New Age Islam
Thu Oct 22 2020, 08:13 AM

Islamic World News ( 14 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

New video shows Pakistan security forces abusing four blindfolded men

13 killed in fresh political and ethnic violence in Karachi

Violence claims seven more lives in Karachi

Suicide attack kills 8; mortar hits Afghan centre

6 civilians killed in Syrian protest

US drone base set for Persian Gulf region

Fatah, Hamas see new Palestinian government next week

UN will recognise Taliban as political force’

Pakistan wants tribal militias against al-Qaeda and Taliban

Indonesia head sees risks of Mideast work turmoil

No evidence of link between ISI and Haqqani network: US

CIA plans Pak-style drone op in Yemen

ISI arrested 5 CIA informants who helped in Osama raid: US daily

India banking on US to nail 26/11 accused?

Piled up at Delhi airport, Husain's works gather dust

Ten SIMI activists arrested in M.P

LeT used Gujarat riot videos to motivate Headley against India

Pak govt forms commission to probe journalist’s killing

‘Muslims should deal with anti-Islam media campaigns rationally’

Two explosions shake centre of Tripoli

UK Navy chief see hard choices looming on Libya

Nervous Iraqis buying more assault rifles, pistols

UAE: Calls to End Trial of Democracy Petitioners

Major Iqbal used US number to talk to Headley in India

Third Russian plane heads for Yemen for evacuation

‘Visits to Israel by Indian leaders better under BJP’: Israel Foreign Ministry

Pak should give no room to terrorists against India: Indian FM

Israel denies man held in Egypt is a spy

‘Headley gave us 34 more targets in India’

Accession of J-K conditional not final: NC

I will complete full 6-year term: J&K CM

Bangalore jail calls to Pak: ring alarm

Syrian tanks, troops extend reach in border areas

US says fight against al Qaeda on track in Yemen

Yemen’s Saleh says recovering well from bombing

More killed as Syria ignores international appeals

Sudan deal reported but talks run into extra time

Iraq’s Maliki eyes downsizing government, risks protest

Pakistan didn't know about Bin Laden: Musharraf?

Amnesty urges Malaysia to arrest Sudan leader

Federal court death verdict for footballer Amira Agarib

Tanks, troops move to snuff out Syria resistance

Iran says Britain, US ‘interfering’ in its affairs

Indonesia, EU seek 'ambitious' free trade agreement

Iraq's $77 billion electricity project promising for Turks

Kharotabad incident: Committee to probe attempts to tamper with evidence

Karachi shooting: Heads roll over extrajudicial killing

UN blasts Israel’s blockade over 45% Gaza jobless rate

Prince Naif opens Haj research forum in Makkah

Sultan charity constructs 1,246 homes for the poor

Canadian woman wants to live in Saudi Arabia, say reports

Egypt’s curfew comes to an end

Tunisia’s ex-president to be tried in absentia

US defense chief urges patience with Pakistan

Somali pirates free Egyptian cargo ship

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-video-shows-pakistan-security-forces-abusing-four-blindfolded-men/d/4840

 

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New video shows Pakistan security forces abusing four blindfolded men

Jun 15 2011

Islamabad: A video purportedly showing Pakistani armed forces personnel physically abusing four blindfolded men has emerged just days after a paramilitary trooper was filmed shooting and killing a teenage youth in a park in Karachi.

The new video, posted on social media sites like Facebook this week, shows a man in fatigues sexually assaulting and beating at least four blindfolded men whose hands are bound to window and door frames. The man, who is seen grinning, is aided by another man wearing shalwar-kameez. The blindfolded men's screams and the laughing of someone off-camera are audible in the video, media reports said on Wednesday.

Though the authenticity of the video could not immediately be ascertained, it has emerged at a time when the Pakistani armed forces are facing intense scrutiny for several incidents of extra-judicial killings and abuses.

Paramilitary troops and policemen were filmed gunning down five unarmed foreigners, including a pregnant woman, in the southwestern city of Quetta last month after declaring them "suicide bombers". It was later established that none of the foreigners had weapons or explosives.

Last week, a TV cameraman filmed a paramilitary Pakistan Rangers personnel shooting Sarfraz Shah, 18, at point blank range in a park in Karachi. The youth was left to bleed to death, the video repeatedly aired on news channels showed.

Police claimed Shah was an armed robber who was killed in an exchange of fire but the video clearly showed he had no weapon.

Brigadier Syed Azmat Ali of the Inter-Services Public Relations told The Express Tribune newspaper that the army is aware of the new video. "There are many such videos. It is part of a dedicated campaign," he said.

Ali said there were "so many elements" who could be behind such a campaign. "We will have to verify if the video is true or not. Naturally, the verification process has started," he said.

Ali said the video appeared to have been filmed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Another video posted on social media sites last year had purportedly shown Pakistani soldiers executing six blindfolded men. Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had ordered an inquiry into that video but no findings have been made public so far.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803921/

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13 killed in fresh political and ethnic violence in Karachi

June 15, 2011

At least 13 people have been killed in the southern Pakistani city overnight in a fresh spate of violence fed by political and ethnic tensions.

In different incidents of target killing and violence, activists of the major political parties Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party and the Pakistan Peoples Party were killed by unidentified assailants.

Orangi Town was the worst hit with target killers gunning down six people in the town.

In North Karachi, assailants riding a motorcycle gunned down a lawyer of a notorious target killer, Ajmal Pahari, who is awaiting trial for his criminal activities.

Advocate Zia Aslam, who was also a senior member of the Sindh council of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party was shot dead while he was returning home. The lawyer was defending Pahari in a high-profile case as the latter is accused of carrying out around 100 target killings.

A senior member of the MQM, Shafiq Ajmeri, was also gunned down in front of his house in Orangi, sparking violence and protests in parts of the town where markets and shopping plazas closed down abruptly.

Police said in the wake of the killings protesters had burnt some vehicles and petrol pumps in Orangi town and some other parts of the city.Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub, has been in the grip of violence since early this year with police and rescue officials confirming around 300 deaths of political activists, religious leaders and the common man in target killings in the city.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/345843/13-killed-in-fresh-violence-in-Karachi.html

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Violence claims seven more lives in Karachi

Jun 15 2011

KARACHI: Seven more people were killed and 12 others injured as violence spread in different parts of the metropolis on Tuesday.

A 40-year-old unknown man was shot dead in 1-C area, Orangi Town, while Wajid Shoaib, 12, and Adnan Khan, 10, received bullet injuries in a firing incident at Qasba Colony. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced them dead.

In other incident, four unknown armed men opened indiscriminate fire on the people sitting at a scrap shop at Qasba Colony in the limits of Pirabad police station that left a person, Nazar, dead and four others injured.

Separately, Junaid, son of Jaffar Hussain, was killed and two others Muhammad Amir and Shahida Begun were injured in Pirabad police remits. Police said the victim was a sympathiser of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Meanwhile, three persons, including two women, were injured in firing by unidentified armed men near Shahzad Cinema. A labourer was shot dead and other injured near UBL Sports Complex within the limits of Yousuf Plaza police station.

SHO Ali Hassan said two labourers, Mukhtiar, 25, and Naveed, 24, were going home after performing duty at Sabzi Mandi when unidentified armed men opened fire on them, resultantly Mukhtiar died on spot, while Naveed received bullet injuries.

Police shifted the body and injured to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. He said the victim was the resident of PIB Colony and hailed from Abbottabad.

A heavy crossfire between two groups near Old Sabzi Mandi suspended all social and commercial activities besides causing severe traffic jam. Unidentified armed men also opened fire at the Ladies Park near Old Sabzi Mandi, resultantly Salman, 35, died on the spot, while Naseem, wife of Ashraf, and Aziz received bullet injuries. Police shifted them to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Unidentified miscreants also set a house on fire in Qasba Colony. DSP Majeed Abbas said the violence erupted on Monday after the killing of two MQM workers in Orangi Town. atif raza

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\15\story_15-6-2011_pg1_5

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Suicide attack kills 8; mortar hits Afghan centre

15 June 2011

MAIDAN SHAR, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded four in a strike Wednesday on the governor’s office in a northeastern province, while a mortar targeted a building where NATO and Afghan officials were attending the inauguration of the country’s largest police training centre in central Afghanistan.

The two attacks, which occurred at about the same time, were a stark reminder that insurgents can strike anywhere in this volatile country.

Provincial spokesman Halim Ayar said the bomber blew himself up about 220 yards (200 meters) from the office of Governor Azizul Rahman Tawab in Kapisa province. He said four of the dead were police officers and four were civilians. All the wounded were civilians, he added.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that seven people were killed, including two police officers and five civilians. It added that seven others were wounded, including a police officer. The discrepancy in the casualty numbers, which is common in the aftermath of such attacks, could not immediately be resolved.

‘The leadership of Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan condemns this inhumane and cowardly suicide attack. Such attacks will never weaken the determination of the Afghan National Police, the ministry said in a statement issued after the Kapisa attack.

Meanwhile, in central Wardak province, a mortar landed next to a large building where Afghanistan’s second vice president, Mohammed Karim Khalili and Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, along with NATO officials, were cutting the ribbon on the flagship centre of a multibillion dollar NATO program to train Afghan national security forces ahead of a planned withdrawal of U.S.-led coalition forces at the end of 2014.

The deafening blast shook the building and more than 300 police recruits ducked for cover. Gunshots rang out after the attack. Bodyguards rushed Afghan and NATO officials into a hardened shelter before evacuating them on helicopters.

The area has seen increasing attacks by insurgents as the Taleban press a spring campaign against Afghan and NATO forces.

It was unclear if Khalili was the intended target of the attack, but the mortar seemed to be targeting the building where he had just finished delivering an address.

The $106 million facility currently houses 725 recruits but will expand to 3,000, making it the largest facility of its kind in the country. A mostly US funded program has been spending about $10 billion a year in 2010 and 2011 alone to train, equip and build infrastructure for a range of Afghan forces, including police, soldiers and an air force. That program calls for increasing the number of Afghan police to 134,000 by October from the 81,509 of two years ago.

Also Wednesday, in southern Kandahar city, a bomb explosion wounded four civilians in the Aymo Mina district, said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq. The target of the bomb was unclear.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June583.xml&section=international

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6 civilians killed in Syrian protest

Jun 15, 2011

DAMASCUS: Six civilians were killed on Tuesday and tanks were deployed near Syria's border with Iraq, activists said as President Bashar al-Assad came under sharp pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests. “Six civilians perished in the past few hours in Ariha,” east of Jisr al-Shughur, an activist told AFP in Nicosia

The latest deaths came after fresh protests erupted in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor, said a rights activist, and troops pursued a scorched earth campaign in northern mountains, sending thousands fleeing into Turkey.

Activists said security forces were continuing their operations and the sweep of the villages near Jisr al-Shughur, the flashpoint town which the army took by force on Sunday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Mr. Assad urging him to stop the crackdown and launch reforms. Mr. Erdogan told him to “refrain from violence and end the unrest” and stressed “it would be useful to draw up a timetable of reforms as soon as possible and urgently implement them.” — AFP

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/15/stories/2011061561301100.htm

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US drone base set for Persian Gulf region

Jun 15 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States is building a secret CIA air base in the Persian Gulf region to target terrorists in Yemen, preparing for the possibility that an anti-American faction may take over Yemen and ban US forces from hunting a lethal al Qaeda faction there, The Associated Press has learned.

The anti-al Qaeda effort in Yemen is being run by the Joint Special Operations Command, the top US military counterterrorism outfit, and the CIA provides intelligence support. JSOC forces have been allowed by the Yemeni government to conduct limited strikes there since 2009 and have recently allowed expanded strikes by US armed drones and even war planes against al Qaeda targets who are taking advantage of civil unrest to grab power and territory in the Gulf country.

The new CIA base provides a backstop, if al Qaeda or other anti-American rebel forces gain control, one senior US official explained. The White House has already increased the numbers of CIA officers in Yemen, in anticipation of that possibility. And it has stepped up the schedule to construct the base, from a two-year timetable to a rushed eight months.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/us-drone-base-set-for-persian-gulf-region.html

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Fatah, Hamas see new Palestinian government next week

Jun 15, 2011

CAIRO: Palestinian officials said on Tuesday they would be ready to unveil a new unity government at a meeting between Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo next week.

Leaders from the two factions met for several hours in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss forming the new government, which Palestinians see as crucial for efforts to seek statehood in September.

Palestinian officials said the talks, headed by Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas's deputy politburo head Mousa Abu Marzook, agreed on the release of prisoners held by the two factions and made progress on forming a new government, but had yet to agree on a prime minister.

"The prime minister's name and those of the ministers will be announced before the people on Tuesday (next week)," Meshaal's deputy, Mousa Abu Marzook, told Reuters in an interview.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Fatah-Hamas-see-new-Palestinian-government-next-week/articleshow/8857570.cms

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UN will recognise Taliban as political force’

June 15, 2011

PESHAWAR: Akram Khan Durrani, Leader of Opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, has said the United Nations is about to recognise the Afghan Taliban as a political force.

Opening the budget debate in the assembly on Tuesday, he said the UN would soon remove the Afghan Taliban from its list of terrorist organisations and it had already opened doors for negotiations with the group.

“I am telling you on the floor of the house that the UN will very soon declare the Taliban movement a political party,” he said and urged the government to resume talks with the ‘forces of resistance’ in the province and tribal areas to end the ongoing bloodshed.

Mr Durrani, a close associate of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had discussed the matter during his visit to Islamabad last week and sought Pakistan’s cooperation.

He said major developments were taking place in the region and the US was planning to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/un-will-recognise-taliban-as-political-force.html

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Pakistan wants tribal militias to take up arms against al-Qaida and Taliban

Jun 15 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is trying to persuade tribesmen in a key militant sanctuary near the Afghan border to take up arms against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in their midst, a top political official said Tuesday.

The US has repeatedly demanded that Pakistan launch a military offensive in North Waziristan to try and sap the strength of militants who regularly attack foreign forces in Afghanistan, jeopardizing Washington’s hopes of drawing down troops.

The latest effort to bring tribesmen on board appeared to be a new attempt to replicate the successes of the US military in Iraq to turn the tribes there against al-Qaida.

So far, it has been less promising in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and at least two prominent North Waziristan locals said it would never work in their area. It is also unclear whether the government and the US have the same militants in mind for targeting.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/14/pakistan-wants-tribal-militias-in-militant-hub.html

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Indonesia head sees risks of Mideast work turmoil

Jun 14, 2011

GENEVA: The Indonesian president says labor migration from the Mideast and climate change are among the top challenges facing workers so far in the 21st century.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the 100th annual meeting of the International Labor Organization on Tuesday that “massive labor migrations” caused by the global financial crisis and uprisings that have toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and spread to Libya and Syria must be urgently addressed.

Yudhoyono also called attention to “the repercussions of climate change, which affects productivity and creates economic dislocation.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also to address the three-week labor conference at the UN’s European headquarters Tuesday.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454585.ece

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No evidence of link between ISI and Haqqani network: US

Jun 15 2011

Washington: The US has said there is no evidence of any direct link between the Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan and the Haqqani network.

"I don't have any evidence of that (the link between ISI and the Haqqani network) either way," US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters at daily news conference on Tuesday.

Toner was asked about news reports on links between ISI and Haqqani network.

"We remain committed to working with Pakistan on counterintelligence or counterterrorism operations. We believe they've been successful to date," he said.

Toner said there are challenges in the relationship with Pakistan but the US is committed to working through them.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803918/

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CIA plans Pak-style drone op in Yemen

Jun 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The CIA is planning to launch a secret mission to kill al-Qaida militants in Yemen, where months of antigovernment protests, an armed revolt and the attempted assassination of president have left a power vacuum, US officials have said.

The covert program is the latest step to combat the growing threat from Qaida's outpost in Yemen, which has been the source of several attempted attacks on US and is home to an American-born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.

The CIA program will be a major expansion of US counter terrorism efforts in Yemen, The Wall Street Journal reports. Since Dec 2009, the US military has carried out strikes in Yemen with intelligence support from CIA, but now the spy agency will carry out aggressive drone strikes itself. It will be a targeted killing program like the current operation in Pakistan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/CIA-plans-Pak-style-drone-op-in-Yemen/articleshow/8856471.cms

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ISI arrested 5 CIA informants who helped in Osama raid: US daily

Jun 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's spy agency ISI has arrested some Pakistani informants who fed information to the US Central Intelligence Agency before the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout deep inside Pakistan, according to the New York Times.

Five CIA informants detained by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) include a Pakistani army major, who the influential US daily citing American officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, near Islamabad, in the weeks before the US raid.

The fate of the CIA informants arrested is unclear, but American officials cited by the Times said that the CIA director, Leon E. Panetta, raised the issue when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers.

When he visited Pakistan, Panetta offered evidence of collusion between Pakistani security officials and the militants staging attacks in Afghanistan, the Times said. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/ISI-arrested-5-CIA-informants-who-helped-in-Osama-raid-US-daily/articleshow/8859599.cms

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India banking on US to nail 26/11 accused?

Vishwa Mohan

Jun 15, 2011

NEW DELHI: After losing its grip over Canadian Tahawwur Rana following his acquittal in the Mumbai terror attack case by a Chicago court, India does not appear to have left with any option but to depend on the US to nail 'key-players' like Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa and others.

Earlier, New Delhi had lost American Lashkar terrorist David Headley once he entered into a plea bargain with American authorities last year.

Though Indian agency will file chargesheet against both Headley and Rana after getting all relevant documents from the US in the 26\11 case and possibly in other terror-related cases, the move will only give India a handle to raise 'diplomatic pitch' as and when needed.

"We can raise the pitch before the US asking for extradition of Rana and Headley after chargesheeting them in different cases. But, it does not have any meaning as both of them cannot be extradited unless they serve their jail sentences in the US," said a government official who is privy to consultations at different levels post-Rana's acquittal.

He argued that since Rana was convicted on two counts facing minimum 30 years of prison, and Headley pleaded guilty on 12 counts — facing nothing less than 40 or 50 years of jail term — all the noise of a possible extradition was just like trying to send a 'political message'.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-banking-on-US-to-nail-26/11-accused/articleshow/8856900.cms

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Piled up at Delhi airport, Husain's works gather dust

Rana Siddiqui Zaman

NEED FOR MORE CARE: Forty-two of M.F Husain's paintings, which were unmounted four years ago from the Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal-2 in New Delhi, are being kept “safe” in bubble wrap at the Udaan Bhawan near Terminal - 3.

New Delhi: Even as M.F. Husain, who died in London last week, is being hailed as a legend of Indian art, 42 of his paintings — which together form an iconic mural titled ‘Freedom' — are lying far from public view in less than ideal conditions: piled on top of each other without proper protection in a small storage room near Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.

Four years ago, they were unmounted from Terminal 2 where they were hardly visible. GMR — the private partner in the running of the airport — promises that they will be on the walls of the swanky T3 by the end of the month.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/15/stories/2011061566172400.htm

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Ten SIMI activists arrested in M.P

Jun 15, 2011

Bhopal: In a major crackdown, police arrested 10 members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) on Monday night from a house in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.

Acting on intelligence, a police team raided the house of one Aqeel Khilji in Khandwa town and arrested 10 SIMI members, who were holding a meeting to work out a terror strike, police said on Tuesday.

The arrested were identified as Ashfaq, Zia-ur-Rehman, Jalil, Abdullah, Babbu, Khalil Chouhan, Amzad, Raqeeb, Rashid and Irfan, police said. Five activists managed to escape and efforts were on to nab them.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/15/stories/2011061562350100.htm

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LeT used Gujarat riot videos to motivate Headley against India

June 15, 2011

LeT used videos of the 2002 Gujarat riots to motivate David Headley, a co-accused in the 26/11 attacks, to carry out “jihad” against India, indicating how the incident is being used as a major recruiting tool by the banned Pakistani militant group.

Headley, who was trained by LeT in terror operations, besides those from the ISI, had told the Chicago court last month that the Gujarat riots was very often the topic of discussion among them.

“Yes”, Headley said when the Government prosecutor asked him if the Gujarat riot was motivating to him to carry “jihad” against India.

“It was a massacre that had happened, and they showed people running, houses being burnt. And also since that time from 2002 till 2007, the Lashkar office itself had received hundreds of letters from Muslims in Gujarat asking for help,” Headley told the court in response to a question from the attorney.

Full report at:

http//:www.dailypioneer.com/345866/LeT-used-Gujarat-riot-videos-to-motivate-Headley-against-India.html

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Pak govt forms commission to probe journalist’s killing

Jun 14, 2011

The Pakistan Government has formed a commission headed by a senior judge to investigate the abduction and killing of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who went missing two days after he alleged the Navy had been infiltrated by Al Qaeda elements.

Federal shariat court chief justice Agha Rafiq will head the commission that will probe the mysterious death of Shahzad, who was Pakistan bureau chief of Asia Times Online. He went missing while driving to a TV station in Islamabad on May 29 and his body was found in a canal in Punjab province a day later.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/pak-govt-forms-commission-probe-journalist-s-killing-624

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‘Muslims should deal with anti-Islam media campaigns rationally’

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Jun 15, 2011

JEDDAH: Muslim intellectuals must be well prepared to confront any smear campaign against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on the Internet and in other public media, said a prominent Keralite editor.

“Although there is nothing new in most of the criticisms leveled against Islam and its Prophet, we can observe that some of them have assumed academic standard and we should deal with them in the same way, conducting necessary research,” said M. M. Akbar, chief editor of Sneha Samwadam monthly that aims to propagate the message of Islam in Kerala.

He was addressing a press conference in Jeddah.

He denounced the move by enemies to project Muslims as terrorists and extremists. “We have to face these criticisms in a rational manner instead of getting provoked and reacting emotionally,” he said and cited the example of a college professor whose hand was cut off for publishing a question paper denigrating the Prophet.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article454863.ece

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Two explosions shake centre of Tripoli

Jun 15 2011

TRIPOLI: Two explosions shook the centre of Tripoli late Tuesday following a three-day pause in Nato air raids that had targeted the Libyan capital daily for several weeks, an AFP journalist said.

The blasts were heard around 11:30 pm local time (2130 GMT).

A column of black smoke could be seen rising from a site not far from the centre of the city, witnesses said.

Libya’s official agency Jana reported soon after that civilian sites in the Al-Ferjan district had been the target of Nato, the “colonialist, crusader aggressor,” and that the attacks had set civilian homes on fire.

A number of people had been injured it added, without elaborating.

The Libyan capital and its suburbs have been the target of almost daily Nato air raids since it started its military operation on March 31, a month after the uprising against Moamer Qadhafi.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/two-explosions-shake-centre-of-tripoli.html

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UK Navy chief see hard choices looming on Libya

Jun 15, 2011

LONDON: The head of Britain’s Royal Navy says the government will face some hard choices if the intervention in Libya’s civil war continues beyond six months.

But Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Tuesday that Britain had shown it had the resources to play its part in the NATO operation.

In a briefing for reporters Monday, Adm. Mark Stanhope said he was comfortable with NATO’s decision to extend the Libya operation to the end of September.

He added: “Beyond that, we might have to request the government to make some challenging decisions about priorities. If we do it longer than six months we will have to reprioritize forces.”

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454556.ece

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Nervous Iraqis buying more assault rifles, pistols

Jun 15, 2011

BAGHDAD: Saadoun Al-Sahil already had an AK-47 assault rifle at home but just didn’t feel safe. The furniture merchant was worried about violence in Baghdad and the impending US withdrawal of troops. So he bought two pistols and some more ammunition.

Iraqis are facing a changing and uncertain future, and they’re dealing with it by arming up.

“These weapons are for the protection of myself and my family. I fear that things will get as worse as it was in 2005 and 2006. We cannot predict what will happen tomorrow or after tomorrow,” said Al-Sahil.

Weapons are an everyday part of the Iraqi landscape.

Nearly every home has at least one weapon, often an AK-47 assault rifle. At many buildings, residents and bodyguards can be seen checking their pistols with security before they’re allowed to go inside. Political figures are protected by bodyguards often carrying a pistol and an assault rifle.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454530.ece

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UAE: Calls To End Trial Of Democracy Petitioners

June 15, 2011

The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said. The charges of “humiliating” top officials relate solely to the defendants’ peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE government and therefore violate their freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said. UAE authorities should release the activists unconditionally and without delay.

The five defendants, who include a leading human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, and a university lecturer, Nasser bin Ghaith, pled not guilty on June 14, 2011, during a closed-door hearing in Abu Dhabi’s Federal Supreme Court. The trial follows a campaign of harassment against the activists after they and dozens of other UAE nationals signed a petition published on March 9 that sought constitutional and parliamentary changes in the Emirates and free elections in which all citizens could participate.

United Arab Emirates

“UAE rulers are prosecuting these activists solely for advocating democratic reforms,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should end this shameful crackdown on peaceful dissent.”

The five activists have been detained and denied bail since early April. Local news reports said that dozens of pro-government protesters holding banners and flags gathered outside the courtroom on June 14 and shouted slogans condemning the activists. The next hearing is scheduled for July 18.

Full report at: Eurasia Review

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Major Iqbal used US number to talk to Headley in India

June 15, 2011

To deceive Indian security agencies, ISI's Major Iqbal used a US cell phone number to communicate with David Headley, a co-accused in 26/11 attacks, while the Pakistani-American was scouting for targets in India.

As a star witness during the just-concluded trial of his childhood friend Tahawwur Husain Rana, Headley, 50, told the Chicago court that Major Iqbal gave him the New York cell phone number starting with 646 so that both of them could have unhindered communication while he was in India.

"I had that (New York Cell phone number of Major Iqbal) before leaving for India. And these instructions that he was giving me on the last e-mail, he had already given them to me in person," Headley told the court.

"What did he say about the 646 number, Major Iqbal, to you when you talked to him about it, in person?" prosecutor asked Headley.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/345820/Major-Iqbal-used-US-number-to-talk-to-Headley-in-India.html

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Third Russian plane heads for Yemen for evacuation

June 15, 2011

A third Russian Emergencies Ministry plane has left Russia for Yemen to evacuate Russian and CIS nationals, the ministry reported on Tuesday.

Two Emergencies Ministry evacuation flights from Yemen brought 175 Russian and CIS citizens, including 59 children, to Moscow Monday.

Russia has already recalled 14 diplomats and their families from its embassy in Sana’a and general consulate in Aden.

There are about 800 Russians remaining in Yemen.

Anti-government protests against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, have been taking place for nearly five months. The protests have recently escalated to frequent gun battles between Saleh loyalists and hundreds of members of Yemeni opposition tribal groups. Several hundred people have reportedly been killed in Yemen since February, pushing the country to the brink of a civil war.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/345841/Third-Russian-plane-heads-for-Yemen-for-evacuation.html

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‘Visits to Israel by Indian leaders better under BJP’: Israel Foreign Ministry

June 15, 2011

Lamenting the lack of high-level visits from India under the UPA Government, senior officials at the Israeli foreign ministry told US diplomats that it was “better under the Bhartiya Janata Party Government,” according to a classified US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

“Israel is concerned about the lack of high-level visits from India. The last visit by an Indian Foreign Minister was in 2000, with a November 2007 visit called off at the last minute,” deputy Director general for Asia and Pacific at Israel’s foreign ministry Ruth Kahanoff told US diplomats.    

http://www.dailypioneer.com/345839/%E2%80%98Visits-to-Israel-by-Indian-leaders-better-under-BJP%E2%80%99.html

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Pak should give no room to terrorists against India: Krishna

Jun 14 2011

Astana, Kazakhstan : Ahead of foreign secretary level talks, India today said it was looking to a future of peaceful co-existence on the basis of mutual trust wherein terrorists are given no room by Pakistan to undertake hostile activities against it.

“We have always underscored our concerns of terror being unleashed against India quite often and we have said we would like the region to be terror free and towards that we would certainly expect cooperation from all countries including Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

He was asked whether India would use the platform of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to voice its concerns on terror attacks in India launched from foreign soil. Indo-Pak foreign secretary level talks are slated later this month.

Krishna, who is here for the SCO summit, said the foreign secretary level talks will serve an important purpose to underline the need for Pakistan not to allow the use of its territory for hostile activities of various terrorist organisations.

He said the revelations of 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused Tahawwur Rana in a Chicago court give room for the internal churnings that are going on in Pakistan and the motivation for Pakistan to act the way it did.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803596/

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Israel denies man held in Egypt is a spy

Jun 14 2011

Jerusalem: Israel denied on Tuesday that Ilan Grapel, a dual US and Israeli citizen arrested in Egypt on suspicion of espionage, is a spy.

This is a student, perhaps a little strange or a little careless. He has no connection to any intelligence apparatus, not in Israel, not in the US and not on Mars, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Army Radio.

Grapel, 27, was arrested in Egypt on Sunday and ordered held for 15 days. Egypt alleged he was an Israeli spy out to recruit agents and monitor the events of the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak.

This is a mistake or strange behaviour by the Egyptians. They have received all the clarifications and I hope the whole story will end quickly, Lieberman said.

Grapel's mother, Irene, said her son, a law student in the United States, was working for Saint Andrew's Refugee Services, a non-governmental organisation, in Cairo.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo said a consular officer visited Grapel on Monday and found him in good health.

Grapel immigrated to Israel in 2005 from New York and served in its military in the 2006 Lebanon war.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803481/

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‘Headley gave us 34 more targets in India’

Sebastian Rotella

Jun 15 2011

The chief prosecutor in a landmark terrorism trial that ended last week in Chicago says a plea bargain with a confessed American terrorist was justified because of his value as a source of intelligence and as a key witness in any future prosecutions.

Jurors last Thursday convicted Tahawwur Rana, a Chicago businessman, after a trial that revealed unprecedented details about the alliance between Pakistani militant groups and that country’s intelligence service.

In addition to investigative work by the FBI in the United States, Pakistan, India and Denmark, the case centered on five days of testimony of David Coleman Headley, who confessed to doing reconnaissance for the 2008 Mumbai attacks and a failed plot in Denmark.

Jurors convicted Rana on two of three counts of support of terrorism for letting Headley, a childhood friend, use his immigration consulting business as a cover for his plotting overseas.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803710/

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Accession of J-K conditional not final: NC

Jun 14 2011

Srinagar : Terming the accession of Jammu and Kashmir 'conditional', the ruling National Conference on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre claiming that it had repeatedly violated the conditions of accession which provided for special status to the state.

"The accession (of Jammu and Kashmir) to the Union was on certain conditions which were explained by Maharaja Hari Singh and accepted by the Centre," a spokesman of the National Conference said.

The spokesman was reacting to a statement of Congress leader Makhan Lal Fotedar, who was quoted in sections of media today saying the accession of the state to India was final.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803638/

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I will complete full 6-year term: Omar

Jun 14 2011

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asserted that he would continue for a full six-term in office under an agreement with ally Congress that has been "signed, sealed and delivered".

Seeking to dispel doubts about his continuance in the wake of demands from state Congressmen that there should be a rotation of chief ministership, he said "any discussion (on the issue) will only prolong uncertainty which is not not in the interest of the state".

Omar told NDTV on the programme "Left, Right and Centre" that there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that he would complete six years in office as Chief Minister.

"You can't have two or three year term as chief ministers will tend to get populist towards the end of their (partial) term. Distribution of chief ministership....I don't understand the logic of rotation of chief ministership.

"In Mufti Mohammed Saeed's time the Congress sacrificed for the alliance partner. How come you don't talk about rotational chief ministership in Maharashtra but only talk about in J and K. It is a matter that has been signed, sealed and delivered and any discussion (on it) would only prolong the uncertainty which is not in the interest of the state," he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/803706/

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Bangalore jail calls to Pak: ring alarm

By Aravind Gowda in Bangalore

SOMETHING fishy seems to be going on in the Bangalore Central Jail.

Inmates of the jail, located in Parappana Agrahara on the city’s outskirts, have made as many as 151 calls to Islamabad, Karachi and Muzaffarabad ( PoK) since January.

The reason for such a high number of calls is not clear.

The police, who recently stumbled upon the calls originating from a high security jail where use of all kinds of communication devices is banned, are baffled. During a recent routine inspection, the police found cell phones and SIM cards of leading cellular operators in the jail premises.

“ It is clear that cell phones and SIM cards are being supplied to the inmates by hoodwinking the jail authorities. We are also ascertaining whether some of the jail officials are colluding with the inmates. This is a serious violation and a cause for concern,” a senior police officer said.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Syrian tanks, troops extend reach in border areas

Jun 15 2011

BOYNUYOGUN: Syrian tanks pushed toward more towns and villages near the Turkish and Iraqi borders on Tuesday, expanding the crackdown against a 12-week uprising to the north and east as more Syrians flee their homes.

Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to have abandoned all pretence of offering reform, sending tanks, helicopter gunships and only his most loyal forces into population centres to crush dissent.

Anti-government activists reported tanks in the northern market town of Maaret al Numan and in smaller villages near Jisr al Shughour, a town stormed Sunday by Syrian elite forces backed by helicopters.

Human rights activist Mustafa Osso said tanks were also moving in the large eastern province of Deir el Zour, which borders Iraq. The Syrian government claimed to have thwarted cross-border weapons smuggling in that area. The growing military campaign has sent some 8,000 Syrians fleeing for the lives to neighbouring Turkey, where they offer a grim picture of what they left behind.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\15\story_15-6-2011_pg7_23

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US says fight against al Qaeda on track in Yemen

Jun 15 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States is still cooperating with Yemen in the fight against al Qaeda despite the Gulf nation’s political crisis and the absence of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a top official said Tuesday.

“We’ve got good discussions with the vice president. Doors are open,” said Daniel Benjamin, coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department.

He was referring to Vice President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is acting leader as Saleh is treated in Saudi Arabia for wounds sustained during an attack on the presidential palace on June 3.

“We think that counterterrorism is not about one man, it’s about national interest,” Benjamin told journalists.

Saleh, a key US ally in the fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of the slain Osama bin Laden’s militant network, has been faced with unprecedented protests.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/us-says-fight-against-al-qaeda-on-track-in-yemen.html

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Yemen’s Saleh says recovering well from bombing

Jun 15 2011

SANAA: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Tuesday that his health was “constantly improving” as he receives treatment in a Saudi hospital for blast wounds sustained in a bomb attack, Yemen’s official Saba news agency said.

Saleh thanked the king for the care he was receiving and said his health was “good,” Saba said.

The Yemeni leader, who has faced five months of nationwide protests against his 33-year rule, was wounded in a June 3 bomb blast in the mosque of his presidential compound as clashes raged on the streets of Sanaa between dissident tribesmen and loyalist troops.

He was flown to Riyadh for treatment.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/yemens-saleh-says-recovering-well-from-bombing.html

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More killed as Syria ignores international appeals

Jun 15 2011

DAMASCUS: Syrian troops continued their crackdown in the north of the country, with more civilian deaths reported, as the United States accused Iran of backing the assault on pro-democracy protesters.

Activists said security forces were continuing to sweep through villages near the flashpoint northeastern town of Jisr al-Shughur, which troops captured on Sunday.

“Six civilians perished in the past few hours in Ariha,” east of Jisr al-Shughur, an activist told AFP in Nicosia, without providing further details.

The deaths came after fresh protests erupted in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor, a rights activist said.

Protesters have described the operation in the northern mountains as a scorched-earth campaign, while Syrian soldiers who deserted to Turkey have alleged they were forced to commit atrocities there.

Forces stationed in the town shot dead a family of four in Jisr al-Shughur on Monday, London-based rights activist Rami Abdel Rahman said.

According to a toll released Tuesday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the violence has claimed the lives of 1,297 civilians and 340 security force members in Syria since the unrest erupted mid-March.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/15/more-killed-as-syria-ignores-international-appeals.html

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Sudan deal reported but talks run into extra time

Jun 15 2011

ADDIS ABABA: Talks on Sudan dragged into a third day Tuesday as delegations from the rival north and south thrashed out sticking points after a reported agreement that northern troops would leave disputed Abyei.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir left Addis Ababa Monday night but members of his delegation stayed behind to iron out remaining points of contention, officials said.

His counterpart from the south, Salva Kiir, who met briefly Monday with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before her early departure, had also left and was believed to be back in the south Sudan capital Juba, an aide said.

The two leaders appeared to have reached a broad agreement on the future of Abyei district but left the thorny details for their delegations to hammer out.

On Monday, when the closed-door talks were described as tense, a southern minister said Khartoum was ready to pull its troops out of Abyei after sending them into the flashpoint border district on May 21.

Clinton meantime urged both sides to accept Ethiopian peacekeepers while a Sudanese rights group accused the north of pursuing a genocidal campaign in the nearby region of South Kordofan. “We have information that they (the north) have accepted to withdraw from Abyei as long as they agree on the specific arrangement with regards to the Abyei administration,” south Sudan’s Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told the independent Sudan Radio Service.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\15\story_15-6-2011_pg4_1

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Iraq’s Maliki eyes downsizing government, risks protest

Jun 15 2011

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki plans to cut ministries and streamline his government to try to meet protesters’ demands to improve efficiency and basic services, officials and lawmakers said.

Many Iraqis, encouraged by popular protests sweeping the rest of the Arab world, have staged demonstrations since February to demand improvements in public services and the food rationing system, and have called for an end to corruption.

Maliki’s opponents will most probably criticise the move as an attempt to consolidate his position in the power-sharing government by cutting the ministries belonging to parties such as the Sunni-backed Iraqiya party. But Maliki’s Shia State of Law alliance said the plan would trim most of 15 unnecessary ministries that are without a portfolio, and would not affect political balance.

Full report at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\15\story_15-6-2011_pg4_6

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Pakistan didn't know about Bin Laden: Musharraf?

June 15, 2011

An investigation is in order and people must be punished for this big lapse, says former president.

Former president Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday there is no way Pakistani authorities helped hide Osama bin Laden in their country.

In an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News about his plans to return to Pakistan in 2013, Musharraf said “I’m certain there was no complicity with Pakistani intelligence agencies.”

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189312/pakistan-didnt-know-about-bin-laden-musharraf/

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Amnesty urges Malaysia to arrest Sudan leader

Jun 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Rights group Amnesty International urged Malaysia on Tuesday to withdraw an invitation to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, or arrest him if he turns up for an economic forum. At least one high-ranking government official agreed he should be uninvited.

Al-Bashir is among several African leaders scheduled to attend the three-day forum starting Sunday in Malaysia’s administrative capital Putrajaya, the Malaysian government has said.

The International Criminal Court has issued warrants of arrest for Al-Bashir for allegedly orchestrating atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region. The Sudanese leader remains in power, rejecting the charges and the Netherlands-based court, which has no police force and relies on member states to execute its orders and warrants.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454547.ece

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Federal court death verdict for footballer Amira Agarib

15 June 2011

The Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday overturned a Sharjah appeal court acquittal and sentenced football player Fayez Juma to death for murdering his neighbour

 in a case dating back to 2008. The verdict is final, but defence lawyer Salem Obaid bin Sahos said he would file a review petition against the ruling in the federal court.

‘‘According to the UAE criminal code, as a lawyer for the accused, I have the right to submit the petition within 15 days. I am going to follow all legal ways to seek the acquittal of my client.’’ Salem said: “I have full trust and I believe in integrity of the judiciary system.”

Fayez was charged with killing his neighbour Jasem Yousif in an evening brawl in May 2008.

He was first convicted by the Sharjah Court of First Instance on March 25, 2009, and was sentenced to death along with six other defendants, including his brother.

On October 26, 2009, the Sharjah Court of Appeal acquitted him and another player, Mohammed Najeeb, but upheld the death sentence against his brother Musa Juma and Mohamed Bilal, both former players.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/June/theuae_June404.xml&section=theuae

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Tanks, troops move to snuff out Syria resistance

15 June 2011

BOYNUYOGUN, Turkey — Syrian tanks and the government’s most loyal troops pushed into more towns and villages Tuesday, trying to snuff out any chance that the uprising against President Bashar Assad could gain a base for a wider armed rebellion.

Facing the most serious threat to his family’s 40-year ruling dynasty, Assad has abandoned most pretenses of reform as his military seals off strategic areas in the north and east — including the town of Jisr al-Shughour, which was spinning out of government control before the military moved in on Sunday.

“The (Syrian forces) damage homes and buildings, kill even animals, set trees and farmlands on fire,” said Mohammad Hesnawi, 26. He fled Jisr al-Shughour over the weekend and spoke to The Associated Press from this border area of Turkey, where some 8,000 Syrians are seeking refuge in camps.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June437.xml&section=middleeast

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Iran says Britain, US ‘interfering’ in its affairs

15 June 2011

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday accused Britain and the United States of ‘interfering’ in the internal affairs of Islamic republic.

‘It is surprising to witness British and American officials make remarks that clearly interfere in our country’s internal affairs,’ foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly briefing.

It is better for them instead to ‘hear the message of the region’s people to realise that the real reason for popular movements and the Islamic awakenings in the region is hatred towards their policies,’ he said.

Mehmanparast made the remarks in response to a statement by the British foreign office marking the second anniversary of the disputed re-election of the president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and expressing support for the opposition movement.

‘We advise them to correct their wrong approach towards the region instead of levelling baseless and unfounded allegations’ against Tehran, Mehmanparast said.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/22434.html

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Indonesia, EU seek 'ambitious' free trade agreement

Erwida Maulia

06/15/2011

Indonesia and the European Union (EU) have agreed to commence talks on an “ambitious” free trade agreement (FTA), as both parties seek to boost two-way trade and the EU's investments in Indonesia.

The European Union is currently negotiating similar trade agreements with a number of other Asian countries including Singapore, South Korea and Japan; and Indonesia doesn't want to be left behind, Djisman Simanjuntak, co-chair of the Indonesia-EU Vision Group, said Wednesday in Jakarta.

The group, established in late 2009 based on an initiative from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and European Commission President Jose Manuel Baroso, handed over on Wednesday its recommendations to the Indonesian government, including for the commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/15/indonesia-eu-seek-ambitious-free-trade-agreement.html

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Iraq's $77 billion electricity project promising for Turks

June 15, 2011

Iraq's Electricity Minister says his government will flow some $77 billion into a long term project to improve electricity production and distribution. Iraq plans to finalize a $22 billion portion of the investment until 2015.

A general view from the Iraqi capital Baghdad is seen in this photo. The government is working on a big project to meet the rising electricity demand in both cities and rural areas. Bloomberg photo

The Iraqi government is planning to invest $77 billion in country-wide projects to generate and distribute electricity in a bid to repair and develop its war-hit network and meet increasing power demands.

Several Turkish companies, including Çalik, which is currently running energy projects in the country, are interested in this new project, Al’a Disher Zamil, the Iraqi electricity minister told Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a Monday meeting in Istanbul.

Economically reviving northern Iraq, which is desperately in need of power, is one of the regions being prioritized, Zamil said at the Iraq Power, Gas Projects conference held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, or DEIK, and Middle East Business Intelligence, or MEED.

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=iraqs-77-bilion-electricity-project-promising-for-turks-2011-06-14

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Kharotabad incident: Committee to probe attempts to tamper with evidence

By Qamar Zaman / Zahid Gishkori

June 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Amid heated protests by journalists demanding the safety of their colleagues who filmed the gruesome killings of five Chechens in Kharotabad, Senate deputy chairman Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali on Tuesday formed a special committee to probe reported attempts to destroy the evidence connected to the horrific incident.

The move came soon after the media reported that those responsible for filming the incident were tortured by law enforcement agencies in an attempt to stop them from recording their statements.

Journalists in the press gallery went for a token walk-out from both houses to divert the attention of lawmakers towards the issue. “It is time to rein in the ‘invisible forces’ to control the rising attacks on journalists who are generally considered soft targets,” said Jamali, who was chairing the Upper House of Parliament.

Minister for Law and Justice Maula Baksh Chandio will head the senate special committee, while the leader of the house and leader of the opposition will nominate senators from Balochistan and Sindh to conduct the proceedings for the early completion of the report.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/189065/kharotabad-incident-committee-to-probe-attempts-to-tamper-with-evidence/

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Karachi shooting: Heads roll over extrajudicial killing

By Faraz Khan / Qaiser Zulifqar

June 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD: It was a first, but important step. Complying with the Supreme Court’s order, the federal government has removed the chiefs of Pakistan Rangers Sindh and Sindh police over the extrajudicial slaying of a young boy by Rangers’ personnel in Karachi last week – the video of which stunned the nation.

A spokesperson for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed DG Pakistan Rangers Sindh Major-General Ijaz Chaudhry’s sacking while a separate notification issued by the establishment division confirmed Sindh Inspector General Fayyaz Leghari’s removal from office.

Last Friday, the court had disposed of the suo motu case and ordered that the two officials be removed within three days as they could influence investigations. But when such orders were not passed until Monday, Attorney-General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq wrote a letter to the establishment division and the army’s General Headquarters, reminding them of the court’s verdict.

Following the sacking of the two high-profile officers, the next step in the case is the investigation report.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/188609/rangers-killing-ag-advises-immediate-sacking-of-rangers-police-chiefs/

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UN blasts Israel’s blockade over 45% Gaza jobless rate

Jun 15, 2011

JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH: The Gaza Strip enters its fifth year of a full Israeli blockade by land, air and sea on Tuesday with unemployment at 45.2 percent, one of the highest rates in the world, a UN aid agency report said.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) found that by the second half of 2010, real wages had fallen 34.5 percent since the first half of 2006, when sanctions were imposed by Israel after Hamas won a Palestinian legislative election.

The UN says the full-on blockade began a year later. “These are disturbing trends,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, “and the refugees, who make up two-thirds of Gaza's 1.5 million population, were the worst hit.”

Densely populated Gaza has a population of more than 1.5 million, mostly spread along the 40 km coast of the Mediterranean enclave between Israel and Egypt. “It is hard to understand the logic of a man-made policy which deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution,” Gunness said. Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas from moving weapons, money and people in and out of Gaza, but Gunness said the blockade did not appear to have weakened Hamas.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454878.ece

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Prince Naif opens Haj research forum in Makkah

Jun 15, 2011

MAKKAH: On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Prince Naif, second deputy premier and minister of interior, inaugurated a scientific forum for Haj research, which is attended by nearly 1,000 speakers, experts and delegates.

Prince Naif commended the efforts of King Abdullah to improve Haj services. "King Abdullah's support for this forum is a good example for that." He wished every success for the forum and hoped it would contribute to further improving services to the guests of God.

"Toward Realizing the Vision" is the title of the forum, which is organized by the Haj Research Institute of Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah. Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja, who is acting higher education minister, attended the opening session.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article454930.ece

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Sultan charity constructs 1,246 homes for the poor

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Jun 15, 2011

JEDDAH: Prince Sultan Charitable Foundation has constructed 200 low-cost housing units for the poor in Al-Laith in the Makkah province as part of a SR385 million project to supply affordable homes.

It will aim to provide 1,246 houses in different parts of the Kingdom.

“We are now furnishing the Al-Laith houses before they are handed over to the beneficiaries,” said Prince Faisal bin Sultan, secretary-general of the foundation.

He said the foundation has completed 80 percent of another housing project in Hail where 50 homes and a 1,000 capacity mosque are under construction.

“We have also completed about 40 percent of another housing project in Tabuk, constructing 250 housing units in nine locations,” Prince Faisal told the Saudi Press Agency.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article454869.ece

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Canadian woman wants to live in Saudi Arabia, say reports

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN I

Jun 14, 2011

RIYADH: The case of Canadian woman Nathalie Morin, 27, took a bizarre twist on Monday as her mother confirmed that she is not in police custody. Meanwhile, local media reports quoted Morin as blaming two Saudi women activists for her troubles with police. The complex family drama did not end there. Morin’s mother — Johanne Durocher — accused son-in-law Saeed Al-Shahrani Monday of blackmailing her daughter to secure a permanent visa to stay in Canada.

Durocher told Arab News via e-mail that things had settled down after two officials from the Canadian Embassy visited Dammam on Monday and met with Morin and the concerned police officials there. Embassy officials were tight-lipped when asked Tuesday to comment on the case. According to reliable sources, activists Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyuni entered the limelight in the case after they were detained by Dammam police on June 6 when they tried to help Morin.

The reports said that the activists were released after promising they would not interfere in the case again. Al-Huwaider reportedly met Durocher in the US a few years back. Al-Oyuni, whose name has also been dragged into controversy, is a Saudi social worker.

The mother said there were no charges against her daughter, but the case was under investigation as per the reports of the Canadian Embassy.

She, however, said: “Saeed Al-Shahrani, Morin’s husband, is asking for a permanent residence visa for Canada and is probably holding my daughter hostage for that.”

Asked about the involvement of Al-Huwaider in the case and the harassment meted out to Morin, Durocher said that she asked  Al-Huwaider to give money to her daughter for food and water.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article454767.ece

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Egypt’s curfew comes to an end

By LEAH FINNEGAN

Jun 14, 2011

CAIRO: For many who roam Cairo’s famously nocturnal streets, the curfew was always irrelevant. And as of Tuesday at midnight it officially ended, five months after it was imposed by President Hosni Mubarak in a vain attempt to stem the protests against his rule.

Mubarak mandated the curfew on Jan. 28 in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez as anti-government demonstrations swelled in each city. As the protests intensified, so did the curfew — from 11 hours a day to 17 hours a day. It was eventually scaled back after he fell from power, from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

The first such restriction on Cairo since 1986, the curfew was widely ignored by the city’s residents.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454769.ece

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Tunisia’s ex-president to be tried in absentia

Jun 15, 2011

TUNIS: Tunisia’s prime minister says the deposed president will be tried in absentia on June 20 in civil and military courts. Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi told the Arabic Al-Jazeera news channel that the president was wanted on 93 counts on charges ranging from abuse of power and embezzlement to drug trafficking.

Military courts will handle 27 of those charges, the state news agency reported. Earlier statements from the Ministry of Justice said the first trial will focus on drugs and weapons found at the presidential palace in Carthage.

The next one will be over $27 million (€18.69 million) in jewelry and foreign currency found in another palace.

Zine Abidine Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for 23 years until a monthlong popular uprising forced him to flee to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article454710.ece

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US defense chief urges patience with Pakistan

Jun 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US is disappointed and suspicious that militants in Pakistan apparently were tipped off that American intelligence officials had discovered two of their suspected bomb-making facilities, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says.

But he stopped short of concluding that Pakistani officials leaked the information to the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani insurgents. And Gates said such incidents must not derail US relations with Islamabad.

A little over two weeks before ending his 4 1/2-year tenure as Pentagon chief, Gates sat down in his office Monday for an Associated Press interview that touched on a range of issues, including his expectation of a smooth handoff to his designated successor, current CIA Director Leon Panetta.

Gates will retire June 30; Panetta’s Senate confirmation is expected shortly. On Tuesday the Senate Armed Services Committee reported a unanimous voice vote to send his nomination to the floor of the Senate.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article454849.ece

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Somali pirates free Egyptian cargo ship

Jun 15, 2011

MOGADISHU: Somali pirates have released an Egyptian cargo ship, MV Suez, after receiving payment of $2.1 million, pirates and a maritime source said.

The Panama-flagged ship, operated by Red Sea Navigation Company based in Egypt’s Port Said, was seized in early August last year, with a crew of 23.

A pirate who gave his name as Ali told Reuters late on Monday they had received the ransom and they had left the ship.

Andrew Mwangura, maritime editor of The Somalia Report, confirmed the release from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.

“She is steaming out of Somali waters,” Mwangura told Reuters by telephone, also confirming that a ransom was paid.

Somali pirates have been preying on ships sailing in the waters off the lawless horn of Africa country and in the Gulf of Aden, raking in millions of dollars and driving up shipping costs.

http://arabnews.com/world/article454545.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-video-shows-pakistan-security-forces-abusing-four-blindfolded-men/d/4840


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