to Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, was filmed when security forces quelled riots by Islamist inmates last April.


Five ISF officers were arrested this week after the footage surfaced on social media websites.


http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Jun-23/303400-hezbollah-condemns-roumieh-torture-scandal.ashx


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Saudi imam apologises to ‘apostate’ comedian


June 23, 2015


JEDDAH - A Saudi imam has apologised after accusing a well-known Saudi comedian of apostasy for mocking overzealous clerics, BBC reported Monday.


The Islamic affairs ministry called for an investigation into Saeed al-Farwa after he denounced Nasser al-Qasabi for his latest TV show for Ramazan.


In the show, he made fun of Saudi imams smashing musical instruments. He has faced death threats from Islamic State supporters for another show in which he ridiculed ‘jihadists’. Mr al-Qasabi has been a popular TV personality and comedian across the Middle East for a number of years - still something of a rarity for a Saudi. His best known programme Tash ma Tash has satirised a number of taboos in Saudi Arabia and wider Arab society. In one sketch several years ago, he turned the issue of Saudi men being able to have four wives at a time on its head. A woman with four husbands is shown facing the dilemma of trying to divorce one so she can marry a fifth.


The episode was attacked by the more conservative elements in Saudi Arabia as blasphemy. Mr al-Qasabi has won further fame as a judge on the Arabs Got Talent show. His latest series, Selfie, has already been a big hit this Ramazan.


In one episode, he played a Saudi mutawwa - a conservative preacher - enraged at Muslims indulging in music during the Muslim holy month.


He and one of his fellow actors smash an oud to pieces before an approving crowd of men in Saudi thobes (robes) and ghutras (headdresses). The camera focuses on the shortness of their thobes - a characteristic of the mutawwa.


Shortly afterwards, Saudi preacher Saeed al-Farwa rose to the bait. He accused Mr al-Qasabi of apostasy, and other imams made similar accusations.


But their fury has led to a rebuke from the Islamic affairs ministry. It is reported to have ordered the investigation into the accusations made by Mr al-Farwa, who has now stepped back and apologised on Twitter.


http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Jun-2015/saudi-imam-apologises-to-apostate-comedian


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U.S. airstrike kills ISIS operative in Iraq’s Mosul


23 June 2015


A U.S. airstrike in northern Iraq has killed an ISIS operative who was a person of interest in the 2012 Benghazi attack, the Pentagon said Monday.


Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said Tariq bin al-Tahar bin al-Falih al-'Awni al-Harzi of Tunisia was killed in Mosul on June 15.


The U.S. Treasury and the State Department had designated him as a terrorist operating for or on behalf of ISIS.


"His death degrades ISIL's ability to integrate North African jihadists into the Syrian and Iraqi fight and removes a jihadist with long ties to international terrorism," Warren said.


Harzi was considered a person of interest in the militant attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on September 11, 2012, that killed the American ambassador and three other Americans.


The fighter was also said to operate closely with ISIS-affiliated militants throughout North Africa and the Middle East.


In its terrorist designation in September, the U.S. Treasury described Harzi as a "high-profile" member of the self-proclaimed ISIS that has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria.


It said he raised funds for the group, as well as recruited and facilitated the travel of ISIS fighters since 2013.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/23/U-S-airstrike-kills-ISIS-operative-in-Iraq-s-Mosul.html


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IS ties 2 boys to pole for eating in Ramazan: monitor


Jun 23, 2015


BEIRUT: The Islamic State group (IS) on Monday made two youths hang from a beam by their wrists after accusing them of eating during daylight hours in Ramazan, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said.


"Residents of the village of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province reported that IS suspended from a crossbar two boys aged under 18 near the HQ of the Hissba," the jihadist police, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.


"The children have been suspended by ropes from a pole since noon, and they were still there in the late evening," he said. "Apparently, they were caught eating."


A placard was attached to the bodies reading "They broke the fast with no religious justification".


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189943/is-ties-2-boys-to-pole-for-eating-in-ramazan-monitor


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Egypt receives two Fast Missile navy vessels from U.S.


22 June 2015


The United States has delivered two navy vessels to Egypt, doubling Cairo's total fleet of Fast Missile Craft to four, the U.S. embassy in Cairo said on Monday.


The statement said the vessels had arrived in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on June 17 aboard a U.S. transport ship.


"The Fast Missile Craft directly supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea," said U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper.


Despite U.S. lawmakers' concerns that Egypt is lagging on democratic reforms, Egypt remains one of Washington's closest security allies in the region.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Egypt-receives-two-Fast-Missile-navy-vessels-from-U-S-.html


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Egypt army digs trench along Gaza border to prevent smuggling


22 June 2015


The Egyptian army is digging a trench in northern Sinai along the border with Gaza in an effort to prevent smuggling, security sources said on Monday, as the government steps up activities to prevent militant attacks that often target security forces.


Egypt had already doubled to one kilometre (0.62 mile) the depth of a security buffer zone on its border with the Gaza Strip after some of the worst anti-state violence since President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown by the army following mass protests against his rule in 2013.


Authorities are still battling an insurgency in which the most active group, Sinai Province, has pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Hundreds of police and soldiers have been killed in the attacks, which have surged since the army ousted Mursi.


President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has described Islamist militant groups as an existential threat to Egypt, the most populous Arab country.


The trench would help detect more tunnels used in the smuggling trade, which Egyptian authorities see as a threat. Once the trench is dug, no vehicle or person will be able to pass except through the trench.


Security sources said passages had been made for vehicles and for pedestrians. They said the U-shaped trench is two kilometres away from the border and will have a depth of 20 metres and a width of 10 metres.


Egypt has kept its Rafah closing with Gaza largely shut since 2013 but has recently opened it for a few days. The Sinai Peninsula is a strategic region that borders Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Egypt-army-digs-trench-along-Gaza-border-to-prevent-smuggling.html


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Syrian army advances in ISIS-held Palmyra


22 June 2015


Syria’s army advanced this weekend west of the ancient city of Palmyra, reopening a key supply route for oil and gas to the capital, a newspaper and monitoring group said Monday.


“The infantry has made tangible progress in the area of west Biyarat,” said the Al-Watan daily, which is close to the government.


It said the army had “intensified” its operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Palmyra and the surrounding area.


“This weekend, the regime ousted IS jihadists from al-Biyarat and is now about 10 kilometres (six miles) from Palmyra,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.


Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said the capture of the area “allows the regime to secure a transport route for oil from the Jazal field... to other Syrian cities under its control.”


Pro-government forces recaptured Jazal, which lies about 20 kilometres northwest of Palmyra, from ISIS forces last week.


It is one of the few Syrian oil fields still in government hands.


Army reinforcements were despatched to Biyarat as air raids rained down on the city, the Observatory said, adding that at least 11 people were killed on Sunday.


ISIS overran Palmyra on May 21 amid global fears that it would destroy the UNESCO world heritage site’s renowned ruins, much like it did to archeological sites in Iraq.


On Sunday, the group laid mines around the city’s well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, the Observatory said.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Syrian-army-claims-advances-against-ISIS-in-Palmyra-.html


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Gunmen kill two Interior Ministry officers in Baghdad


22 June 2015


Gunmen in speeding cars opened fire on a vehicle transporting Iraqi Interior Ministry officials in Baghdad on Monday, killing two officers, police and medics said.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which also wounded one person in the Baladiyat district of eastern Baghdad.


Iraq is facing a major security threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an ultra-hardline Sunni group which controls a third of the country as well as parts of neighboring Syria.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Gunmen-kill-two-Interior-Ministry-officers-in-Baghdad.html


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Blasts in Egypt's North Sinai wound police and civilians


22 June 2015


At least eight policemen and civilians were wounded on Monday when explosions hit two houses in Egypt's El-Arish, the provincial capital of the North Sinai region, security and medical sources said.


Militants planted two bombs in two adjacent houses, both inhabited by police, the sources said. The force of the explosions led to the collapse of large parts of the homes, injuring three policemen and five civilians.


The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.


Egypt is facing a Sinai-based insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule in 2013.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Blasts-in-Egypt-s-North-Sinai-wound-police-and-civilians.html


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South Asia


 


Afghan forces retake Char Dara District from Taliban


By KHAAMA PRESS - Tue Jun 23 2015


Afghan forces have retaken Char Dara District of Kundoz province from Taliban.


Lieutenant General Mura Ali Murad the Deputy Chief of Staff of Afghan National Army said that Afghan forces entered Char Dara District around 8 am this morning and took the control of the district.


He said that the military operation to retake Char Dara began at about 3 am and still continues for complete clearance of the district from insurgents.


Officials at the Ministry of Defense say that around 85 militants were killed and 15 others wounded during the operation.


Full report at:


http://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-retake-char-dara-district-from-taliban-3531


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Former Jihadi commander among three gunned down in Khost


By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Tue Jun 23 2015


Unidentified armed men have gunned down three people including a former Jihadi commander in Khost province.


The incident took place in Logharo Peerano area of Tani District yesterday afternoon.


Zmarai Haqmal, governor of Tani District said that the former Jihadi commander Delawar Shah was returning to his home from the provincial capital in a vehicle when unidentified gunmen opened fire on him.


He said Delawar Shah’s son and nephew were also traveling in the vehicle and all three lost lives in the attack.


Full report at:


http://www.khaama.com/former-jihadi-commander-among-three-gunned-down-in-khost-3533


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Taliban gunned down a local Mullah in Nimroz


By KHAAMA PRESS - Tue Jun 23 2015


Taliban militants have gunned down a local Mullah in southwestern Nimroz province.


Haji Hakim, Mullah of Noori Grand Mosque and his nephew were going back to home after offering prayers at the mosque when they came under the attack of unidentified gunmen in Chakhansor District last night.


Mohammad Afzal, governor of Chakhansor District said that Haji Hakim died on the spot but his nephew survived.


He said the gunmen who were riding on a motorbike escaped from the area following the attack.


Full report at:


http://www.khaama.com/unidentified-armed-men-gunned-down-a-mullah-in-nimroz-3536


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India asks international community to reconsider military force pullback from Afghanistan


By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Tue Jun 23 2015


India has asked international community to review the plan of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan after rising security concerns.


“Given the critical phase that the political transition has entered, and the deteriorating security situation, we feel there is a strong case for the international community to take a fresh look at the manner in which the draw down of the international military presence in Afghanistan is being planned out.” Asoke Kumar Mukerji India’s permanent representative to UN told the Security Council on Monday.


Citing the latest report of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, on Afghanistan that showed an increase of 45 % in armed conflicts compared to the last year, Mukerji said these statistics “only reinforces our view that terrorism, and not tribal differences or ethnic rivalries is the main source of insecurity and instability in Afghanistan.”


Nicholas Haysom, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), expressed concern over the presence of possibly thousands of foreign fighters in Afghanistan.


He said that Islamic State “Daesh” is trying to establish a foothold in the troubled nation.


Haysom called for greater regional involvement and collaboration to meet the threat from these forces.


Full report at:


http://www.khaama.com/india-asks-international-community-to-review-troop-withdrawal-from-afghanistan-3532


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Terrorist attack on Afghan parliament widely condemned


By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jun 22 2015


Former President Hamid Karzai, United Nations and Pakistan have strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Afghan parliament in capital Kabul on Monday.


Hamid Karzai in a statement said that this was an act of the foreign detractors of Afghanistan’s stability, national sovereignty and development.


Karzai warns that such actions can not harm the independence of Afghans.


United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) then turns the attack as “affront” to democracy in Afghanistan.


“The attack against Parliament, for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility, is a clear and deliberate affront to democracy in Afghanistan – An attack against the Afghan peoples’ democratically elected representatives,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, Deputy Special Representative of UNAMA, in the statement.


Pakistan has also condemned the attack in a statement and praised Afghan security forces for suppressing the attack.


“We commend the role of Afghan security forces in effectively countering this act of terrorism,” the statement stated.


“The Government of Pakistan reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We reaffirm our resolve to fight terrorism in close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan. We stand with our Afghan brothers in our common struggle against terrorism.”


The attack started at around 10:30 am (local time) and last for about an hour. It started when a suicide bomber exploded his car bomb in front of the front gate of the parliament. Other militants started firing light and heavy weapons on the compound of the parliament from an under construction building.


Soon after the attack began security forces arrived and cordoned off the area. They were able to soon kill all assailants firing on parliament from the building.


Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that all of the MPs were rescued unharmed. “Afghan Police repelled terrorist attack today on AFG Parliament, killing all 7 attackers, no MP was wounded,” Sediqi’s tweet stated.


A security official at the site of the attack told reporters that five civilians were killed and 31 others wounded in the attack.


Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the attack.


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Afghan govt, Taliban negotiators to meet in a week, says Aziz


BAQIR SAJJAD SYED


Jun 23, 2015


ISLAMABAD: The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators are expected to meet in a week’s time, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said on Monday. According to him, a major breakthrough in the process is likely within three months.


Speaking at the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Aziz acknowledged for the first time that Pakistan had last month facilitated a meeting of Afghan High Peace Council’s Secretary Masoom Stanekzai with Taliban representatives in the Chinese city of Urumqi and said that another meeting was planned later this month. Mr Stanekzai has now been named as the defence minister.


Mr Aziz did not disclose where the planned meeting would take place. Apparently the two sides would be getting together to discuss the start of the formal peace and reconciliation process.


Mr Aziz’s statement came as Taliban attacked Afghan Parliament in Kabul. The terrorist strike intensified criticism of Pakistan in Afghanistan for not doing enough to move forward on the promised reconciliation process and helping reduce the Taliban violence.


The two sides met for the first time in Chinese city of Urumqi


The exploratory talks between Kabul and Taliban leadership that were initially conducted in secrecy are gradually moving into the public view. Taliban have over the past few weeks, after the Urumqi meeting, acknowledged meeting Afghan government officials and lawmakers in Norway, UAE and Qatar.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189909/afghan-govt-taliban-negotiators-to-meet-in-a-week-says-aziz


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Afghanistan faces unprecedented convergence of militants: Afghan envoy


Jun 23, 2015


Afghanistan is facing “an unprecedented convergence” of foreign and Taliban militants in the country as well as members of terrorist groups such as the ISIL, the Afghan ambassador to the United Nations (UN) says.


“Our estimate is that there are more than 7,000 foreign terrorist fighters” in Afghanistan, including Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Pakistanis, Afghan UN envoy Zahir Tanin told a Security Council session on Afghan security on Monday.


“There may be hundreds or thousands of people,” including some “extreme-oriented Taliban,” fighting for the ISIL terrorist group in Afghanistan, Tanin said during the meeting, dubbed “The UN Security Council Debate: The Situation in Afghanistan.”


He added that these groups carry out terrorist acts like bombings, hostage-takings and assassinations, and try to capture districts and provinces as strongholds for their activities in Afghanistan as well as in south and central Asia.


Addressing the same event, Nicholas Haysom, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative for Afghanistan, said the country “is meeting its security challenges” in the face of a worsening conflict.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417091/Afghanistan-Taliban-ISIL-unprecedented-convergence-Zahir-Tanin


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14 become members of Bangladesh Press Council


June 23, 2015


The 17th council of the Bangladesh Press Council was formed with 14 persons nominated as its members including two from the parliament, according to a gazette issued by the government yesterday.


Those nominated are Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalist (BFUJ); Dr Utpal Kumar Sarker, a vice president of BFUJ; Akram Hossen Khan, former general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalist (DUJ); Golam Sarwar, president of Editors' Council and editor of the daily Samakal; Nurul Kabir, member of Editors' Council and editor of New Age; Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star and general secretary of Editors' Council; M Shamsur Rahman, member of Newspapers Owners' Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) and editor of The Independent; Mozammel Haq, member of NOAB and editor of Daily Karatoa; Reazuddin Ahmed, member of NOAB and editor and publisher of The News Today; Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy; M Khaled, secretary of Bangladesh University Grants Commission; advocate M Sana Ullah Mia, member of Bangladesh Bar Council; AKM Rahmatullah, MP, and Sukumar Ranjan Ghosh, MP.


http://www.thedailystar.net/city/14-become-members-bangladesh-press-council-101623


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No representation of Bangladeshi universities!


June 23, 2015


According to recent news reports, not a single university from Bangladesh sent data for the top 100 list of the Times Higher Education Asia University Ranking 2015 despite being invited. Unfortunate indeed! But I wonder how the invitation could be ignored by the universities? I would like to think that most of the universities in Bangladesh take keen interest in representing Bangladeshi educational system and standard in international forums.


Anyway, we hope to join the race for ranking in the next year.


Professor M Zahidul Haque


Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System, SAU, Dhaka


http://www.thedailystar.net/letters/no-representation-bangladeshi-universities-101293


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Bangladesh: Protecting the rights of migrant workers


Emraan Azad


June 23, 2015


With an aim to protect the rights of Bangladesh's economic migrants by enhancing the capacity of National Human Rights Commission, the UNDP-Bangladesh has recently published a study report titled 'Protecting Migrant Workers from Bangladesh: A Study of Legal Compliance with Migrant Workers' Rights' (2014). Prepared by Dr. Ridwanul Hoque, an associate professor of law at the University of Dhaka, the report basically accesses the compliance level of Bangladesh's laws, policies and practices with the UN International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families 1990 (shortly known as MWC), and also analyses how compliance can be better ensured by the destination countries.


The report argues that the MWC is just one of a set of several human rights treaties and as such, other major human rights treaties and several ILO Conventions concerning the labour rights have an operative regime of rights protection for migrant workers. Uniquely, the report explains that the majority of rights enshrined in the MWC reflect the globally agreed highly normative standards, some of which have assumed the character of non-derogable basic rights. Hence, even the States that have not signed or ratified the MWC have an obligation under the general rules of international law to protect and provide the rights of migrant workers. 


Divided into six chapters, the introduction of this report in chapter 1 describes the content of the MWC and justifies that protection of the rights of migrant workers has been the subject matter of major human rights treaties of general application such as UDHR, ICCPR, ICESCR, CEDAW and so on. By referring to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime 2000, this chapter highlights the situation of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants across the world, and addresses the inadequate protection regime for them under international law. Changing landscape of labour migration has been identified as one of the crucial points of existing inadequate protection regime. Such changes, as per the report, include the decreasing significance of the State in recruiting migrant workers and the increasing importance of private agents with a considerable growth in irregular migration.


Full report at:


http://www.thedailystar.net/law-our-rights/rights-advocacy/protecting-the-rights-migrant-workers-101329


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Mideast


 


Arab warplanes continue strikes on Houthis


June 23, 2015


SANAA - More than 20 air strikes by Arab forces hit targets controlled by Houthi rebels across Yemen late on Sunday, residents said.


An Arab military coalition has been bombing the Houthis for three months to restore the country’s exiled government and fend off what they see as Iranian influence.


The Houthis took over the capital Sanaa in September and spread throughout the country in a push they view as a revolution against a corrupt government but deny any military links with their allies in Tehran.


Full report at:


http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Jun-2015/arab-warplanes-continue-strikes-on-houthis


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Israel revokes eased Ramadan security measure following attacks


22 June 2015


Israel cancelled on Monday 500 permits that would have allowed Palestinians to travel overseas, a measure taken in response to two attacks targeting an Israeli settler and a police officer over the past week, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.


The permits were part of a set of policies aimed at easing life for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.


“Other steps will be considered later,” a statement from Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s office said.


Restrictions were eased to allow Palestinian men over the age of 40 and women of any age – provided that they are West Bank residents – to attend Friday prayers in Al Aqsa Mosque, which lies in eastern Jerusalem, a part of the city annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.


The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) – who authorized the permits – called the measures a “very significant easing of the rules.”


The permits to travel abroad seem to be the only policy that has been rescinded since the attacks, the Haaretz reported.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Israel-revokes-eased-Ramadan-security-measure-following-attacks.html


----------


 


Outrage in Israel as Arab MP says to join Gaza flotilla


22 June 2015


An announcement by an Arab Israeli lawmaker that he plans to join a pro-Palestinian flotilla seeking to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza caused outrage Monday among the country’s political class.


Basel Ghattas, an MP with the Joint Arab List, sparked controversy after he announced he would join other parliamentarians and public figures from around the world in the latest attempt to reach Gaza by ship later this month.


Gaza has been subjected to an Israeli blockade for nine years, which includes a complete ban on ships entering or leaving the coastal enclave’s waters.


Pro-Palestinian activists have repeatedly tried to reach the Hamas-run Gaza Strip by sea but have been blocked by the Israeli navy.


In May 2010, Israeli commandos staged a botched raid on a six-ship flotilla which ended in bloodshed that claimed the lives of 10 Turkish nationals and sparked a crisis with Ankara.


Hanin Zuabi, a female Arab-Israeli MP who was on board at the time, was roundly denounced by the Israeli political establishment as a traitor -- with Ghattas now facing a similar outcry.


“It is the gravest thing possible that an Israeli MP would join the flotilla whose aim is to help the Hamas terror organization,” said Immigration Minister Zeev Elkin from the ruling rightwing Likud party.


“Israeli law does not allow anyone to serve in parliament who supports a terror organisation,” he railed in an interview with army radio.


Deputy Foreign Minster Tzipi Hotovely said that joining the attempt to run the blockade was evidence Ghattas was working against Israel.


“The participation of an Arab Israeli MP alongside those who want to fight against Israel is a demonstration of activity in the service of the enemy under the sponsorship of parliamentary immunity,” she said in a statement late Sunday.


She said the foreign ministry had been working to prevent the flotilla from reaching Israel’s territorial waters.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Outrage-in-Israel-as-Arab-MP-says-to-join-Gaza-flotilla.html


----------


 


'War crimes' likely by both sides in 2014 Gaza war: U.N.


22 June 2015


A much-awaited United Nations report into the 2014 Gaza war released Monday found that both Israel and the Palestinians may have committed war crimes.


The commission said it gathered “substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” by both sides. In some cases, it added, these violations may amount to war crimes.


“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” said Mary McGowan Davis, the chair of the commission. “There is also ongoing fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”


Israel launched its offensive last July 8 in response to heavy rocket fire from Hamas and other militant groups. The rocket fire had escalated after Israel carried out a wave of arrests in the West Bank following the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers by militants linked to Hamas.


More than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed during the fighting, according to U.N. and Palestinian officials, while 73 people, including six civilians, died on the Israeli side.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/-War-crimes-likely-by-both-sides-in-2014-Gaza-war-U-N-.html


----------


 


Iran urges dialogue to resolve Yemen crisis


Jun 23, 2015


A senior Iranian diplomat says the ongoing crisis in Yemen can be resolved solely through political means.


Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, made the remarks during a telephone conversation with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations special envoy to Yemen, on Monday.


“The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the attempts by the United Nations for dispatching humanitarian aid and organizing real negotiations between Yemeni groups and parties, and believes that the crisis in Yemen can be resolved solely through political means and dialogue," Amir-Abdollahian stated.


Yemen’s peace talks, mediated by the UN, started in the Swiss city of Geneva on June 15 and wrapped up on Friday. After the talks, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement lashed out at the Saudi regime for derailing the talks aimed at ending the deadly conflict in the impoverished Arab country.


“Although the UN at this phase of the negotiations did not succeed in establishing a ceasefire, it was expected that serious and urgent measures would be taken to establish green zones and earmark some sea and airports to accelerate the operation of dispatching humanitarian aid” to the Yemeni people, the Iranian official said.


He also stressed Iran’s readiness to send humanitarian aid to the Arabian Peninsula country in coordination with the UN.


The UN envoy, for his part, said that there was a deep gap between the Yemeni groups attending the talks in Geneva, underscoring the continuation of negotiations between the Yemeni parties.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417077/Iran-Yemen-United-Nations-Ismail-Ould-Cheikh-Ahmed-AmirAbdollahian


----------


 


Question mark over Erdogan as Turkish parties jockey for power


RAPHAEL SATTER | SUZAN FRASER


Jun 23, 2015


ISTANBUL: Two weeks after Turkey’s parliamentary elections, experts agree on one thing: no one really knows what’s going to happen next.


Turkey’s June 7 election left Turkey’s long-ruling Justice and Development Party, known by Turkish acronym AKP, short of the majority it needs to govern alone, meaning it will have to turn to at least one of the three opposition parties to secure its hold on government.


Negotiating such a coalition will be complicated by the vitriol of the campaign, the differences between the four camps and the ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, still a dominant force in Turkish politics despite his theoretically neutral role as head of state. “Neither can I or anyone else make any predictions as to what’s happening,” said Ersin Kalaycioglu, a professor of Turkish politics at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Sinan Ciddi, the director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University, said he wouldn’t rule out anything either. “There are as many credible scenarios out there as there are plausible political parties,” he said.


One of the more credible ones involves a deal between Turkey’s ruling party and the hard-line nationalist party MHP, which opposes the two-year-old peace process with Turkey’s autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels. Both parties sit on the right wing of Turkish politics, but such a deal could damage AKP’s relationship with Kurdish voters, a key constituency.


Alternatively, AKP could swallow its pride and strike a deal with its arch-nemesis, the secular CHP. Such a pairing would have an unassailable majority, but the rivalry between the two runs so deep it’s difficult to envision them acting in tandem.


Perhaps most importantly, all the opposition parties want Erdogan to stay out of politics. It’s hard to see the notoriously outspoken president backing away quietly.


It’s just about conceivable that Turkey’s three opposition parties, including the leftist HDP, could all band together and freeze AKP out of power, a scenario floated by Sukru Kucuksahin, a columnist for the secular-minded Hurriyet newspaper. But even he acknowledged that was a long shot.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189780/question-mark-over-erdogan-as-turkish-parties-jockey-for-power


----------


 


Both sides ‘committed’ war crimes in Gaza


June 23, 2015


UNITED NATIONS - Both Israel and Palestinian militant groups may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during last summer’s intense conflict in Gaza, a United Nations Human Rights Council commission of inquiry said in a 200-page report released on Monday.


“The commission was able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups,” the report said. “In some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes,” it said.


The Israelis be guilty of war crimes for indiscriminate attacks on residential buildings in Gaza, as well as on medical facilities and infrastructure, the report said.


Thehighly anticipated report is expected to serve as a road map for the inquiryinto possible war crimes already underway by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Evidence collected by the commission “strongly suggests” that the “primary purpose” of Palestinian rocket attacks was to “spread terror” among the civilian population, in “violation of international humanitarian law.”


Israel carried out 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza during the 51-day conflict, many hitting residential buildings, the report said. “The death toll alone speaks volumes,” said the report. It said 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, of whom 299 were women and 551 children.


Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars toward Israel, killing six civilians and injuring as many as 1,600 people, including 270 children.


The UN found that at least 142 Palestinian families had three or more members killed in the same incident, amounting to a total of 742 fatalities. “The extensive use by the Israel Defence Forces of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, and their probable indiscriminate effects in the built-up neighborhoods of Gaza, are highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks,” the report said. “Such use may, depending on the circumstances, qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime,” the report added.


Speaking at the Israeli parliament Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the report biased and accused the human rights commission of a disproportionate focus on Israeli actions. “Israel does not carry out war crimes, according to media reports. Israel defends itself from terror organizations that call for its destruction and carry out many war crimes. Every peace-seeking nation would act like this,’’ Netanyahu claimed.


A statement released by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s negotiations department declined to give immediate comment on the findings, saying it praised the commission and would review the report.


Gaza officials also rejected the report  that its fightersmay have committed war crimes.


SeniorHamas official Ghazi Hamad said Monday that its rockets and mortars were aimedat Israeli military sites, not at civilians. He criticized the UN investigators for what he said was a false balance betweenvictims and killers.


Full report at:


http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Jun-2015/both-sides-committed-war-crimes-in-gaza


----------


 


Kurds find ISIS tunnel near Turkish border


22 June 2015


Kurdish forces have discovered a 400-meter (440-yard) long tunnel dug by ISIS militants near the Turkish border with Syria, a spokesman for the militia said Monday.


Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, discovered the half-completed tunnel after they captured the border town of Tal Abyad last week, spokesman Redur Khalil said.


He said it wasn't clear whether it was eventually meant to lead into Turkey as the tunnel splits into two different directions at one point.


A tunnel linking Turkey to ISIS-held territory might offer some insight into the many ways in which Muslim radicals from around the world have slipped across the Turkish border to reach the fanatical group, whose territory straddles Syria and Iraq.


The YPG captured Tal Abyad last week from ISIS, cutting off a vital supply line to the group's self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Kurds-find-ISIS-tunnel-near-Turkish-border.html


----------


 


Hundreds of refugees cross back into Syria from Turkey


 22 June 2015


Hundreds of Syrian refugees who had fled into Turkey crossed back on Monday, witnesses said, as a border gate reopened a few days after ISIS militants were ousted from the frontier town of Tel Abyad forces by Syrian Kurds.


Amid tight security on the Turkish side, hundreds of refugees - mostly women and children carrying bags of belongings - crossed the border from the Turkish town of Akcakale to Tel Abyad.


Syrian Kurdish-led forces captured Tel Abyad from ISIS last week, driving the militants away from the frontier in an advance backed by U.S.-led air strikes.


Security sources told Reuters that the border gate was subsequently kept closed for four days for security reasons.


More than 23,000 refugees fleeing fighting in northern Syria entered Turkey earlier this month, according to Turkish authorities cited by the U.N. refugee agency.


Turkey last week accused Kurdish forces in northern Syria of driving out civilians in areas it occupies, voicing concern at the displacement of Arabs and Turkmen from the area around Tel Abyad.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Hundreds-of-refugees-cross-back-into-Syria-from-Turkey-.html


----------


 


Extremism in Afghanistan threat to regional security: Iran


Jun 23, 2015


Deputy Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Gholam Hossein Dehqani has warned against a spike in violence in Afghanistan, saying the activities of extremist elements in the war-torn state pose a security threat to Iran and the entire region.


In a speech at a Monday UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, Dehqani said the Islamic Republic has always condemned the terrorist attacks in the Asian country as well as any cooperation with terrorist groups operating there as Iran believes such activities hinder peace in Afghanistan.


The Iranian envoy also said that Iran “has always voiced support for the establishment of peace, stability and security as well as economic and social development in Afghanistan since it believes security in Afghanistan means security on Iranian borders.” Dehqani reiterated Tehran’s backing for the Afghan national unity government, stressing that Iran is ready to help Kabul tackle the challenges to peace and development in Afghanistan.


He pointed to a recent report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about violence in Afghanistan, saying that the figures announced in the report have raised concerns in and outside the region.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417089/Afghanistan-Iran-Gholam-Hossein-Dehqani-Haysom


----------


 


Israeli, Turkish officials secretly meet in Rome: Report


Jun 23, 2015


Senior Israeli and Turkish officials have held a secret meeting in the Italian capital, Rome, to discuss the restoration of relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv, a new report says.


The meeting was held between Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu on Monday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.


Gold left for Rome on Monday to meet Sinirlioglu, who heads a negotiating team in the Turkish government to resolve issues with Tel Aviv, according to a senior Israeli official, whose name was not mentioned in the report.


Gold made the trip without informing Israel’s National Security adviser Yossi Cohen, who has been responsible for talks between Israel and Turkey. He also did not notify Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy to Turkey, Joseph Ciechanover.


The Turkish government has not made any comments on the report yet.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417105/Israel-Turkey-Rome-secret-meeting-Gold-Sinirlioglu


---------


 


India


 


Call Goes Out To Mosques from Muslim Law Board: Rally against Rising Hindutva Forces


By Mohd Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Updated: June 23, 2015


The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has come out openly against what it calls are the rising influence of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture (that) are out to harm Islamic beliefs by all means”.


The Board, which positions itself as a spokesperson of Muslim opinion in India and the chief custodian of Muslim personal law and the Shariat, has, for the first time, reached out directly to Muslim organisations, institutions and the imams of mosques in an appeal to close ranks against the forces of Hindutva.


In a letter sent to these bodies and individuals, Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of the AIMPLB, has asked for constant vigil against attacks on Islam’s teachings. AIMPLB has also targeted the central government for propagating yoga, Suryanamaskar and Vande Matram, “which are part of Brahmin Dharma” and “are against the ideology of Muslims”.


Rehmani has alleged that the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by the government on Sunday was part of a conspiracy to link the exercise to the RSS, since it was observed on the death anniversary of the Sangh’s first sarsanghchalak, K B Hedgewar. The letter does not use the expression “Hindu Dharma”, and refers instead to “Brahmin dharma”, possibly in order to reach out to Dalit Hindus. Rehmani has referred to Chapter 6 of the Gita to argue that yoga is a religious activity, and a part of “Brahmin Dharma and Vedic culture”. He has mentioned several organisations who have allegedly used the Centre’s yoga push to propagate Vedic culture — a violation of the Constitution, which does not allow the promotion of religious activities by the government. “Muslims should always remain cautious as there are organisations that are attacking Islamic beliefs and trying to impose Brahmin dharma. All this yoga, surya namaskar and Vedic culture are part of Brahmin dharma and are totally against Islamic beliefs,” Rehmani has said in his letter. He has urged the imams to discuss the subject during Friday sermons, and prepare the Muslim community for a movement. ”I have written a letter to members of the AIMPLB,” Maulana Rehmani told The Indian Express. Asked how the letter had reached other Muslim organisations as well, he said, “Obviously, we are expanding our area and including other Muslim organisations in our movement. The Board has a limited number of members, but in order to create awareness, we have to expand our horizons.” Full report at:


http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/call-goes-out-to-mosques-from-muslim-law-board-rally-against-rising-hindutva-forces/99/


----------


 


Malaysian Visa Biometric Tests Fleece Indian Aspirants


Daniel George,TNN | Jun 23, 2015


CHENNAI: A new immigration process is ripping off Indian workers — primarily blue collar workers desperate to improve their means of livelihood — looking to take up jobs in Malaysia. The process requires them to go through three separate rounds of biometric data recordings, which together cost as much as they can hope to earn in a month in the Southeast Asian country.


The workers on Monday said they had to go through biometric tests at an authorised medical centre that charged 5, 000 and repeat the same tests at VFS Global Services at a cost of 2,280. Malaysian authorities record their biometric data for a third time on their arrival in that country, making it redundant twice over. With a visa processing fee of 2,000, they end up having to pay 10,280 for a visa.


Registered recruitment agents authorised by the Malaysian consulate in a letter to the Malaysian consulate general on Monday said workers seeking employment in Malaysia were mostly illiterate and unskilled, with a majority from poor families in remote towns and villages in the state and other parts of the country. They not only go through undue hardship to complete the biometric tests but also have to spend more money than they can afford to obtain a visa, the letter said.


Full report at:


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Malaysian-visa-biometric-tests-fleece-aspirants/articleshow/47777761.cms


---------


 


No Indian injured in Afghan Parliament attack


TNN | Jun 23, 2015


NEW DELHI: In an attack eerily similar to the one on the Indian Parliament in 2001, Taliban militants on Monday tried to storm Afghanistan's Parliament building in Kabul, injuring over 30 civilians, and further heightening worry over the worsening security situation in the country.


India's ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Singh confirmed to TOI that no Indian had been injured and that the attack did not seem aimed at Indian interests.


All six gunmen who detonated explosives and fired rockets in the Parliament complex were reported killed by Afghan security forces, and 30 civilians were injured.


PM Narendra Modi described the attack as despicable and cowardly. "The attack on the Afghanistan Parliament is a despicable and cowardly act. There is no place for such attacks in a democracy," Modi tweeted. "My prayers are with those injured. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in this hour," he said in another tweet.


According to reports, all MPs were safely evacuated after the attack, which came as the Afghan president's nominee for the post of defence minister was to be introduced in Parliament. Afghanistan has not had a confirmed defence minister since the Ashraf Ghani government took over in September last year. The fact that the attack took place late morning, around 10.30 am, suggested that the insurgents were looking at a high-value target.


Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility. "We have launched an attack on Parliament as there was an important gathering to introduce the country's defence minister,'' he said while the attack was still on.


Reuters quoted Afghan police spokesperson Ebadullah Karimi as saying that the attack started with a Taliban fighter detonating a car loaded with explosives outside Parliament gates. How the driver managed to evade several security checkpoints is being investigated by Afghan authorities.


Full report at:


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-Indian-injured-in-Afghan-Parliament-attack/articleshow/47778339.cms


----------


 


Africa


 


Four killed, several wounded in Burundi grenade attacks


23 June 2015


BUJUMBURA: Four people were killed and some 30 wounded in grenade attacks in Burundi a week ahead of key parliamentary elections, as government and opposition on Monday traded blame for the blasts.


The troubled central African nation has been in crisis since late April over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term, a move branded by opponents as unconstitutional and a violation of a 2006 peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war.


Presidential communications chief Willy Nyamitwe blamed the opposition, saying they wanted to replay the situation seen in elections in 2010, when they boycotted polls.


“This terror campaign has a similarity with what happened in the aftermath of 2010,” he said, blaming the attacks on “politicians and civil society activists who promised the people that there will be no elections at all in 2015.”


Parliamentary elections are planned for June 29, ahead of the presidential vote on July 15. But the opposition rejected any involvement, and condemned the attacks “in the strongest terms,” accusing the government of trying to “exploit” the attacks to get rid of their opponents.


Full report at:


http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/765891


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Somali troops stage raid on ‘senior’ Al-Shabab leaders


23 June 2015


MOGADISHU: Somalia’s security agency said Monday it carried out a night raid on key targets inside an Al-Shabab-controlled town in southern Somalia, targeting “senior” commanders.


Internal security spokesman Mohamed Yusuf Osman said that members of the US-trained National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) carried out the attack inside Bardhere town, a stronghold of the Somali-led Al-Qaeda affiliate in Gedo region.


“The specially trained security forces have carried out a well orchestrated attack at key targets inside Bardhere district and they have returned safely after the operation,” he said.


Osman said a police station and the district headquarters used by Al-Shabab fighters and leaders were targeted in the raid.


“Our forces interrupted a very senior level meeting of (Al-Shabab) leaders. The intelligence we had indicated the meeting was to plan for more attacks in Somalia and Kenya,” NISA said in an e-mailed statement, which described the raid as “retaliation” for an Al-Shabab attack in Mogadishu on Sunday.


Full report at:


http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/765896


----------


 


S. Africa: No plan to protect Bashir


23 June 2015


JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s government on Monday denied secretly plotting a safe exit from the country for Sudanese President Omar Bashir, despite an international arrest warrant on war crimes charges.


Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity over the conflict in Darfur, flew out of Pretoria last Monday despite a court order that barred his departure.


South Africa’s Sunday Times reported a secret meeting of top ministers that mapped a deal to protect Bashir. It alleged that Bashir was escorted from Johannesburg, where he attended an African Union summit, to his plane in Pretoria by President Jacob Zuma’s personal security detail.


But the authorities said no such meeting took place.


“Government categorically denies that there was a secret meeting held by the security cluster ministers,” government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.


The government has come under fire from the ICC, rights groups, several other governments and by the opposition at home, over its failure to detain Bashir.


Full report at:


http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/765881


----------


 


French defense minister in Mali to support peace deal


Jun 23, 2015


French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is on a visit to Mali to offer his country’s support for a landmark peace deal agreed in the African country to end years of unrest.


Le Drian traveled to France’s former colony two days after Tuareg rebels signed a long-delayed peace agreement with the government, which is aimed at ending years of unrest in the northern African country.


The peace agreement, called the Algiers Accord, had already been signed in May by the government and its loyalist fighters. The Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), a coalition of rebel groups, had, however, been holding out until amendments to the deal were agreed on June 5.


Le Drian warned of the challenges facing the implementation of the deal in an address to the French troops in the town of Gao.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417110/France-JeanYves-Le-Drian-Mali-peace-deal


----------


 


North America


 


US ‘Created ISIL For Sake Of Israel’: Ex-CIA Contractor


Jun 23, 2015


The United States is seeking to have a “never-ending war” in the Middle East which would make the countries there unable to stand up to Israel, says former CIA contractor Steven Kelley.


“The purpose of creating this group [ISIL] is to have a never-ending war in the region that serves several purposes, obviously, it’s going to break apart the countries and disrupt the people and reduce their ability to stand up to Israel,” he told Press TV on Tuesday.


Kelley went on to say that “the other thing is providing the constant flow of orders for weapons from the military-industrial complex back home, which of course is feeding a lot of money to the senators that are pushing for these wars.”


A new report said the Pentagon is paying monthly stipends to the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria who are being trained to fight the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.


The Pentagon is paying stipends of $250 to $400 to the rebels, said Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417106/US-ISIL-Syria-Israel-Pentagon


----------


 


Pentagon pays $400 to rebels in Syria per month to fight ISIL


Jun 23, 2015


The US Department of Defense is paying money to the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria who are being trained to fight the ISIL Takfiri terrorists, a pentagon official says.


The Pentagon is paying stipends of $250 to $400 as training of the first group of about 90 rebels began in May, said Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, on Monday.


The training, which would take several months, will prepare about 3,000 rebels by the end of this year, but the final estimate is 5,400 who will be ready within 12 months, Smith said.


"For operational security, we will not announce when coalition-trained Syrian opposition forces enter into Syria," she said.


The program, which was delayed by several months because of difficulty in finding and vetting rebels, is taking place in Syria’s neighboring countries, including Jordan.


The so-called “moderate” rebels will be equipped with small arms and will learn how to manoeuvre and communicate. They will primarily protect their towns and villages from ISIL terrorists, according to the Pentagon.


A number of 6,000 individuals has volunteered for training, but only 1,500 have passed the first stage of selection so far and about 500 have been turned down for various reasons.


There are problems in implementing the training program in addition to strategic differences between the US and its partners in the region, including Turkey.


The US is having difficulty bringing the militants from Syria and training them in Turkey and Jordan, Pentagon officials acknowledged last week.


Full report at:


http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/06/23/417088/Pentagon-rebels-Syria-ISIL


----------


 


Obama hosts Iftar dinner to mark Ramadan — and reach out to Muslims


By Steven Mufson


June 23,2015


President Obama hosted an Iftar dinner Monday night to mark the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and to reach out to the roughly 1.5 billion Muslims around the world when much of the Islamic world is struggling with war, terrorism and economic challenges and when the United States remains embroiled in many of those conflicts.


The president said that the holiday dinner "is also a reminder of the freedoms that bind us together as Americans, including the freedom of religion -- that inviolable right to practice our faiths freely."


Citing the shootings at the Charleston, S.C., church and the murder of three young Muslim Americans in Chapel Hill, N.C., earlier this year, Obama said that "as Americans, we insist that nobody should be targeted because of who they are, or what they look like, who they love, how they worship." He said "our prayers remain in Charleston."


The Iftar dinner, which continues a tradition started by President Clinton and continued by President George W. Bush, featured nearly the entire diplomatic corps representing the Islamic world as well as a few young Muslim Americans Obama held up as examples of what can be achieved in the United States. There were about 150 guests, including some members of Congress.


The Ramadan holiday, which began last week and lasts a month, marks the time when Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. "It’s a time of spiritual renewal and a reminder of one’s duty to our fellow man -- to serve one another and lift up the less fortunate," Obama said.


During Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours and since June 21 is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere the White House meal was served promptly. Because of the lunar calendar, Ramadan falls at different times of the year.


Despite Obama's message of peace, the Middle East remains torn by conflict from the Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq to Saudi Arabia's air attacks on factions fighting for control of Yemen to the recent Taliban attack on Afghanistan's parliament building.


Obama linked tolerance within the United States to American goals abroad. "These are the freedoms and the ideals, and the values that we uphold," he said. "And it’s more important than ever, because around the world and here at home, there are those who seek to divide us by religion or race or sect."


Full report at:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/06/23/obama-hosts-iftar-dinner-to-mark-ramadan-and-reach-out-to-muslims/


----------


 


More Muslims in Latin America are fasting this Ramadan: Report


June 23, 2015


Latin America: With the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, Latinos are noticing a significant number of their neighbours observing fast and other Islamic rituals pertaining to the holy month, Latin Times reported on Thursday.


Hispanic Americans are slowly but increasingly converting to Islam, growing Muslim populations in Latino-heavy regions like California.


Muslims celebrating Ramadan in Central and South America include both Muslim immigrants and a small number of converts.


The United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have the largest Muslim populations in the Americas.


The Arab diaspora (including many who are not Muslim) claim significantly large communities across Latin America. Significant numbers of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine immigrants have populated in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.


“What most Latinos who have embraced Islam find most amazing is their cultural affinity to the Muslim culture,” Wilfredo Ruiz, a Puerto Rican-born convert to Islam and a lawyer for the South Florida chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told WLRN in 2013.


“It’s like rediscovering your past. That area of our past has been hidden from us", Wilfredo Ruiz added.


Full report at:


http://www.ummid.com/news/2015/June/22.06.2015/significatn-rise-in-people-fasting-in-latin-america.html


---------


 


Pakistan


 


National consensus in place to crush terror: PM


June 23, 2015


ISLAMABAD - UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Gutterres, has discussed issues relating to Afghan refugees in Pakistan with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.


In a meeting which took place at Prime Minister’s House here on Monday the matters relating to their repatriation to Afghanistan came under sharp focus.


The prime minister said Pakistan took care of Afghan refugees as a sacred duty and their return with dignity is a priority for the government.


The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has paid a heavy price fighting terrorism and now there is a national consensus to eliminate this menace. He said operation Zarb-e-Azb has successfully destroyed terrorists’ hideouts and networks. First batch of displaced persons has gone back to their homes. He said the government has allocated $1 billion dollars for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected area.


Gutterres informed the Prime Minister that he is on his annual Ramazan solidarity visit and extended condolences on the loss of lives due to the heat wave in Karachi. Federal Minister for SAFRON Lt. Gen.(retd) Abdul Quadir Baloch; Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz; Secretary to PM, Javed Aslam; Secretary SAFRON, Pir Bux Jamali and Commissioner Refugees, Imran Zeb Khan were present in the meeting.


PM FOR MEDICAL RELIEF TO HEAT AFFECTEES


Expressing deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives in Karachi due to extreme weather conditions, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to take swift measures for public relief. He also directed for provision of immediate medical relief to the persons affected by heatwave, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office read.


In past couple of days over 200 people have been killed by severe heatwave and long power outages in the port city of Karachi, triggering protests against the government for the unscheduled loadshedding. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was personally monitoring the electricity supply situation in the country as Ministry of Water and Power badly failed to meet the power demand of users across the country as well as adhere to the schedule announced for loadshedding.


Full report at:


http://nation.com.pk/national/23-Jun-2015/national-consensus-in-place-to-crush-terror-pm


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SC can’t hear plea against military courts, says govt


NASIR IQBAL


Jun 23, 2015


ISLAMABAD: The federal government argued before the Supreme Court on Monday that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain a petition challenging the setting up of military courts as long as the armed forces acted in aid of the civil power.


Replying to the points raised by a number of petitioners, Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt said the addition of clauses 2, 3 and 4 through amendments to Article 245 of the Constitution had taken away the jurisdiction of the superior judiciary to intervene since the validity of any direction issued by the federal government to the armed forces could not be called in question in any court.


A 17-judge full court, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, is hearing petitions challenging the appointment procedure of superior court judges under the 18th Amendment and the establishment of military courts under the 21st Amendment to try hardened terrorists.


The attorney general cited a number of cases and presented a huge volume of case laws to emphasise that the constitutional provision (Article 245) also took away the jurisdiction of high courts under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the armed forces for the time being were operating in aid of the civil power.


Referring to Article 199(3) of the Constitution, he said the high courts could not look into the trials being conducted by the military courts, adding that the courts could also not issue any order in relation to the people who had been made subject to the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 or had connections with the armed forces.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189887/sc-cant-hear-plea-against-military-courts-says-govt


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Karachi Heat wave Death Toll Crosses 400


AFP | APP | DAWN.COM | IMTIAZ ALI


Jun 23, 2015


KARACHI: Death toll from a devastating heatwave that has gripped Sindh for three days has led to at least 250 more deaths in the provincial capital of Karachi on Monday, taking the number of people who have died from heat-related symptoms to at least 400, DawnNews reported.


According to Karachi Medical Corporation (KMC) spokesperson Salma Kausar, more than 70 people lost their lives at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) and KMC hospitals in the past three days. The deaths are said to have occurred due to heat and gastro-related problems. Earlier, it was reported that 30 people had died in ASH on Saturday and Sunday. Twelve women and two children are among the dead.


Edhi volunteers and relatives shift the body of a heatwave victim into an ambulance at the Edhi morgue.— AFP/File


Edhi volunteers and relatives shift the body of a heatwave victim into an ambulance at the Edhi morgue.— AFP/File


Head of emergency department at Karachi's Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Seemin Jamali said over 200 people died at JPMC alone due to heat-related symptoms in the past three days.


Professor N. Saeed Qureshi from Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) said there have been 64 deaths as of Monday night at CHK.


Saqib Zeeshan, a spokesman for Indus Hospital, said 20 people had died of heat-related complications at the hospital till Monday, while the Sindh health minister said at least 15 deaths had been registered at Lyari General Hospital.


Liaquat National Hospital representative Anjum Rizvi said 22 people lost their lives at the hospital in the past 72 hours, while 24 people were reported dead at Qatar Hospital, according to the hospital's spokesman Khalid Masood.


Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Edhi mortuary told DawnNews that around 400 bodies had been submitted to the welfare centre in the past 48 hours. He said the morgue had reached its capacity and could not accommodate more bodies.


Edhi's Sohrab Goth morgue has received around 200 bodies in the past 24 hours alone, the head of the facility, Muhammad Bilal, told APP. He said these included those who died due to heatstroke as well as others who expired because of various diseases and natural causes.


"We have been telling people not to bring bodies since last night but despite that they are coming. We cannot accommodate more dead bodies," he said.


The Sindh provincial government has imposed a state of emergency at all hospitals, cancelling leave for doctors and other medical staff and increasing stocks of medical supplies.


According to earlier reports, at least 132 people had lost their lives due to the intense weather — most of whom were pronounced dead at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), officials had said.


Know more: Heatwave devastates Karachi, other parts of Sindh; at least 136 dead


Saturday was the hottest day of this year’s summer in Karachi, during which the mercury had shot to 45 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature of 48 degree Celsius was recorded in three districts of Sindh — Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur — on Saturday, which slid down to 41 on Sunday.


Officials had said on Sunday that Karachi would not see any let-up on Monday (today) when temperatures are expected to go up to 44 degree Celsius.


Earlier this month, 17 people died due to a heatstroke in Sindh's Sehwan during the Urs of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189748/karachi-heatwave-death-toll-crosses-400


----------


 


Possible extradition of suspect linked to MQM leader murder challenged


TAHIR SIDDIQUI


Jun 23, 2015


KARACHI: The wife of a key suspect in the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Imran Farooq, Khalid Shamim, told the Sindh High Court on Monday that she feared her husband, who was recently shown to have been arrested in Chaman near Quetta, might be transferred outside the country for interrogation.


According to the Frontier Corps (FC), Shamim, who had been missing since 2011, was arrested along with another suspect, Mohsin Ali, four days ago near the Pakistan-Afghan border in Chaman.


Petitioner Beena Khalid approached the SHC against the possible transfer of her husband outside the country for interrogation.


A division bench headed by Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti directed the federal law officer to ensure the filing of comments by respondent authorities, including the interior ministry, by July 2 when the court would again take up the matter.


The woman stated that her husband has been missing since 2011 and now the authorities have shown his arrest in Chaman.


The petitioner said that there was no extradition treaty between Pakistan and the United Kingdom and asked the court to restrain the federal authorities from transferring her husband to Britain for interrogation.


Ms Khalid had earlier filed a constitutional petition in the SHC against the alleged detention of her husband.


The woman stated that her husband has been missing since 2011 and now the authorities have shown his arrest in Chaman.


The petitioner stated that she along with her husband, who is an employee of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, and their five-year-old son was going in their car when her husband pulled over near an ATM at Malir Halt to get some money.


She said that all of a sudden law enforcement agency personnel in two vehicles, both bearing official registration numbers, intercepted and took him away. She said she cried for help but none came to her husband’s rescue, while the police and Rangers were patrolling the area.


She had impleaded the interior secretary, the home secretary, the Rangers director-general, the city police chief and others as respondents for the detention of her husband.


The federal and provincial law enforcement agencies, however, had denied the arrest or detention of Shamim and police officers investigating the case said that efforts were being made to recover the detainee and in this regard a joint investigation team had been constituted which was looking into the matter.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189773/possible-extradition-of-suspect-linked-to-mqm-leader-murder-challenged


----------


 


NGOs won’t be allowed in ‘sensitive’ areas: Nisar


IFTIKHAR A. KHAN


Jun 23, 2015


ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that NGOs would not be allowed to operate in sensitive areas.


Talking to newsmen at the Parliament House on Monday, he said Save the Children, an international aid group, would be permitted to partially resume its operations in the country.


The minister said that all NGOs operating in Pakistan would have to get themselves registered within six months. International as well as local NGOs would be given permission to operate only after scrutiny clearance, he added.


“The government will introduce a policy to regulate the NGO sector because the current laws are vague. We want to put in place a central law, simple and online registration and a transparent accountability system.”


He said the government would complete the job within six months and the NGOs would keep on working during this period and new visas would not be issued.


Chaudhry Nisar said that all NGOs, including Save the Children, had been allowed conditionally to work for six months. “I want to say very categorically that if the NGOs did not get themselves registered within six months or refused to do so, they would not be allowed to work in the country.”


He said that after negotiations for more than 10 days, 13 offices of Save the Children were allowed to operate in the country, except Fata and other sensitive areas. Save the Children has 73 offices in Pakistan. Its foreign staff had already been refused visa, he added.


The minister said an intelligence report had been prepared in 2012 about a project of Save the Children, but the then government took no action. “We have closed this project.” The NGO had applied for re-registration last year, he added.


“We have received a report that some of its offices were working beyond their mandate and charter,” he said.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189888/ngos-wont-be-allowed-in-sensitive-areas-nisar


----------


 


ATC gets notice for acquitting Manawan attack accused


Jun 23, 2015


LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench issued a notice to the trial court (an anti-terrorism court) for acquitting Hijratullah, an accused of 2009 Manawan Police Training School attack, in a separate case of keeping illegal weapons.


The bench was hearing suo motu proceedings against the acquittal of the terrorist.


Additional Prosecutor General Abdul Samad Khan told the bench that the ATC had acquitted Hijratullah of charges of possessing a hand grenade and dagger in a trial under Section 7 of Anti Terrorism Act.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189932/atc-gets-notice-for-acquitting-manawan-attack-accused


----------


 


Cyber crime response centre remains disconnected


MALIK ASAD


Jun 23, 2015


ISLAMABAD: How can the country’s cyber security system produce the desired results when it remains disconnected with the outside world?


“These days, the cyber crime wing has neither virtual nor real connectivity with the rest of the world,” a senior official of the wing told Dawn.


For the last a couple of days, the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is dysfunctional because all its telephone lines have been damaged during the ongoing construction work on Peshawar Mor interchange.


Also read: FBI's most wanted cyber criminal arrested in Karachi


NR3C was introduced in 2007 to deal with technology-based crime in Pakistan. It is the only unit of its kind in the country which directly receives complaints and assists other law enforcement agencies.


A senior official of the NR3C told Dawn that all the 12 telephone lines were out of order for over a couple of days and as a result the NR3C was not in a position to receive or respond to complaints about cyber crime.


He said the cyber crime response centre cannot protect the cyber security of a number of government departments because of the connectivity problem. “All our operations have come to a standstill and we cannot provide services to the citizens and the federal government,” the official added.


According to the FIA website, NR3C provides services, including computer forensics, that deal with pornography, child sex abuse and the online sale of black market goods. It also provides mobile forensic as criminals use smartphones for a number of activities such as committing fraud over e-mail, harassment through text messages, trafficking of child pornography, communications related to narcotics, etc. The response centre also deals with video and network forensics.


Full report at:


http://www.dawn.com/news/1189836/cyber-crime-response-centre-remains-disconnected


----------


 


 ‘Attack On Provincial Autonomy to Harm Federation’: Acting President


June 23, 2015


Islamabad - Acting President and Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has said that Pakistan’s survival lies in implementation of the 1973 Constitution and continuation of democracy in the country. He said if anyone tried to derail democracy, it would destabilise and weaken the federation. In a statement issued here on Monday, Mian Raza Rabbani said that attempts have been made in the past to sabotage democracy but now Pakistan could not afford such adventurism any more. He said that any attack on the provincial autonomy would harm the federation too. Speaking about terrorism, he said that the nation should support the armed forces and encourage security operations.


Full report at:


http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/23-Jun-2015/attack-on-provincial-autonomy-to-harm-federation


----------


 


Southeast Asia


 


ISIS in Indonesia: 500 Recruits and Counting


by George Phillips


June 22, 2015


Reports suggest that the number of Islamic State (ISIS) recruits from Indonesia tripled to over 500 by the end of last year.


Home to the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia's more than 200 million Muslims make up 13% of the world's total Muslims. The nation's history of extremist movements makes it a ripe location for ISIS recruits.


Wildan Mukholland was one of those recruits. He came from the same village in Indonesia as two militants convicted and executed for their role in the 2002 Bali terrorist bombings, which killed over 200 people and were carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaeda affiliate.


Mukholland grew up admiring the two terrorists and eventually went on to join ISIS and move to the Middle East. Last year, he blew himself up in a terrorist attack in a restaurant in Baghdad.


Of the more than 500 Indonesians that are believed to have joined ISIS, about half have gone on to fight in Syria or Iraq. Contrast this with the fact less than 200 Indonesians were estimated to have fought in Afghanistan for al-Qaeda.


Radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir -- viewed as the spiritual leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah -- is currently in an Indonesian prison in Java, but has declared support for ISIS. Ba'asyir has pledged allegiance to ISIS from his jail cell and is encouraging radicals to join the group.


Like other radicals, Indonesian extremists have even brought their families to Syria and Iraq so they could live under full Islamic law, and receive stipends for housing, food, and education and radical schools.


From its move to independence in 1949 until today, extremists have sought to make Indonesia an Islamic State.


The push for extremism was seen in a nearly 30-year war waged by separatists in the province of Aceh. After Aceh was devastated by the 2005 tsunami, a peace deal was struck between rebels and the government.


Full report at:


http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6002/isis-indonesia


----------


 


Court orders ‘Allah’ CDs returned to Christian


FMT Reporters |       June 23, 2015


KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal, in affirming an earlier High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur decision, ordered the Customs Department on Tuesday to return eight Christian CDs with the word “Allah” which were seized from the applicant, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill of Sarawak, a Melanau Christian.


Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat ordered the CDs to be returned within a month.


“Their (Customs Department) actions are ultra vires Section 9 of the Printing and Publication Act 1984, “she said.


“Thus we dismiss the appeal.”


She ordered the case to be sent back to the High Court on the other relief sought by Ireland. Among others, she wants a Declaration on the use of the term “Allah”.


The full written judgment was by Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim. Justice Zakaria Sam was the other judge in the three-member Panel.


The seizure of the CDs was carried out by the Customs Department at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, where Ireland was on transit to Kuching from Medan, northern Sumatra.


Ireland’s lawyer Lim Heng Seng said Articles 8 and 11 of the Federal Constitution will be addressed in the High Court trial on his client’s rights and freedom of religion.


Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said he was unsure if the government will appeal.


Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sarawak branch president Rev Justin Wan said the church was happy with the decision.


Full report at:


http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/06/23/court-orders-allah-cds-returned-to-sarawakian/


----------


 


Ulema In PAS Out To Divide And Rule


FMT Reporters |       June 23, 2015


KUALA LUMPUR: The question haunting PAS at the moment, noted a political analyst, was whether anyone in the professional and progressive block should accept any offer by the Ulema-led PAS to join the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC).


Political analyst Shahbudin Husin was commenting on Salahuddin Ayub, Mahfuz Omar and Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani being invited by PAS to join the CEC.


“The three are apparently still considering whether to accept the offers or reject them outright,” he noted.


“Felda rights campaigner Mazlan Aliman was the lone victor from the professional and progressive block but he has since decided not to join the CEC on the grounds that he wants to focus on Anak, the NGO that he heads.”


For starters, he said, the CEC offer was a ploy by the ulama to break up the professional and progressive block. He pointed out that Mohamad Sabu, the defeated deputy president, was not among those offered CEC posts. “It seems the ulama are signaling that his political career was over.”


“On the other hand, the new deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man appealed to Mohamad Sabu to remain with PAS instead of looking for a new political vehicle to continue his political career.”


The ulama, he said, must not be underestimated by just looking at their serban and jubah.


Again, given the manner in which the professional and progressive block was tainted and vilified by the pro-ulama block as being sponsored by DAP, ventured the analyst, it would be better for the trio to reject the offer to join the CEC. “They were even labelled as Jebon (Arabic for someone out to wreck everything).”


He suggested that the professional and progressive block give the opportunity, 100 per cent, to the ulama to administer PAS. “That’s what the delegates wanted.”


“Let the ulama run PAS for the next two years, for better or for worse, without the participation of any member of the professional and progressive block. PAS, until the next party elections, would be the sole burden of the ulama.”


He pointed out that Mazlan Aliman has already shown the way for the professional and progressive group by his decision to stay out from the CEC and leave it completely to the ulama. “It’s important that no member of the defeated group accepts anything from the ulama.”


Full report at:


http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/06/23/shahbudin-ulama-in-pas-out-to-divide-and-rule/


----------


 


Malaysia Non-Muslims Foster Ramadan Joy


22 June 2015


CAIRO – Putting aside religious differences and fostering the spirits of Ramadan, Malaysia's non-Muslims have expressed their joy and wish to participate in the Ramadan rituals, joining Muslims' special iftar meals.


"It's only during the fasting month that you see so many types of dishes, particularly ones that are not commonly prepared," Jeann Yora Mahin, 29, told Bernama news agency on Monday, June 22.


"I am excited to try all as you don't get to enjoy them every day."


Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, kicked off in Malaysia on Thursday, June 18.


In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.


In Malaysia, many non-Muslims found the month as offering a great opportunity to come closer to Muslims by sharing their iftar buffets at hotels and restaurants.


"I don't fast during Ramadan but I still appreciate breaking fast with my Muslim colleagues," Rachel Basnayake, 24, said.


Basnayake asserted that ethnic dishes such as tuhau and jeruk bambangan, which are also sold at Ramadan food stalls, were among her favourites.


Steven Liew, 34, shared a similar opinion.


"I love to eat, and usually during the fasting month, I will not restrain myself from enjoying all the food," he told Bernama.


Ramadan is a time for prayers, so Muslims increase their efforts and time for prayers to come closer to Allah.


Full report at:


http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/487975-malaysia-non-muslims-foster-ramadan-joy.html


----------


 


China academic defends beer festival in Muslim region


23 June 2015


A Chinese Communist party academic defended a government-organized beer festival in a mainly Muslim county ahead of Ramadan by saying that locals enjoy alcohol, state media reported Tuesday.


Islam prohibits alcohol but authorities in Niya county in China’s troubled Xinjiang region held a beer drinking contest last Monday, three days before the start of Islam’s holiest month, with cash prizes of up to $160 for winners, the Global Times said.


The county is in southern Xinjiang, the heartland of the Uyghur ethnic minority, who are mostly Muslim.


Uyghur rights groups say restrictions on Islam have added to ethnic tensions in the far western Muslim-majority region, where clashes have killed hundreds in recent years.


China says it faces a terrorist threat in Xinjiang, with officials blaming “religious extremism” for growing violence.


Full report at:


http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/06/23/China-academic-defends-beer-festival-in-Muslim-region.html


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Atlaoui to face firing squad after Ramadhan


Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post | National | Tue, June 23 201


Having escaped the firing squad once, French death row inmate Serge Atlaoui is on the list again after the State Administrative Court (PTUN) rejected his last-ditch appeal for clemency on Monday.


Presiding judge Ujang Abdullah said in the ruling that he had no authority to overturn the President’s decision on the matter.


“We reject the challenge by the challenger,” he told the court.


Atlaoui, 51, was crossed off a list of convicts to be executed along with Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in April because he filed a lawsuit to challenge President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s refusal to grant him clemency.


The lawsuit was lodged on the grounds that the President unilaterally rejected the pleas of all drug felons on death row rather than considering the merits of each case.


In his verdict, the presiding judge reasoned that granting clemency was the prerogative of the President.


The police busted Atlaoui when they raided a secret factory producing ecstasy in Tangerang, Banten, in 2005, with authorities accusing him of being a “chemist” at the site.


The French citizen was subsequently convicted in 2007 of possessing 138 kilograms of shabu-shabu (crystal methamphetamine), 290 kilograms of ketamine and 316 drums of precursor substances.


Atlaoui’s lawyer, Nancy Yulian, said that she did not know whether her client would pursue other legal options or not. “We will inform the family and we will think of another legal way. We don’t know yet,” she said.


Nancy added that she was disappointed with the result, saying “from the beginning, we have known that he didn’t do anything wrong”.


Attorney General’s Office (AGO) spokesman Tony Spontana, meanwhile, said that Atlaoui had exhausted all legal avenues.


Full report at:


http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/23/atlaoui-face-firing-squad-after-ramadhan.html


----------


 


Malaysia: Nightspots Can Stay Open Till 1am, Muslims Out By 11pm


FMT Reporters |       June 23, 2015


KUANTAN: Nightclub and pub owners here heaved a collective sigh of relief yesterday when the Municipal Council rescinded an earlier directive to shut down by 11.30pm for one month.


The decision was made by the licensing department of the council last Wednesday as a mark of respect for Muslims in the month of Ramadan and affected businesses like massage parlours, cyber cafes, snooker centres and karaoke outlets.


Following an outcry from business owners and traders, seven MCA councillors led by David Lee met with Kuantan Municipal Council president Zulkifli Yaacob yesterday and reached an amicable solution.


The council has agreed to the closing time of 1am daily and 2am on Saturday, announced Lee after the meeting.


Full report at:


http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/06/23/night-spots-can-stay-open-till-1am-muslims-out-by-11pm/


----------


 


Europe


 


Top Security Chief Warns Against Portraying Muslims As 'Intrinsically Extremist'


By Ben Riley-Smith


22 Jun 2015


Theresa May’s most senior counter terrorism adviser has warned against portraying Muslim communities as “intrinsically extremist” just days after David Cameron said some were “quietly condoning” radicalisation.


Charles Farr, director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, said there was a “risk” of oversimplification given around 2.7 million Muslims live in Britain but just a few hundred had joined Isil in the Middle East.


Mr Farr knocked back suggestions the country was losing the online war against jihadists and suggested the government was keeping step with the waves of propaganda being uploaded by Islamist radicals.


The comments contrast with Mr Cameron’s keynote speech on radicalisation last week, when he toughened his rhetoric on the responsibilities Muslim leaders had to stamp out extremism.


Speaking at a Jewish News conference on Israel, Mr Farr warned of the dangers of playing up the numbers of Britons who have headed to the Middle East to join Isil.


He said he was “a little bit worried” by the suggestion radicalisation was a genie that had already left the bottle – the tittle of the debate he spoke at – and said people should be “really cautious”.


As few as 100 Britons may currently be fighting for Isil, Mr Farr said – compared to the 2.7 million Muslims in the country.


He continued: “It’s not to say the challenges they pose are not significant, they are. But … the more we overstate them the more, frankly, we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist, which actually despite an unprecedented wealth of social media propaganda, they have proved not to be. So I think we need to be cautious with our metaphors and with our numbers.”


Full report at:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11692385/Top-security-chief-warns-against-portraying-Muslims-as-intrinsically-extremist.html


----------


 


‘Kill Jews’ Village Changes Name, But ‘Kill Muslims Valley’ Won’t


22 June 2015


MADRID: The tiny Spanish village of Castrillo Matajudios — which means “Camp Kill Jews” — on Monday officially changed its name back to Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jews' Hill Camp”) following a referendum and regional government approval.


The village, with about 50 inhabitants, voted to change the name in 2014 after the mayor argued that the term was offensive and that the village should honour its Jewish origins.


Documents show the villages' original name was “Jews' Hill Camp” and that the “Kill Jews” name dates from 1627, after a 1492 Spanish edict ordering Jews to become Catholics or flee the country. Those who remained faced the Spanish inquisition, with many burned at the stake.


Full report at:


http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/765776


----------


 


North Carolina man charged in plot to kill Americans for ISIS


22 June 2015


A North Carolina man has been charged with an alleged plot to buy a semiautomatic rifle which he planned to use to kill Americans to show his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.


Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, of Morganton, North Carolina, who was arrested Friday, is due to appear in federal court in Charlotte at noon (1600 GMT), said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.


Sullivan is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and two counts of weapons charges.


According to the complaint, Sullivan, who described himself as a Muslim convert, was tracked by the FBI after his father called the police in late April to report his son was trying to burn Buddhist religious objects in their home in an apparent ISIS - inspired tirade and the family were scared to leave the house.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/North-Carolina-man-charged-in-plot-to-kill-Americans-for-ISIS.html


----------


 


Swiss court maintains freeze on Assad’s wealthy cousin


22 June 2015


The financial assets of one of Syria's wealthiest men -- a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- will remain frozen in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court said in a statement.


The court rejected an appeal by billionaire Rami Makhlouf to reverse a federal decision blocking an undisclosed amount of money in his Swiss accounts -- which the government says helps “finance” and “support” al-Assad's violent regime.


Makhlouf owns 40 percent of Syria's largest mobile provider, Syriatel, and his assets in the Swiss affiliate of the British HSBC bank are estimated at around $30 million.


In an effort to clean up his image after he was vilified by opponents of al-Assad's rule, Makhlouf presented himself as the principle donor to a foundation for orphans and widows, and said he wanted to separate from the Syriatel group.


Full report at:


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/06/22/Swiss-court-maintains-freeze-on-Assad-s-wealthy-cousin-.html


----------


 


British Muslims react to call to thwart ISIS among youth


Jun 22, 2015


CANTERBURY, England (RNS) A leading British Muslim on Friday rejected Prime Minister David Cameron’s demand that the community do more to thwart the appeal of the Islamic State’s ideology among young Muslims.


“In Charleston [South Carolina] you have a white man who has killed nine black people in a church,” Yasmin Qureshi told the BBC’s Radio Four. “I don’t hear a single word, or anyone saying, that the whole of the white population of America has to apologize for the actions of one white man.”


Qureshi, a Pakistani-born Muslim, is a member of the opposition Labour Party from the Midlands.


“It feels absolutely awful,” she added. “I’m getting really tired of having to apologize.”


Qureshi was one of those reacting to a speech that Cameron delivered earlier Friday in Slovakia in which he called on Britain’s 2.8 million Muslims to do more, at home and in their mosques, to work against the appeal of the Islamic State group.


Cameron said that parts of the ultra-conservative and traditionalist wings of the Muslim community in Britain encourage teenagers to leave their country and turn themselves into ISIS fighters in the Middle East.


Qureshi said that view is “completely wrong.”


“When they hear about acts of terrorism they shake their heads with disgust and say, ‘Our religion is being maligned,’” she said of British Muslim leaders. “To say Muslims who are very religious support ISIS is wrong and I wish people would stop saying this.”


Speaking in the week in which the observance of Ramadan started, Cameron raised eyebrows throughout the Muslim world when he said some in the U.K. community “quietly condone” extremist ideology.


His intervention before European security chiefs in Slovakia followed news that Talha Asmal, 17, who left his home in Britain to join ISIS, blew up a truck at an Iraqi oil refinery in a suicide attack that killed 11 Iraqi troops.


Full report at:


http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2015-06/british-muslims-react-call-thwart-isis-among-youth


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Australia


 


Spy agencies to verify Australian ISIL fighters' deaths


23 Jun 2015


Australian intelligence agencies are attempting to verify the reported deaths of Australians Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held city of Mosul in Iraq, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said.


Both men, who moved to the Middle East to fight for ISIL, previously posed in photographs posted on social media holding heads of Syrians.


Their deaths were first reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday night.


On Tuesday, Bishop said the reported deaths raised the possibility of Sharrouf's young family being repatriated to Australia.


Australia's Fairfax Media newspapers reported last month that the Australian family of Sharrouf's Muslim-convert wife, Tara Nettleton, was trying to help her bring her three young boys and two teenage daughters from Syria home to Sydney.


Sharrouf's seven-year-old son horrified the world about a year ago when he was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier by the hair.


John Kerry, the US secretary of state, at the time described it as "one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed".


Australian PM announces new counterterror measures


Bishop said Sharrouf's death would have to be verified before Australia considers repatriating the family.


Full report at:


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/06/spy-agencies-verify-australian-isil-fighters-deaths-150623044133783.html


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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kurds-capture-isis-base-north-of-syria-s-raqqa/d/103618


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