New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 09:45 PM

Islamic World News ( 17 Jun 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

LA Muslims to Help the Homeless As Ramadan Nears End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: A Humanitarian Day fair in LA (file photo via humanitarianday.com)

 

Russia Claims It Killed Two More Islamic State Commanders in Syria

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North America

LA Muslims to Help the Homeless As Ramadan Nears End

Imam on American No-Fly List Detained At JKIA

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Arab World

Russia Claims It Killed Two More Islamic State Commanders in Syria

Army Cripples ISIL in Central Syria, Retrieves Strategic Regions in Hama, Homs

Syrian Gov't Grants Amnesty to More Militants in Hasaka Province

Iraqi Army Takes Control of Strip along Common Borders with Syria, Jordan

Iraqi Forces Drive Islamic State from Border Crossing With Syria

Syrian Army Declares 48-Hour Ceasefire with Militants in Dara'a, Reopening of Syria-Jordan Border Possible

Aleppo: Terrorists in Al-Bab Region Agree to Leave Military Bases

Damascus Army Cuts ISIL's Important Financial Resource in Syria

Infighting Intensifies Among Rival Terrorist Groups in Idlib Province

Military Expert: US Seeking to Form ISIL Gov't in Syrian Borders

Arab Analyst: Arab States Turned into US Puppets

Saudi Arabia says it does not need Turkish military base

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South Asia

Taliban Storm Afghan Police Compound, Kill 5 Policemen

Car Bombing and Coordinated Suicide Attack on Police HQ in Paktia

Seven US soldiers wounded in Afghan 'insider attack'

Afghan Commandos Deployed To Clear the Strategic Tora Bora from ISIS: MoD

Bangladesh: One dies in clash over mosque committee

Blocking roads and disturbing people not acceptable, Ghani tells Kabul protesters

NATO confirms no fatalities in North of Afghanistan insider attack

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India

Hindu, Muslim Offer Prayers Ahead Of India, Pakistan ICC Champions Final Match

Condemnation of stone pelting by anti-Muslim elements at Masjid Sharief in Ustad Mohalla Jammu

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Pakistan

Two Pakistani Diplomats Missing In Afghanistan since Friday: Islamabad

Now, Pakistan claims 2 Chinese killed in Balochistan rejected security they were offered

Cut Pakistan aid for supporting terror: 2 US lawmakers to Trump administration

Exports to Afghanistan drop by over a quarter in a year

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Mideast

Hamas, Israelis Reject Islamic State Claims over Jerusalem Attack

Police officer fires warning shot at Imam Khomeini mausoleum

Minister: Over 120 Terrorist Teams Disbanded in Iran

Anzac Cove controversy: Memorial honouring Australian soldiers removed by Turkish Government 'to make way for Islamist inscription'

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Southeast Asia

‘Islamic State’ Killings: China’s Censored Social Media Is In Uproar, So what’s Beijing Thinking?

Muslim family members allowed to visit convicts on third, fourth day of Aidilfitri

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Africa

Over 410 non-Muslims fast to give food to Somalia

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Europe

Muslim boss hid Christian workers who later escaped

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/la-muslims-to-help-the-homeless-as-ramadan-nears-end/d/111583

 

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LA Muslims to help the homeless as Ramadan nears end

Sun Jun 18, 2017

Muslims in the greater Los Angeles area are set to serve the homeless on skid row for the 18th annual Humanitarian Day as this year’s holy month of Ramadan nears its end.

Hundreds of homeless people are expected to show up Sunday to get fresh meals, hygiene kits, clothing and towels, backpacks and school supplies, The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

“We are Angelenos, we are Americans, we are Muslims and we are goodwill ambassadors living the values of our Islamic faith through service to those in need,” said Umar Hakim, the executive director of the ILM Foundation and lead organizer of Humanitarian Day, in a statement.

Meanwhile, other events related to Humanitarian Day were underway in Santa Ana, Pasadena and the Inland Empire on Saturday.

Over last year, Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 23 percent.

According to the Humanitarian Day website, the initiative’s “health fairs provide basic needs through the year, as we advocate for housing, healthcare, and other immediate needs for the 23 percent (We pray this number does not rise.)”

Apart from the homelessness rate in LA, Islamophobia has also been on the rises particularly since President Donald Trump took office in January.

presstv.com/Detail/2017/06/18/525638/LA-Muslims-to-help-the-homeless-as-Ramadan-nears-end

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Russia claims it killed two more Islamic State commanders in Syria

#SyriaWar

Baghdad-based expert who advises several Middle East governments on IS affairs says he is sceptical about Russia's claim

Fighter of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces surveys battlefield as he sits next to anti-tank weapons on northern outskirts of Deir Ezzor earlier this year (AFP)

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday it had killed two Islamic State (IS) field commanders, named as Abu Omar al-Beljiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri, in air strikes near the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, Interfax news agency reported.

The statement came a day after Russia said it may have killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air strike last month. Washington said it could not corroborate Baghdadi's death and Western and Iraqi officials were sceptical.

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday it killed about 180 militants and the two commanders al-Beljiki and al-Masri in air strikes around Deir Ezzor on 6 June and 8 June.

Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert who advises several Middle East governments on IS affairs, said he was sceptical about Russia's claim on Saturday.

He said Abu Yasin al-Masri is the same person as Abu al-Haj al-Masri, who the Russians on Friday said they killed near Raqqa in May.

Al-Hashimi said the other IS leader, al-Beljiki, was unlikely to have been in Syria at the time of the attack.

 Follow

 Andrew Nell @AndrewJNell

#Russia claims it killed two more #IslamicState commanders in #Syria: Ifax reut.rs/2scJn9R

1:51 AM - 18 Jun 2017

"The Russians are trying to improve their record fighting Daesh as it was the Americans who have killed the top commanders of the group so far, like Abu Omar al-Shishani, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani and Abu Ali al-Anbari," he said, using an Arabic acronym of Islamic State.

"If (Russia's) announcements prove wrong, their credibility will be hurt," al-Hashimi said.

IS militants are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, after nearly three years ruling over millions of people in a wide area in both countries.

A US-led coalition is assisting Iraqi forces in the Mosul battle and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias, in Raqqa.

Having been forced into retreat across much of Syria, IS's biggest remaining foothold in Syria is in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

middleeasteye.net/news/russia-claims-it-killed-two-more-islamic-state-commanders-syria-1558799605

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North America

LA Muslims to help the homeless as Ramadan nears end

Sun Jun 18, 2017

Muslims in the greater Los Angeles area are set to serve the homeless on skid row for the 18th annual Humanitarian Day as this year’s holy month of Ramadan nears its end.

Hundreds of homeless people are expected to show up Sunday to get fresh meals, hygiene kits, clothing and towels, backpacks and school supplies, The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

“We are Angelenos, we are Americans, we are Muslims and we are goodwill ambassadors living the values of our Islamic faith through service to those in need,” said Umar Hakim, the executive director of the ILM Foundation and lead organizer of Humanitarian Day, in a statement.

Meanwhile, other events related to Humanitarian Day were underway in Santa Ana, Pasadena and the Inland Empire on Saturday.

Over last year, Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 23 percent.

According to the Humanitarian Day website, the initiative’s “health fairs provide basic needs through the year, as we advocate for housing, healthcare, and other immediate needs for the 23 percent (We pray this number does not rise.)”

Apart from the homelessness rate in LA, Islamophobia has also been on the rises particularly since President Donald Trump took office in January.

presstv.com/Detail/2017/06/18/525638/LA-Muslims-to-help-the-homeless-as-Ramadan-nears-end

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Imam on American no-fly list detained at JKIA

SATURDAY JUNE 17 2017

Yussuf Awadir Abdi, the imam of Madina Masjid in Salt Lake City, Utah had travelled to Kenya to pick up his family but was prevented from boarding a plane.

His family was allowed to fly out of the country.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, has filed a petition on his behalf seeking orders to allow him to board a plane back to the United States.

Police in Nairobi are detaining an American on the list of people not authorised to leave his country.

Mr Yussuf Awadir Abdi from Salt Lake City, Utah is being held at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Mr Abdi, the imam of Madina Masjid in the city, had travelled to Kenya to pick up his family but was prevented from boarding a plane. His family was however allowed to fly out of the country.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the United States' largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, has filed a petition on his behalf seeking orders to allow him to board a plane back to the US.

AMERICAN AGENCIES

The council, in its suit, names the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Terrorism Screening Centre and the Transportation Security Administration, which are all American agencies, as defendants.

“He travelled to Kenya to bring his wife and children to the US. All members of his family are either American citizens or have permission to enter and reside in this country,” the council said in a statement.

“Imam Abdi was added to the no-fly list when he left the country and was therefore prevented from boarding his flight home.”

The statement said: “As a result, Imam Abdi was unable to return home in time for the last 10 nights of the holy month of Ramadhan”.

IMMIGRATION DIRECTOR

Kenya’s Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalang’wa denied knowledge of the imam’s detention, saying he learnt of it from the media.

National Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said: “If he is on the no-fly list, we would want him to go back to where he came from”.

The American Muslim council did not say why the cleric was blacklisted.

The Nation established that Mr Abdi was flagged because US authorities accused him of funding an organisation in Kenya on a terrorism watch list.

“The federal government has used the no-fly list as a tool to attack the constitutional rights and liberties of innocent American Muslims,” said council National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri.

He argued that the US Government “wrongfully placed the imam on the list without notice or due process when he left the country, which effectively exiled him by preventing him from returning”.

nation.co.ke/news/imam-on-united-states-america-no-fly-list-detained-kenya/1056-3975388-g5ivuj/index.html

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Arab World

Russia claims it killed two more Islamic State commanders in Syria

#SyriaWar

Baghdad-based expert who advises several Middle East governments on IS affairs says he is sceptical about Russia's claim

Fighter of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces surveys battlefield as he sits next to anti-tank weapons on northern outskirts of Deir Ezzor earlier this year (AFP)

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday it had killed two Islamic State (IS) field commanders, named as Abu Omar al-Beljiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri, in air strikes near the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, Interfax news agency reported.

The statement came a day after Russia said it may have killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air strike last month. Washington said it could not corroborate Baghdadi's death and Western and Iraqi officials were sceptical.

The Russian defence ministry said on Saturday it killed about 180 militants and the two commanders al-Beljiki and al-Masri in air strikes around Deir Ezzor on 6 June and 8 June.

Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert who advises several Middle East governments on IS affairs, said he was sceptical about Russia's claim on Saturday.

He said Abu Yasin al-Masri is the same person as Abu al-Haj al-Masri, who the Russians on Friday said they killed near Raqqa in May.

Al-Hashimi said the other IS leader, al-Beljiki, was unlikely to have been in Syria at the time of the attack.

 Follow

 Andrew Nell @AndrewJNell

#Russia claims it killed two more #IslamicState commanders in #Syria: Ifax reut.rs/2scJn9R

1:51 AM - 18 Jun 2017

"The Russians are trying to improve their record fighting Daesh as it was the Americans who have killed the top commanders of the group so far, like Abu Omar al-Shishani, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani and Abu Ali al-Anbari," he said, using an Arabic acronym of Islamic State.

"If (Russia's) announcements prove wrong, their credibility will be hurt," al-Hashimi said.

IS militants are close to defeat in the twin capitals of the group's territory, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, after nearly three years ruling over millions of people in a wide area in both countries.

A US-led coalition is assisting Iraqi forces in the Mosul battle and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias, in Raqqa.

Having been forced into retreat across much of Syria, IS's biggest remaining foothold in Syria is in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

middleeasteye.net/news/russia-claims-it-killed-two-more-islamic-state-commanders-syria-1558799605

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Army Cripples ISIL in Central Syria, Retrieves Strategic Regions in Hama, Homs

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army forces continued military operations in Eastern Hama and Homs to drive ISL out of the Badiyeh region, and seized back control of two strategic regions in the two provinces.

The army troops continued advances in Petrol Line route in the Southern parts of the town of Aqarib in Eastern Hama – the ISIL's last base in Syria's Badiyeh region- and regained control of Tabarat al-Dibeh region after winning back the strategic hill of Tabarat al-Dibeh.

They also drove ISIL back from the Northern mountain of al-Tadmuriyeh after liberation of Arak region, the energy field and dam, by advancing towards al-Sukhnah, the ISIL's last bastion in Eastern Homs and the main gate for entering Deir Ezzur province.

The Syrian army troops continued their advances against ISIL in Eastern Homs and recaptured Arak energy field on Thursday, moving towards the strategic town of al-Sukhnah along the main road to the terrorist-held city of Deir Ezzur.

The army soldiers that had earlier taken full control over Arak triangle engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL and pushed them away from Arak oilfield East of the city of Palmyra.

A large number of ISIL terrorists, including non-Syrians, were killed and their military hardware were damaged in the attack.

A military source announced that after taking control over Arak energy field the army soldiers are to move towards al-Sukhnah that is the last ISIL base in Homs province and a gate to Deir Ezzur province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001573

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Syrian Gov't Grants Amnesty to More Militants in Hasaka Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian government granted amnesty to over 70 militants who had laid down arms and gave up fight against Damascus troops in Hasaka province.

73 militants from Qamishli city and its surrounding areas in Northeastern Hasaka laid down their arms and surrendered to the Syrian government forces to receive amnesty.

Local officials reported last Saturday that tens of militants that had handed over their weapons to the Syrian Army and endorsed the peace agreement with Damascus have received government pardoning in Hasaka city.

The sources said that the Syrian government granted amnesty to fifty gunmen that surrendered to the army men and applied for pardoning in Hasaka city in the framework of the reconciliation plan and implementation of pardoning decree No.15 in 2016.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001666

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Iraqi Army Takes Control of Strip Along Common Borders with Syria, Jordan

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army forces continued their military advances against ISIL terrorists and managed to take control of al-Waleed crossing and a strip along Iraq's borders with Syria and Jordan.

The Iraqi forces under the joint command headquarters started a massive military operation dubbed as 'al-Fajr' to take control of the border strip.

The military operation took place with the participation of border guards, tribal forces and backup of the Iraqi fighter jets and international coalition.

Al-Waleed is close to the al-Tanf border crossing on the common border, which is the key to the Baghdad-Damascus Highway and also links up to the main Baghdad-Amman route.

ISIL seized al-Waleed in May 2015, almost a year into its deadly terror campaign in Syria and Iraq. It used the bridgehead to expand its grip there to the entirety of the common border.

Syrian forces are also advancing toward al-Tanf, where the US forces have been based since last year on a mission to train anti-Damascus militants.

In a relevant development last week, the first units of the Syrian Army troops and popular forces continued to advance against the terrorist groups in Syria's Badiyeh (desert) and deployed at the borders with Iraq Northeast of al-Tanf border-crossing, starting to fortify their positions in the region, a military source confirmed.

The source reported that the Syrian pro-government forces managed to advance against the terrorists from Jaliqam crossroad and Khebreh al-Shahmeh 4km away from al-Tanf border-crossing and al-Zarfa crossroad that end up in the towns of al-Mayadeen and Albu Kamal in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, reaching the border with Iraq after prevailing over the defense lines of the terrorists of al-Soud al-Sharqiyeh and going 30km deep into their positions.

The source further said that with the recent advance, the army has closed off the path to the US and British forces, preventing their penetration from Southern Syria to the Eastern Deir Ezzur province.

The source went on to say that deployment of the Syrian forces at the border with Iraq along with the final operation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa and simultaneous advances of the Syrian soldiers from Southeastern Aleppo towards Western Raqqa will have such positive impacts on the trend of the liberation of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur cities that will end in the collapse of the ISIL front in the two regions in coming days.

The sources added that the ISIL terrorists in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur are under the siege of the SDF from the Northern and Western directions and the army and its allies form the South and South-West, while the Iraqi army and the volunteer forces of Hashd al-Shaabi have laid siege on ISIL in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from Iraq's Western border.

In the meantime, arrival of the Syrian army troops at the borders with Iraq will benefit Jordan because it will block ISIL's transfer of its fighters from the South.

A report said earlier in May that the US-led coalition reinforced its positions near Syria's al-Tanf amid increasing presence of pro-Syrian government forces in the area.

"There are about a couple hundred both coalition forces and our partnered forces [near al-Tanf]. We have increased our combat power in that area," Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters, Sputnik reported.

Dillon noted that the pro-government force that is currently well within the deconfliction zone, is a "small element," but it is not moving out of the area.

"We have not established a deadline for them [to leave]. We have made it very clear, however, that their presence inside of the deconfliction zone is considered a threat," he added.

Dillon stressed that another cause of concern has been the buildup of pro-government forces that are outside the deconfliction zone.

On May 18, a US defense official announced that the US-led coalition struck the Syrian army near the town of al-Tanf in the area of an established "deconfliction zone" with Russia. The coalition strikes occurred near al-Tanf, where US' and British special operations forces have been training Syrian rebel fighters near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001152

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Iraqi Forces Drive Islamic State From Border Crossing With Syria

June 18, 2017

The Iraqi military says its forces and Sunni tribal fighters have driven Islamic State (IS) extremists out of the Al-Waleed border crossing near Syria, nearly three years to the day after the town fell to IS.

The military statement on June 17 said U.S. and Iraqi aircraft supported ground troops in the offensive on the western edge of Iraq.

Al-Waleed is across from the Syrian border town of Al-Tanf, site of a U.S. base used to aid forces fighting IS and the government and allies of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s six-year civil war.

IS took Al-Waleed on June 22, 2014, as its forces captured large chuncks of territory from Syrian and Iraqi government forces, declaring capitals in the Syrian town of Raqqa and the Iraqi city of Mosul.

When Al-Waleed fell to IS, it gave the group control of the Iraq-Syria frontier. At the time, they vowed to eliminate the border and establish a "caliphate" over territory in the two Arab nations.

U.S.-backed fighters in both countries are now pressuring IS forces and are attempting to push their final fighters out of the two self-declared capitals.

Along with supporting Iraqi government forces, the United States backs Syrian and Kurdish rebels fighting Assad’s government in Damascus. Russia and Iran have backed Assad.

The presence of the U.S. forces on the Syrian side near Al-Tanf has prevented Iran-backed Shi’ite forces supporting Assad’s government from receiving supplies along the main Baghdad-Damascus highway. The capture of Al-Waleed is likely to aid the U.S. efforts there.

On June 6, the U.S.-led coalition said it had eliminated a unit of Iranian-backed forces fighting on behalf of Assad as it neared the Al-Tanaf base. Russia denounced that attack as an "act of aggression."

The Pentagon on June 14 announced the deployment of the truck-mounted High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to the Al-Tanf base, also drawing protests from Russia.

In Mosul, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have squeezed IS fighters into a small enclave in the Old City sector after a nine-month battle. Along with the IS fighters and snipers, the narrow, crowded streets, along with some 100,000 trapped civilians, are slowing the drive.

Around Raqqa, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have seized territory to the north, east, and west of the city as they prepare for the final assault on the IS stronghold.

rferl.org/a/iraq-waleed-syria-border-mosul-raqqa-coalition-arab-kurdish-fighters/28561089.html

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Syrian Army Declares 48-Hour Ceasefire with Militants in Dara'a, Reopening of Syria-Jordan Border Possible

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Media sources reported that the Syrian army has declared ceasefire with the terrorist groups in Dara'a for the next 48 hours.

Al-Hadath news reported that the Syrian army's command center has declared ceasefire in Dara'a city which started at around midday on Saturday and will last for 48 hours.

Also, AMN reported that a meeting is yet to be held between the Syrian army mediators and militants' representatives to draw up a proper format for the ceasefire and its terms.

According to earlier reports, Jordanian and Syrian governments have been in talks to reopen the Nasib border crossing directly South of Dara'a city.

Jordanian sources reported on Thursday that the Syrian army troops will once again seize control over the border-crossings as the pro-government forces are significantly advancing against terrorists in the Southern territories of the war-hit country.

The Arabic-language Ray al-Youm daily quoted the Jordanian sources as saying that Amman, with Russia's mediating role, is reviewing the Syrian soldiers' return to the border-crossings between the two countries.

The sources told the paper that a Jordanian coordinating committee is in contact with Damascus through Russian mediation to see how the Syrian troops can return and take control of Nasib border-crossing.

"The Syrian army troops are faced with no hurdle to take back the Nasib border-crossing, and Amman is also interested to see the Syrian army's control over the passageway," the sources told the paper.

Ray al-Youm went on to say that the opportunity to open Nasib border-crossing has been created after coordinated contacts between officials of the Russia-Jordan Joint Operation Room.

Jordan closed off unilaterally Nasib border-crossing two years ago when the Syrian army men pulled back from the region.

The Syrian Army troops had made significant advances against the terrorist groups and took control over a 105-km-long chunk of the borderline with Jordan regardless of the US-led coalition fighter jets' presence over the region.

The sources said that the army units managed to push the terrorists away from 105km of the borderline with Jordan.

The army soldiers faced the coalition warplanes' continued flights in a show of warning while advancing against militant groups at the border with Jordan, the sources said, adding that the US army further called on the Syrian troops not to approach the defense lines of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The US army had announced that the Syrian forces are considered as a threat to the American bases and training camps of the US-backed militants in Southern Syria.

The Syrian Army troops started a large-scale operation against terrorists in the Southern city of Dara'a 10 days ago after dispatching a large volume of military equipment and forces to the city in the last days.

A source said that simultaneous with the dispatch of hundreds of fresh army soldiers and a large of volume of military equipment to Dara'a province, Hezbollah has sent a large number of fighters to the Southern province.

The source added that Hezbollah's fresh fighters have joined the Syrian army men as the pro-gov't troops have started a military operation to drive Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) out of Dara'a al-Balad district and al-Manshiyeh neighborhood in Dara'a city.

After the start of the military operation, pro-gov't forces managed to take back a number of districts in Dara'a province.

Local sources also reported on Wednesday that terrorist groups have dispatched hundreds of fresh forces to the Southern city of Dara'a to slow down the Syrian Army troops' rapid advances.

The sources said that the terrorist groups have moved hundreds of their forces from Quneitra to Dara'a, adding that tens of military vehicles and a large volume of weapons and ammunition have been forwarded to Dara'a to stop the rapid advances of the army men.

The sources added that simultaneous with the arrival of fresh terrorists in Dara'a, the Free Syrian Army and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) called on entire militant groups in Dara'a to stand united against the pro-government forces' advances.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001462

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Aleppo: Terrorists in Al-Bab Region Agree to Leave Military Bases

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups in the city of Al-Bab in Northern Aleppo province have agreed to evacuate and leave the military bases in the region, media reports said on Saturday.

A sum of 16 terrorist groups stationed in al-Bab city Northeast of Aleppo, including the Military and Local Councils came to terms over leaving the city after fierce clashes in the region, the Arabic-language al-Hadas News reported.

It said that the agreement was reached in the presence of a number of Turkish officers.

The terrorist groups also accepted to bring to a halt any arrest operation or attacks without coordination with the main operation room or the military council.

As per the agreement, all military men or even civilians have been banned from covering their faces or firing guns in the city.

Meantime, all sides have reached an agreement to prevent the militants from carrying weapons while passing through the city.

The terrorist groups have also committed themselves to refrain from accepting any individual or civilians if it is proven that they have cooperated with the ISIL.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, local sources reported that over 50 civilians and militants have been killed in intensified clashes among rival terrorist groups in Northern Aleppo.

The sources said that Turkish army-backed terrorists engaged in fierce clashes with rival militants in al-Bab region and the town of al-Ra'ei and its surrounding areas in Northern Aleppo.

The sources added that the main clash occurred in the villages of Awlan and Sousyan in al-Bab region among Sultan Morad Brigade, al-Hamzeh division, Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh and Faylaq al-Sham.

A sum of 30 gunmen and 20 civilians were killed in the clashes that spilled over to the refugee camp in the villages of Shamarin in Azaz region.

Local sources in the town of al-Bab reported on Monday that over 30 gunmen have been killed or injured in a fresh round of clashes between rival terrorists groups in the Northeastern countryside of Aleppo.

The sources said that after al-Hamzeh division attacked the positions of the 1st regiment in al-Bab, fierce clashes erupted among militants of al-Hamzeh division and Ahrar al-Sham with other militants from al-Bab military council and Bezaeh military council.

The source further said that 12 terrorists were killed and seven more were wounded in the clashes, adding that along with intensification of the clashes, Liwa Sultan Morad attacked Ahrar al-Sham positions in the villages of Oweilan and Qadiran. The fresh round of clashes between the terrorists in al-Bab has thus far left 30 gunmen dead or wounded.

While the news websites affiliated to the terrorists claim that al-Hamzeh division's accusation against Ahrar al-Sham about the latter's ties with the Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) has been the root cause of the clashes, the local sources said that the clashes erupted only on distribution of wheat in al-Bab's silos and its warehouses that were left without guard after ISIL's withdrawal from al-Bab.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001373

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Damascus Army Cuts ISIL's Important Financial Resource in Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army has managed to block one of ISIL's most important financial resources after the recent achievements and victories in the Eastern parts of Homs and regaining control over Arak energy field.

Military analysts believe that the army's control over Arak oil field in Northeastern Palmyra (Tadmur) has opened a new door to start and accelerate the operations in the region towards the ISIL's main bastion in Eastern Homs, the town of al-Sukhnah, Palmyra-Deir Ezzur road and then towards breaking the terrorists' siege on Deir Ezzur city and airbase.

Analysts believe that the capture of Arak energy field is strategically important because the Syrian army forces have been able to increase security in Palmyra city despite the fact that hundreds of ISIL terrorists have fled Raqqa towards Palmyra- before the eyes of the US-led coalition forces.

The army's concurrent operations from several pivots in Eastern Palmyra, Western Raqqa, Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Salamiyeh has played a decisive role in cutting the ISIL's supply routes between its bases in Badiyeh (desert) and purging terrorists from thousands of kilometers of the Syrian territories.

The Syrian army troops continued their advances against ISIL in Eastern Homs and recaptured Arak energy field on Thursday, moving towards the strategic town of al-Sukhnah along the main road to the terrorist-held city of Deir Ezzur.

The army soldiers that had earlier taken full control over Arak triangle engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL and pushed them away from Arak oilfield East of the city of Palmyra.

A large number of ISIL terrorists, including non-Syrians, were killed and their military hardware were damaged in the attack.

A military source announced that after taking control over Arak energy field the army soldiers are to move towards al-Sukhnah that is the last ISIL base in Homs province and a gate to Deir Ezzur province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001327

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Infighting Intensifies Among Rival Terrorist Groups in Idlib Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The rival terrorist groups engaged in fierce clashes in the Western part of the city of Idlib, leaving behind several terrorists dead and wounded.

Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) claimed that the group's security forces had discovered an ISIL sleeping cell operating in Idlib and successfully raided its headquarters, killing one ISIL loyalist and capturing another.

Meanwhile, reports from Idlib indicated that heavy fighting has taken place among the militant groups affiliated to the Free Syrian Army and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.

Also, a commander of the FSA and a specialist in using artillery systems, Muhammad Ali Suliman, has been assassinated in Idlib province by unknown assailants.

In a relevant development last Friday, local sources reported that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at stormed a base of the rival terrorist group of Free Syrian Army in Idlib province, inflicting heavy casualties on them.

The sources said that the surprise attack of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at hit the base of the FSA Division 13 in the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman, killing a number of FSA members.

Tahrir al-Sham's attack came unexpected and caught the Division 13 off guard. After overrunning the latter’s base, Tahrir al-Sham started executing their new captives.

Deputy Commander of the forces, called Idlib Free Police, Colonel Taiser al-Samahi from FSA Division 13 was killed before FSA reinforcements could arrive on the scene.

Another militant that was commander of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman Free Police was also killed in the clashes.

Throughout the clashes, civilian residents went out into the streets in protest against Tahrir al-Sham, demanding them to cease the fighting and leave the town.

The terrorist group unconvinced of the proposal opened fire at the protestors, killing at least 10 residents of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman as of now.

The FSA that was not only caught off guard, but also overpowered by the sheer size of the terrorists contingent swarming the town, called on Ahrar al-Sham and Faylaq al-Sham for help.

Both groups answered the call by sending a convoy of fighters to support FSA units trying to hold the town and fight off Tahrir al-Sham.

The new development comes after an assassination attempt on Sharia cleric of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at Abdullah al-Muhaysini in Idlib countryside on Wednesday night to Thursday this week, leaving the cleric wounded by gunfire. The attack was conducted by militants of Faylaq al-Sham as the cleric passed their checkpoint.

Local sources in Northwestern Syria reported on Tuesday that rival militant groups engaged in another round of clashes in Eastern Idlib, with tribal leaders warning Tahrir al-Sham terrorists to back down or wait for all-out war.

The sources said that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at stormed the positions of the rival terrorists of Liwa al-Soud al-Islam affiliated to Ahrar al-Sham in the village of Tal al-Toufan, leaving one of the members of Ahrar al-Sham dead.

In the meantime, Liwa al-Soud al-Islam seized vehicles of Tahrir al-Sham.

The sources went on to say that al-Mawali tribal people that lived in Idlib and Hama provinces gave a 48-hour ultimatum to Tahrir al-Sham to free the captured people.

Al-Mawali tribal people threatened Tahrir al-Sham with a joint military operation by all tribes of Idlib and Hama against Tahrir al-Sham fighters if they refuse to release the captives.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001212

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Military Expert: US Seeking to Form ISIL Gov't in Syrian Borders

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Syrian military expert warned that Washington seeks to establish an ISIL state at Syria's bordering regions, stressing that the army will fight against the Americans in al-Tanf region, if necessary.

Brigadier General Mohammad Issa said that the plot to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's government does not work at all, specially with the army's current situation and upper hand.

"Sending the US missiles to al-Tanf is a US theatre to create a small ISIL state along the Syrian, Iraqi and Jordanian borders to separate Syria from Iraq and Iran and turn it into a marginalized country which doesn’t play any role in the region," he added.

Issa explained that the small state is also meant to facilitate building the Qatar-Saudi Arabia gas pipeline to Turkey and then to Europe.

He added that the Syrian army will foil the US plot by advancing towards the Iraqi borders and linking itself to Hashd al-Shaabi forces, insisting on liberation of al-Tanf.

Noting that direct military conflict with the US forces deployed in al-Tanf- who are permanently showing off their military power - is unlikely, Issa said the Syrian army is ready to fight against the Americans on Syrian territories, if necessary.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the United States has redeployed HIMARS rocket artillery from Jordan to Syria.

"The US has redeployed two High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from Jordan to a US special operations forces base near the Syrian town of al-Tanf [18 kilometers from the Jordanian border]. Deployment of any foreign weaponry to Syria, especially multiple artillery rocket systems, has to be coordinated with the sovereign state's government", the ministry's statement read.

It noted that "the range of HIMARS cannot allow for providing support for US-controlled Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating against Daesh in Raqqa".

"The US-led anti-Daesh coalition has several times already attacked Syrian government forces fighting Daesh near the Jordanian border. It is possible to assume that similar strikes could be continued in the future, involving HIMARS from now on. So what objectives is the US pursuing in Syria and whom are the US servicemen fighting there?", the statement said.

On May 18, the US-led coalition struck pro-Bashar Assad forces near al-Tanf in the area of an established de-confliction zone. The coalition air raids occurred near al-Tanf, where US' and British special operations forces have been training militants near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

On June 6, the Pentagon announced the coalition conducted a new strike on pro-Syrian government forces as they entered the de-confliction zone with Russia and posed threat to its personnel. The force comprised of a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers. At least two Syrian servicemen were killed and more than 15 injured as a result of the coalition attack.

On June 8, the US-led coalition bombed pro-Damascus forces near al-Tanf in the area of a de-confliction zone following an alleged attack by a combat drone resulting in no coalition forces' casualties. This was the third attack by the coalition on Damascus' allies in the area. The coalition targeted a drone and trucks with weapons.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001032

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Arab Analyst: Arab States Turned into US Puppets

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, referred to Qatar's contract to purchase $20bln of military equipment from the US, and said the Arab regimes have turned into Washington's puppets.

"The contract will take Qatar out of the list of countries which support terrorism and will add it again to the list of Washington's allies and therefore, the Arab countries are playthings in the US hands," Atwan wrote on Saturday.

He added that after the contract, a tangible opening is expected in the relations among the Persian Gulf Arab littoral states and the possibility for their military confrontation fades away, noting that removal of the siege on Qatar and reopening of its enemies' airspace will need time.

Atwan warned of the US plots against the regional countries, and said, "It is a scenario with several scenes and we are now watching the first scene and naturally the Arabs are its victims."

Earlier this month, Atwan had underlined that cutting diplomatic relations with Doha by four Arab states is a prelude launching military strikes against the Qatari government.

Atwan's remarks came after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt closed their borders with Qatar to put a halt to all diplomatic ties with the Persian Gulf state.

"The next step may be military intervention for regime change in Qatar as this is a war that has been planned several months ago," the senior Arab analyst wrote on his Twitter page.

He reiterated that cutting diplomatic ties and closing the borders precedes efforts to isolate Doha.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and all land sea and air contacts with Qatar earlier this month, accusing the Persian Gulf country of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.

Qatar also in a statement expressed regret over the attempt by four Arab countries to cut relations with Doha, and said, "Their measure is unjustifiable and based on groundless allegations."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001516

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Saudi Arabia says it does not need Turkish military base

18 June 2017

Saudi Arabia said Saturday a Turkish military base similar to that built in neighbouring Qatar would not be welcome in the kingdom, insisting it is “not needed”.

The statement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said he had offered to build a military base in the Muslim kingdom shortly after work began on Turkey's facility in Qatar.

Ankara is at the forefront of efforts to defuse a diplomatic crisis that led Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt and other countries, to sever ties with Qatar, which is a strong ally of Ankara.

“The kingdom cannot allow Turkey to set up a military base on its territory,” said a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

The statement, quoting an unnamed official, said Saudi Arabia “does not need such thing”, adding that its armed forces and military capabilities were “at the best standards”.

The official said Saudi armed forces were participating abroad, including from Turkey's Incirlik base, “in the fight against terrorism and protecting security and stability in the region”.

Erdogan told Portuguese television this week that he had approached the Gulf state's King Salman “with the same idea for Saudi” after work began on the base in Qatar in 2014.

“I made the same offer to King Salman... and said that if it's appropriate we could also establish a base in Saudi Arabia. They said they would look into it but since that day nothing more came,” he said.

The Turkish parliament approved the deployment of troops to the base in Qatar only two days after the Gulf crisis broke out earlier this month.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks with King Salman as part of Ankara's efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and others severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremist groups, including some backed by Iran.

Asked by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency if the talks had found a solution, Cavusoglu replied: “No. There are other countries involved... It's very complicated at the moment.” Cavusoglu said he told the Saudi king that “it would be useful now to soften the conditions” against Qatar.

He had passed on a message for Salman from Erdogan that “we expect (the king) to find a solution in a worthy way. We are also prepared to contribute.“

dawn.com/news/1340142/saudi-arabia-says-it-does-not-need-turkish-military-base

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South Asia

Taliban storm Afghan police compound, kill 5 policemen

AP | Updated: Jun 18, 2017, 11.46 AM IST

KABUL: The Taliban stormed a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday after striking it with two suicide car bombs, killing at least five policemen, officials said.

Sardar Wali Tabasim, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Paktia province, said another eight police were wounded in the attack. He said one of the attackers detonated his suicide vest inside the compound, two others were shot dead by police and one was still fighting.

A doctor at a nearby hospital said more than a dozen wounded civilians had been brought in for treatment. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed the attack in Gardez, the provincial capital.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

One of the explosions was so strong it shattered windows up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the attack site, said Abdullah Hsrat, spokesman for the provincial governor.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-storm-afghan-police-compound-1-police-dead/articleshow/59201003.cms

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Car bombing and coordinated suicide attack on police HQ in Paktia

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 18 2017

A group of suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on a police headquarters in southeastern Paktia province of Afghanistan earlier today.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the incident took place around 6 am local time.

He said a suicide bomber initially detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near the headquarters compound, allowing the other suicide bombers to launch the attack.

Danish further added that two of the suicide bombers were killed during the initial minutes of the attack while one of them is still resisting the security forces.

According to Danish, at least one policeman has been killed so far and three others are wounded.

However, another source said at least four people were killed and 25 others were wounded in the attack.

The Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the attack.

khaama.com/car-bombing-and-coordinated-suicide-attack-on-police-hq-in-paktia-02965

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Seven US soldiers wounded in Afghan 'insider attack'

AFP | Updated: Jun 17, 2017

MAZAR-i-SHARIF: Seven American troops were wounded on Saturday in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier at a military base, as the US appears set to boost its troop presence in the country.

The shootout at Camp Shaheen near northern Mazar-i-Sharif city is the second "green-on-blue" attack -- where Afghan soldiers turn their weapons on international forces assisting them -- reported this week.

It comes as Washington is expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment in the country to bolster Afghan forces who are struggling to contain the Taliban's nationwide offensive.

"Seven US service members wounded, evacuated for treatment," US-led NATO forces said in a brief statement on Twitter. "Insider attack Camp Shaheen, Mazar-e Sharif under investigation."

The military coalition had earlier said that one Afghan soldier had been killed and another wounded in the incident.

The Taliban in a statement did not say if they were directly behind the attack, only crediting a "patriotic Afghan soldier" for the assault.

The latest attack comes just a week after an Afghan commando killed three American troops and wounded another in eastern Nangarhar province, in an insider attack that was claimed by the Taliban.

Camp Shaheen is the headquarters of the Afghan army's 209th Corps where around 150 Afghan soldiers and policemen were killed in April when it was stormed by Taliban fighters dressed in military uniforms and armed with suicide vests.

Green-on-blue attacks have been a major problem during NATO's long years fighting alongside Afghan forces. Western officials say most insider attacks stem from personal grudges and cultural misunderstandings rather than insurgent plots.

Analysts say such attacks are expected to increase this year as US troops engage with the Afghan military to double the size of its special forces, considered to be effective in the fight against insurgents.

The latest insider attack comes at a time of intensified violence and when the United States is actively considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week that he will present a new US military strategy for Afghanistan, along with adjusted troop numbers, in the coming weeks to President Donald Trump.

American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of additional boots on the ground to boost the NATO troop presence in the country.

US troops in Afghanistan currently number about 8,400, with another 5,000 from NATO allies, who mainly serve in a training and advisory capacity.

The Afghan conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led forces at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/afghan-soldier-opens-fire-on-us-troops-3-wounded-official/articleshow/59194765.cms

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Afghan commandos deployed to clear the strategic Tora Bora from ISIS: MoD

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 18 2017

The Special Operations forces of the Afghan National Army, Afghan commandos, have been deployed to the strategic Tora Bora, days after the ISIS terrorist group claimed the capture of the area.

The acting Afghan defense minister Tariq Shah Bahrami told reporters in Kabul on Saturday that the Afghan commandos have been deployed to Tora Bora area.

He said the operations are underway in the area and developments regarding the clearance of the area are expected soon.

This comes as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan, ISIS Khurasan, claimed Thursday that Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in the remote Tora Bora area in eastern Nangarhar province has been captured.

The group’s loyalists informed regarding the capture of the mountainous terrain, a claim which was rejected by the Afghan officials.

A local security official in Pacher Agam confirmed that the militants of the terror group have gotten closer to Tora and heavy clashes are underway between the terror group and Taliban militants close to the area.

The official further added that the militants of the terror group reached Tora Bora via Khogyani district but rejected the claims by ISIS that the area has fallen to its fighters control.

khaama.com/afghan-commandos-deployed-to-clear-the-strategic-tora-bora-from-isis-mod-02966

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Bangladesh: One dies in clash over mosque committee

Our Correspondent, Thakurgaon

A man was killed and six others were injured on Friday in a clash over formation of the mosque committee at Nayadighi village in Boda upazila of Panchagarh.  

The victim was Aminur Rahman, 55, of the village, aslo a retired army soldier.

Police, quoting locals, said a meeting was held after Jumma prayers over formation of Nayadighi Islampur village mosque committee, adding that the yearly income and expenditure of the mosque was also discussed. 

At one stage, Nur Nabi, younger brother of the general secretary of the mosque committee Nur Alam, and Aminur engaged in an altercation. After that, those present divided into two groups and attacked each other with sticks. 

The clash left seven people of both groups, including Aminur, injured.

Aminur was taken to Boda Upazila Health Complex where the doctor declared him dead. 

The injured are Aminur's son Sohel, 20, younger brother Mominul Islam, 50, Nur Nabi, 40, his father Amaz Uddin, 65, mother Nazira Begum, 60, and wife Shirin Akhter, 36. They were admitted to the health complex. 

Victim's son Shahinul Islam filed a case with Boda Police Station, accusing eleven people, including Nur Nabi, Amaz Uddin, Nazira Begum and Shirin Akhter, said officer-in-charge AKM Nurul Islam.

Police arrested Amaz Uddin, Nazira Begum, and Shirin Akhter.

thedailystar.net/country/one-dies-clash-over-mosque-committee-1421809

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Blocking roads and disturbing people not acceptable, Ghani tells Kabul protesters

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 18 2017

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the blocking of the roads and causing disturbance to the public are not acceptable as he called for immediate clearing of the routes blocked by the protesters who have set up camps.

He made the remarks during a meeting with the administrative delegation of the Afghan parliament’s Lower House, Wolesi Jirga.

The Afghan lawmakers said peaceful protests and demonstrations are the right of the people but sit-in tents have created problems for the people and residents of Kabul city.

They also announced their support to the government of national unity for the implementation of law.

In his turn, President Ghani said the closing of the routes and blocking of the roads are not unacceptable that causes problems and creates disturbances to the city residents.

President Ghani further added that the presence of the tents have also caused financial losses to the traders besides creating problems to the residents of Kabul.

In the meantime, the lawmakers of the Lower House of the Parliament said they will once again hold talks with the protesters in a bid to resolve the issue.

The tents in Kabul were set up after the protests in Kabul turned violent earlier this month and several people were killed or wounded during the clashes.

The protests turned violent as the rally participants were attempting to get close to the presidential palace as they were demanding the resigning of the government leaders and security officials in the aftermath of the deadly bombings in Kabul city.

khaama.com/blocking-roads-and-disturbing-people-not-acceptable-ghani-tells-kabul-protesters-02967

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NATO confirms no fatalities in North of Afghanistan insider attack

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 17 2017

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan confirmed no fatalities in the insider attack involving an Afghan soldier in northern Afghanistan.

The alliance in a statement said “We are aware of an incident that occurred at Camp Shaheen in Mazar-e-Sharif at approximately 2 pm local time.”

The statement further added “At this time we can confirm there are no US or NATO Resolute Support fatalities. U.S. soldiers have been wound. One Afghan soldier was killed and one ws wounded in the incident.”

“The incident is currently under investigation,” the statement said, adding that “More information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Earlier reports indicated an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier opened fire on the foreign troops in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan as there are fears that some foreign troops were killed or wounded in the attack.

An informed source said the incident took place this afternoon in the 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan army after a soldier opened fire on the American troops during a military exercise.

Unconfirmed reports earlier indicated at least four US soldiers were killed and as many were wounded in the attack.

khaama.com/nato-confirms-no-fatalities-in-north-of-afghanistan-insider-attack-02964

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India

Hindu, Muslim Offer Prayers Ahead Of India, Pakistan ICC Champions Final Match

June 18, 2017

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), June 18 (ANI): : A large number of Muslims and Hindus offered prayers ahead of the India and Pakistan ICC Champions cricket final match in the Balaji temple in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.  Muslims and Hindus both offered prayers for India's win in the finals. Supporters said that India has always ruled Pakistan in the Champions trophy. Ardent cricket fans said that they are waiting for the Champions' trophy. On Sunday, India and Pakistan will lock horn s in the ICC champions' trophy final match.

aninews.in/videosMg/NzA0MTM/hindu-muslim-offer-prayers-ahead-of-india-pakistan-icc-champions-final-match.html

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Condemnation of stone pelting by anti-Muslim elements at Masjid Sharief in Ustad Mohalla Jammu

Jun 17, 2017

Jammu (17 June 2017): Chairman Salvation movement (Jammu Province) in a meeting here at Jammu has condemned the coward act of stone pelting on Masjid Sharif at Ustad Mohalla Jammu after Indo-Pak Cricket match.

In the meeting he said that some anti-Islamic and anti-national elements from Hindus want to raise clashes and unrest among the people of Jammu Division. These anti-elements want to disrupt the Hindu-Muslim cooperation. He said that such coward act against any religion will not be tolerated in future. It is fundamental duty of every citizen to safeguard his religion. Such incidents always hurt the sentiments of people. We appeal the civil society to strengthen the Hindi-Muslim cooperation and unity so that we may get cool and calm atmosphere.

Meanwhile chairman Hilal Beigh condemned the civilian killing in Kashmir and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families.

milligazette.com/news/15667-condemnation-of-stone-pelting-by-anti-muslim-elements-at-masjid-sharief-in-ustad-mohalla-jammu

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Pakistan

Two Pakistani diplomats missing in Afghanistan since Friday: Islamabad

Reuters | Updated: Jun 18, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani diplomats based in a consulate office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad have been missing since Friday, when they set off by road back to their homeland, Pakistan's foreign office said on Sunday.

"Pakistan has requested the Afghan government that all efforts may be made to ensure early recovery of our officials and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice," the foreign ministry said in a statement

Islamabad said Afghanistan had formed three different investigating groups to probe the incident. The foreign ministry did not speculate who may be behind the disappearances but various Afghan Islamist groups have targeted diplomats in the past.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/two-pakistani-diplomats-missing-in-afghanistan-since-friday-islamabad/articleshow/59201633.cms

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Now, Pakistan claims 2 Chinese killed in Balochistan rejected security they were offered

Shailaja Neelakantan | TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jun 17

NEW DELHI: The case of the two Chinese nationals killed recently in Balochistan gets curiouser and curiouser with Islamabad now claiming the duo had been offered police security which they refused, Pakistani media reported on Saturday.

The two Chinese nationals were taken into police custody from Quetta's Kharotabad area days before their abduction and were informed about the threat to their security, Pakistan's interior ministry told the media, days after it said the duo were Christian preachers.

"They were offered security but they refused to accept the offer," the ministry said about the duo who were in Pakistan on business visas, according to Dawn.

Pakistan also said it has canceled the visa of a South Korean national who was allegedly associated with the duo and who was involved in illegal Christian missionary work, reported The Express Tribune.

In addition, Pakistan government sources told Dawn its security and intelligence organisations are checking the background of the two Chinese nationals and analysing various pictures uploaded on social media to get more details.

China on Wednesday stressed that its citizens must always "observe local laws" when traveling abroad.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said safeguarding Chinese nationals abroad is very important to Beijing, but he made sure to talk about the safety of citizens' "lawful rights and interests" overseas. Missionary work is unlawful in Pakistan, which is an Islamic country.

"We always ask Chinese nationals traveling overseas to observe local laws and regulations, respect local customs and practices, and heighten awareness for potential risks," said a statement on China's foreign ministry website, attributed to spokesman Lu Kang.

The pair, identified as Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26, were abducted on May 24 in Quetta, Balochistan. Last week, ISIS's Amaq propaganda agency claimed its members had killed them.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/now-pakistan-claims-2-chinese-killed-in-balochistan-rejected-security-they-were-offered/articleshow/59191145.cms

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Cut Pakistan aid for supporting terror: 2 US lawmakers to Trump administration

Jun 17, 2017

WASHINGTON: Two top lawmakers have accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism and urged the Trump administration to cut military aid to the country, saying the US should make it more difficult for Islamabad to get its hands on American weapons.

During a Congressional hearing this week, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Ted Poe, alleged that Pakistan is engaged in terrorism and asserted that the US needs to cut its military assistance to it.

"We need to go on the record here, on this part of our government, to say that we're not going to be providing weapons to countries like Pakistan that we're afraid will shoot down our own people and afraid we know they're engaged in terrorism," Rohrabacher said during a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade hearing on Foreign Military Sales.

"We know what they've done now. They still hold Dr. Afridi (who helped locate Osama bin Laden)...in a dungeon," he said.

"We should be facilitating our support and our weapons systems to countries like Egypt that are fighting this threat to Western civilisation, to all of civilisation. And we should make it more difficult not less difficult for countries like Pakistan to get their hands on American weapons," Rohrabacher asserted.

Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade, said that the US is having the issue with Pakistan whether "they're loyal or playing us for years on the issue of aid" to Pakistan and sales to Pakistan.

"We were concerned about the Pakistanis scrambling F-16s that we made and sold to the Pakistanis so that they wouldn't shoot down Americans who were doing the job of taking out this terrorist. I personally think Pakistan plays the United States because they turn to China if we don't help them," Poe said.

"I understand all that. They have nuclear weapons and we want to have a relationship with them so that they don't look to China. I get all that. But are we doing anything different on sales to Pakistan to make sure those sales of whatever it is aren't used against us directly or used against us indirectly because of the military helping the Taliban in Afghanistan where were have our troops and those weapons could be used against the United States?" he asked.

"Are we doing anything different to make sure that doesn't happen or are we still using the same formula," Poe questioned.

Tina Kaidanow, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Political-Military Affairs, told lawmakers that with Pakistan the United States has a robust end use monitoring programme, to ensure that the items that it provides to them are used appropriately and within the boundaries of what the US has asked them to accomplish.

"We regard Pakistan as an important partner on counter- terrorism issues. They will be essential in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table for peace talks. There are a number of things where we need their cooperation and their assistance," Kaidanow said.

"We do want to help them on the counter-terrorism front. But on the other hand, again, we have very big concerns that we continuously front with them on support for Haqqani, on support for other things. This has been made clear to the Pakistani government at the highest levels," the senior State Department official said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/cut-pakistan-aid-for-supporting-terror-2-us-lawmakers-to-trump-administration/articleshow/59189872.cms

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Exports to Afghanistan drop by over a quarter in a year

Mubarak Zeb KhanPublished about 5 hours ago

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan fell by a significant 27 per cent over the past one year, thanks to growing mistrust between the two countries as well as downgrade of Nato presence in the war-ravaged nation.

According to officials on Friday, the worsening law and order situation in Afghanistan over the past months was another factor that contributed to the decrease in exports.

Hundreds of people and security personnel have been killed in bomb blasts and gun attacks by militants in Afghanistan recently.

Withdrawal of Nato forces, increased trust deficit and poor security are causes of the fall

The deteriorating security situation has triggered an intermittent war of words between the two countries with Afghan officials holding Pakistan responsible for each such incident.

For the first time, the commerce ministry of Pakistan admitted that frequent closures of the Pak-Afghan border had also contributed to the steady decline in exports to the neighbouring country.

Another reason was the diversion of Afghan trade to Iran.

Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan had reached an all-time high of $2.4bn in 2010-11. It remained over $2bn annually in the subsequent two years — 2011-12 and 2012-13. Since then, exports started to dwindle and hit $1.43bn in 2015-16.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal, exports were recorded at $362.5 million. It clearly reflects that the annual exports to Afghanistan will now be around $1bn when the figure for the 2016-17 was finalised.

Contrary to this, imports from Afghanistan have witnessed a growth of 26pc as it reached $409m in 2015-16 against $323m in the previous year.

Talks on several issues have been on the back burner for the last couple of years because of Kabul’s loss of interest in concluding a trade liberalisation regime with Pakistan.

In 2014, both sides agreed to initiate negotiation on a bilateral preferential trade agreement (PTA). Pakistan shared a draft text of the agrement with Afghanistan.

In 2015, Afghanistan conveyed to Pakistan that it would formally respond to the draft PTA latest by January 2016.

“We have not received any response so far from Afghanistan,” a commerce ministry official said.

Moreover, to encourage business-to-business interaction between the two countries, a joint business council (JBC) comprising leading businessmen from both sides was established. The first meeting of the JBC was scheduled for August 2015. When Kabul failed to send its response, a new date for the JBC meeting was scheduled — Feb 17, 2016 — in Islamabad.

According to the official, the Afghan government initially confirmed its participation in the meeting but later changed its mind. “Since then no meeting of the JBC has been planned,” the official said.

According to another official source, Pakistan has recently reminded the Afghan side to convene the 7th meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) in Kabul as had been agreed during the last meeting held in 2016.

A similar request was also sent to Afghanistan for sharing the draft text of the amended Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement as was agreed in the last meeting of APTTCA held in Islamabad last year.

According to the source, both the Afghan transit and Afghan traders have suffered heavy demurrage, detention and over stay charges owing to the closure of border.

The deadlock between Afghanistan and Pakistan was due to Kabul’s insistence that India should be included in bilateral and trilateral agreements. Kabul wanted to include India in Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Kabul, according to officials, also wants market access to India and Saarc countries through Wagha border.

dawn.com/news/1340270/exports-to-afghanistan-drop-by-over-a-quarter-in-a-year

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Mideast

Hamas, Israelis reject Islamic State claims over Jerusalem attack

18 Jun 2017

Tel Aviv: Palestinian factions and the Israeli military have both rejected a claim by Islamic State that three Palestinian men who carried out a fatal shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem were members of the militant group.

The attack with guns and knives near Jerusalem's Old City on Friday killed a border policewoman and wounded three other people. It was the first attack in Israel or the Israeli-occupied West Bank claimed by Islamic State.

Hours after the attack, the group announced that "soldiers of the caliphate" had launched the "blessed operation ... on a gathering of Jews" and said it would attack again.

Hamas said one of the attackers belonged to the Islamist  Hamas movement and two others to the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both domestic Palestinian groups.

The Israeli military also challenged the IS claim. On Saturday, an Israeli officer said the army believes the attackers were a "local" organisation without links to IS or Hamas.

Hearing reports on a police radio of gunfire at an East Jerusalem holy site several blocks away from the Old City, a group of Israeli border police near the Old City's Damascus Gate was preparing to respond when an assailant began stabbing Staff Sergeant Major Hadas Malka repeatedly, authorities said. The officer was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Three other people were shot and injured at the scene of the gunfire, several blocks away.

Israeli police said they killed three Palestinians involved in the attack. The attackers were identified by Israeli security services as residents of the West Bank, at least two of them teenagers. The village of Deir Abu Mashal near Ramallah was cordoned off by Israeli troops after the attack.

Earlier this year, IS claimed that it had launched a rocket attack from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into Israel. In 2016, a truck-ramming attack that killed four soldiers at a Jerusalem tourist site could have had links to the group, Israeli authorities said, but IS did not claim responsibility.

Israeli intelligence officers have said they believe that the group has been focusing their main efforts on attacking Arab states in the region, but cautioned that a successful attack on Israelis would add to the organisation's prestige in the Arab world.

Since late 2015, Israel has been grappling with fatal stabbing attacks by individuals on soldiers and civilians. Many of the stabbing attacks have targeted border police deployed at the Damascus Gate. But the attack on Friday evening suggested that the three suspects were operating as a team and had planned the attack.

In response to the attack, Israeli security services said that they were cancelling entry permits for West Bank Palestinians to visit relatives inside Israel during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

smh.com.au/world/hamas-israelis-reject-islamic-state-claims-over-jerusalem-attack-20170618-gwtcfj.html

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Police officer fires warning shot at Imam Khomeini mausoleum

Tehran, June 18, IRNA – A warning shot by a police officer frightened the participants at a religious ceremony in the holy month of Ramdan at the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, in the capital Tehran on Saturday evening.

Police officer fires warning shot at Imam Khomeini mausoleum

A police officer fired a warning shot at a suspected man in the ceremony, but after stopping the man, it was found out that he was a photographer at Imam Khomeini mausoleum, according to IRNA reporter.

Following the incident, the religious ceremony continued peacefully.

The shooting happened while a large number of people were gathering at the mausoleum to hold a special religious ceremony on the 21st night of the fasting month of Ramadan.

irna.ir/en/News/82568555/

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Minister: Over 120 Terrorist Teams Disbanded in Iran

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi announced that his forces have disbanded tens of terrorist teams in the past few years.

"The intelligence ministry has hit a blow to over 120 terrorist teams in Iran," Alavi told reporters in the Northern city of Rasht on Saturday.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday night, Alavi announced that the security forces disbanded a terrorist team in the Western province of Kordestan the same day, blaming Saudi Arabia for recent insecurities in Iran.

"Today, a terrorist team was attacked by the security forces and disbanded," he said.

Alavi added that the team consisted of 7 terrorists, including 5 Iranian and 2 foreign nationals from the neighboring countries.

He also said that another terrorist team was disbanded in the Southeastern city of Chabahar in Sistan and Balouchestan province on Wednesday, adding that intelligence shows that the Saudis have hired mercenaries from the neighboring states to create insecurity inside Iran.

Also, on Monday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that the June 7 terrorist attacks in Tehran were carried out at the demand of Riyadh.

"We have precise intelligence showing that unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has supported the terrorists and demanded them to conduct operations in Iran," General Jafari said.

He also revealed that the terrorist groups in the region are also supported by the US and Israel.

Three unknown male assailants fired several rounds at the guards protecting the parliament building in Tehran on June 7. The assailants opened their way into the parliament's administrative building while shooting at the guards.

A similar attack took place at the holy shrine of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, parallel with the parliament attack.

17 people, including the parliament's guards, were killed and 52 others were wounded in the twin attacks claimed by the ISIL.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960327001221

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Anzac Cove controversy: Memorial honouring Australian soldiers removed by Turkish Government 'to make way for Islamist inscription'

18 June 2017

A renovation of an Anzac Cove memorial honouring Australian soldiers may be replaced by an inscription that reflects the Turkish Government's Islamic interpretation of the role diggers played in the Gallipoli invasion.

A photograph shared on social media on May 19 shows a destroyed monument with words attributed by Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk scratched out.

His words compared Australia's deceased 'Johnnies' to the Ottoman's 'Mehmets,' and gave them his blessing to be buried in his country.

While the Turkish Government has reassured the Australian Government they are undergoing refurbishment on the memorials at Gallipoli, sources say this process could be a ploy to make a political statement to reflect Turkey's shift to focus on religion and culture under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

However, a recent photograph of the monument taken in May shows the monument in poor form and its words scratched out.

Australia's Veteran Affairs Minister Dan Tehan had provided more understanding on the matter.

'The Turkish government have advised the Department of Veterans' Affairs they are undertaking refurbishment work on Turkish memorials on the Gallipoli peninsula.

'No Australian memorials or cemeteries are affected by this work.

'The Australian government is grateful for the work of the Turkish government in ensuring the peninsula remains in good condition and is cared for in perpetuity,' Tehan said.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4614434/Turkey-s-Anzac-memorial-Islamic-stance.html#ixzz4kKnpGTHm

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Southeast Asia

‘ISLAMIC STATE’ KILLINGS: CHINA’S CENSORED SOCIAL MEDIA IS IN UPROAR, SO WHAT’S BEIJING THINKING?

18 JUN 2017

As Beijing scrambles to befriend neighbouring countries and ease anxieties over its rising military power, social media users are demanding their government send troops to Pakistan to seek payback for the killing of two Chinese nationals.

Calls for action were stoked after Islamic State (IS), a terrorist group active in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for executing a young man and woman last week in Pakistan. Chinese officials have yet to directly confirm the deaths, but a spokesman from the Chinese foreign affairs ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing was investigating whether the pair – described in some reports as Chinese language teachers – were illegally preaching in Pakistan before they were abducted. In an earlier press conference, the ministry said it had been told by Pakistan that the pair had “probably died”.

The two Chinese nationals, Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26, were kidnapped by IS members at gunpoint last month in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province. Beijing vowed to rescue them, and Pakistan responded by launching a raid on IS positions that officials said successfully killed several militant commanders, but failed to find the pair.

China in the middle: Pakistan trade corridor under spotlight after Indian ‘spy’ gets death sentence

News of their death has generated a cascade of discussion on Weibo, a Twitter-style Chinese social media platform, with many users calling for revenge.

“We shall start a war against IS, killing them on behalf of the two murdered Chinese,” said a user going by the name Zhou Qi Bei Hou.

“It is time to fight violence with violence,” another user, Lingchen99096, said.

Beijing tends to restrict such content from going online, but tens of thousands of comments regarding the atrocity remain.

A significant level of online outrage could be problematic for Chinese leaders who are reluctant to engage in overseas military operations yet are equally reluctant to stir up social unrest ahead of an important Communist Party meeting later this year. Government mainstream media has remained mostly silent on the issue.

David Bandurski, a researcher specialising in China media censorship at the University of Hong Kong, said Chinese social media generally set strict controls on posts. “All platforms are required to police their content along government lines. All must maintain internal teams that carry out censorship on behalf of the state,” he said.

Islamic State killings: sign of things to come for China in Pakistan?

Pakistan, which was ranked as the fourth most unsafe country in the world by the World Economic Forum in 2017 and has housed a growing Chinese community following Beijing’s multibillion-dollar investment in the country, has seen attacks against Chinese intensify in recent years.

Why India is cool towards China’s Belt and Road

In May last year, a Chinese engineer and his driver were injured in a bombing in Karachi after a separatist group vowed to sabotage Chinese investment in Pakistan. Several months later, another two Chinese engineers were shot dead in Balochistan by unknown assailants. It was the first fatal attack against Chinese nationals since Beijing pledged US$57 billion for a deep-water port and a road artery vital to its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to create China-centred trading network across Eurasia.

Although the two Chinese nationals did not work for projects related to the initiative, analysts say their death casts a shadow over Beijing’s ambition to revive the ancient Silk Road trading routes.

“This incident does show the vulnerability of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan,” said Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. “It is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but China wants to build a safe passage corridor. It is truly ironic and reveals problems with China’s strategic planning,” Zhang said.

Highway to sell: How $55b trade corridor rekindled China-Pakistan love affair

On Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform with more than 340 million monthly active users, anger towards the killing – and Beijing’s lack of response – is running high.

“How much blood do we still have to spill until the government is willing to take action?” wrote a Weibo user going by the name ‘No.1 School Guard Deng Dabao’. The comment was liked by some 80 users.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) skipped a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit last week in Astana, Kazakhstan, an uncommon act at such an international event, according to political analysts.

But experts say the death of the two Chinese nationals is unlikely to become a turning point in foreign policy. “Will Beijing follow the request of Chinese social media users and send troops abroad? No, of course not,” said Wu Xinbo, a professor of the Institute of International Studies at Shanghai-based Fudan University.

Wu said China had not signed any agreements with nations in terms of building military bases on foreign soils, making it hard to send troops abroad. Besides, principles such as “non-interference in each other’s internal affairs” had served as the foundation of Chinese foreign policy for decades, and Chinese leaders were far from ready to revise them, he said.

Zhang and others said they did not expect China-Pakistan relations to sour, either, despite Xi’s rare snub to the Pakistani leader.

“Both sides have strong geostrategic reasons to maintain the relationship. It is shaped by the Indian factor. In fact, they are de facto allies against India.”

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, a US$55 billion trade route that is largely backed by Chinese money and runs from Xinjiang (??) through to the deep-water Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, is one case in point. Pakistan hopes that Chinese investment will give its economy a boost, while Beijing wants to gain a toehold in the Indian Ocean.

India, on the other hand, has protested against the project, as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which India claims as its own.

This could explain why Chinese leaders have tried to downplay the recent killings in Pakistan. Several Chinese journalists working for different news outlets in the mainland told This Week in Asia that they were told by the government watchdog not to touch the topic.

And Global Times, a state-run newspaper in Beijing, said in a recent article that the two Chinese nationals were not “teachers” as previously reported, but “missionaries” sent by a South Korean agency to promote Christianity in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Such claims were echoed by the Pakistani government.

But these reports only ignited fresh anger on Chinese social media. One user responded with dark humour: “The Pakistani government said they were told that the two Chinese were missionaries. I was just wondering, who told them?”

scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2098320/islamic-state-killings-chinas-censored-social-media-uproar-so

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Muslim family members allowed to visit convicts on third, fourth day of Aidilfitri

June 18, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim prisoners can meet their family members on the third and fourth days of the Aidilfitri celebration (June 27 and 28).

Prisons Department Deputy Director (Policy) Supri Hashim said this involved all prisons and rehabilitation centres nationwide as well as the Henry Gurney School, while all visits would be closed on the first two days of Aidilfitri.

"Priority for the visit will be given to the Muslim prisoners and the visiting hours are from 8.15 am to 4.15 pm," he said in a statement today.

To facilitate the visit arrangements, visitors are asked to respectively bring their visiting and identification cards while outside food or drinks are not allowed to be given to the prisoners.

"Visitors are advised to not give money to the prisoners as all their basic needs have been provided by the Prisons Department, and if they intend to do so for purposes such as for examination fees, it must be included with an official receipt as a declaration of acceptance," he said.

Visitors are subject to regulations that allow the prison to run a physical examination on them before entering and leaving the premises.

english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/muslim-family-members-allowed-visit-convicts-third-fourth-day-aidilfitri-146594

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Africa

Over 410 non-Muslims fast to give food to Somalia

18 Jun 2017

More than 410 non-Muslims participated in Hyatt Plaza’s Fast-a-thon, a charity event that offers the opportunity to experience fasting for one day. This year, for every person who registered and fasted, Hyatt Plaza and Qatar Charity will donate QR200 on his/her behalf to help ending hunger in Somalia.

Consequently, the shopping mall and Qatar Charity have pledged to donate QR90,000, in order to provide food to destitute children and alleviate the suffering of people living in drought-affected areas in Somalia. An Iftar party was also organised for the participants, allowing them to share their fasting experience and promote the universal values of brotherhood, tolerance and empathy.

“Ramadan is the month of goodness and giving, which is also what this event is all about. We have a double objective that we want to achieve from Fastathon; first, we wanted to endorse acceptance, tolerance and social solidarity, and second, we aimed to raise awareness about the alarming situation in Somalia. This year, we have witnessed the highest participation for Fast-a-thon and are glad that we will be able to help easing the famine in Somalia and make affected lives better,” said Feroz Moideen, general manager, Hyatt Plaza.

Johnny B, one of the participants said: “As new expats in Qatar, my family and I have been intrigued by the local culture for a while now, especially during the Ramadan. Fast-a-thon represents a great opportunity for me and my family to experience fasting and link it to a great cause, like fighting famine in Somalia”.

The proceedings from the Fast-a-thon will be donated to urgent projects, which were earlier initiated by a project aiming at providing food and medical supplies to about 19,000 affected people.

“We thank all our customers and partners for supporting us in this noble cause, and we wish that the event will instil Ramadan’s true values and make our participants understand what those in need exactly feel.” Moideen has stressed.

thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/18/06/2017/Over-410-non-Muslims-fast-to-give-food-to-Somalia

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Europe

Muslim boss hid Christian workers who later escaped

JUNE 18 2017

MARAWI • Three Christian civilians said they had cowered in a basement for weeks while militants inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) went from door to door killing non-Muslims in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, before fleeing for their lives at dawn last Tuesday.

It was their Muslim employer who hid them in his basement.

"We heard them (militants) shouting 'Allahu akbar' and asking neighbours about religion," said house painter Ian Torres, 25, who had come to Marawi for a job. "We could only hear them. If they could not answer questions about Quran verses, gunfire immediately followed."

Their account, and others from people who have fled the battle zone in Marawi, starkly illustrate the brutal religious calculus of the militants as well as the heroic efforts of local Muslims who risked their lives to protect their Christian friends and workers.

The militants, a coalition of local insurgent groups loyal to ISIS, began their assault on the city on May 23, announcing their intent to create an Islamist caliphate in the Philippines' only predominantly Muslim city. Since then, more than 300 people have been killed, the Philippine military says.

There have been previous reports of militants threatening or killing Christians, but it is not known how many have died. The military says 26 civilians have been killed, but the militants still control about a fifth of the city, and there may be other areas that the military has not reached.

The three Christians who escaped were part of a group of five labourers from Iligan, about 40km to the north, who had been hired to refurbish the house of a prominent Muslim trader in Marawi.

But what was supposed to be a routine job turned into a nightmare when they were trapped in hostile territory .

One of the men, Mr Nick Andilig, 26, said about 50 militants suddenly appeared in the neighbourhood where they were working, shouting "Allahu akbar" and displaying a black flag.

"They claimed to be ISIS out on a mission to cleanse the city," he said. He said he thought that meant they would kill all non-Muslims in the area.

The fighters appeared to be in their 20s, wore face masks and head gear, and carried long firearms, Mr Andilig said. He said their employer hid the workers in his basement. When the militants reached his door, the workers overheard him arguing with them.

"He told the gunmen that there were no Christians in the house," Mr Andilig said. The militants eventually moved on to the next house. Then they heard shooting.

When Mr Andilig and his group eventually emerged from hiding, they saw several bodies with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

"Our employer escaped earlier with another household staff," he said. "He said he would come back for us but never made it. He was a good Muslim."

That left the five workers, four men and a pregnant woman in the house.

For days they subsisted on food the owner had left behind, mostly canned goods and rice, but eventually that ran out. "All of us decided to escape," Mr Andilig said. "But our companion, who is seven months pregnant, could not run along with us. She and her husband decided to stay." As dawn broke on Tuesday, Mr Andilig, Mr Torres and Mr Arman Langilan, 22, fled.

"We told each other, whatever happens, happens," Mr Torres said. "If we get hit and die, that's our fate. But we had to escape. Or at least die trying."

They alternated between running and hiding in thick shrubs, eventually reaching the Agos River, which divides the city and separates the area controlled by the militants from that controlled by the Philippine military.

They were found by the police wandering, tired and hungry, among the ruins of the city.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/muslim-boss-hid-christian-workers-who-later-escaped

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/la-muslims-to-help-the-homeless-as-ramadan-nears-end/d/111583

 

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