New Age Islam
Tue Oct 20 2020, 01:17 AM

Islamic World News ( 20 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Police detain 9-year-old girl with suicide vest

Bangladesh moves to retain Islam as state religion

Thousands protest in Morocco for more reforms

Drone strikes kill 12 in Pakistan

Fresh 19 Libyan civilian deaths pile pressure on NATO

Police among dead as two car blasts kill 25 in central Iraq

10-year-old girl saves herself from rapist by reciting Qur’an

North Waziristan border, Kurram drone strike kills 10 Haqqani Members

6 Yemeni troops killed in clashes with Qaeda

4 killed in Taliban attack in northwest Pakistan

Pakistan arrests brigadier on suspected militant ties

Indonesia attempts to save 28 on death row

Bangladesh leaders, face indictment in ULFA arms case

Indian sailors to fly back home after reaching Pak

Seeking answers: CJ names heads of Abbottabad, Shahzad probes

Pakistani prisoner in Rajasthan one step closer

Samjautha Blast: Hindu radicals charge-sheeted

India will raise terror issue with Pak: Krishna

UAE enforces UN freeze on Libyan assets

Women2Drive campaign faced roadblock due to few risk takers

Bomb hits French embassy convoy in Baghdad

Tunisian court sentences toppled president Ben Ali, wife to 35 years

Mubarak has stomach cancer, says lawyer

Syria prez offers reforms, but won't quit

No change in redline for peace talks with Taliban: US

Iran deputy foreign minister resigns amid pressure

Somali pirates on Yemeni fishing boat arrested

US in concerted bid to end Afghan war

US, Afghanistan to weather diplomatic storm

Afghanistan voices concern over border attacks

Iran, Afghan agree to strengthen bilateral ties

Assad must bring in changes or step aside, says Britain

Afghan reconciliation talks: Pakistan worried about being left out in the cold

Obama calls Turkey’s Erdogan on Syria, Libya

PA forces arrest 11 Hamas members in West Bank

Thousands in Yemen call for president’s sons to go

Militants attack homes of anti-Taleban elders

Iranian company duped US banks: indictment

Citizens deserve better tourism facilities: Sultan bin Salman

Leadership row delays Palestinian unity govt

Dhaka for friendly ties with India, other neighbours: PM

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/police-detain-9-year-old-girl-with-suicide-vest/d/4881

 

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Police detain 9-year-old girl with suicide vest

By Manzoor Ali

June 21, 2011

PESHAWAR: In a shocking affront to child dignity across the country, a nine-year-old girl was kidnapped on her way to school some days ago and forced to wear a suicide vest by her captors on Monday.

The girl, Sohana Javed, was then instructed to attack a police checkpoint in Lower Dir, police officials said. But providence seemed to intervene, helping the girl to give her captors the slip on Monday. This is the first time that militants have used a young girl to carry an explosives belt in any attempted act of terror, sparking fears that terror groups  may have switched tactics.

Police said the girl was arrested about 50 metres from the check post in Islam Darra on the outskirts of Timergara, the main town in the district of Lower Dir. Sohana, dressed in a blue and white school uniform, recounted her ordeal during a news conference with police. She told reporters that she had been grabbed by two women and forced into a car carrying two men. Police in Peshawar said they are still trying to confirm her story.

One of the kidnappers put a handkerchief on her mouth that knocked her unconscious, she said in an interview with a local TV station. When she woke up and started crying, one of the women fed her biscuits laced with an intoxicant which again knocked her out. The next time she woke up she found herself in a strange home, she said.

“This morning, the women and men forced me to put on the heavy jacket and put me in the car again,” the girl said.

“They put one suicide vest on me, but it did not fit. Then they put on annother one,” Sohana said. “I threw away the vest and started shouting (for help) as I came close to the check post and they (security forces) took me into custody.”

“They kept me in a house and they told me to push the button (to detonate the suicide vest) when I reach near policemen,” she told reporters.

District Police Officer Saleem Marwat told reporters that Sohana was a resident of Hashtnagri area in Peshawar and that she had told the police that she attended school on Sunday.

A local source, however, told The Express Tribune that Sohana “seemed to be from the Malakand division, not Peshawar, and was a rural type of child, not an urban one.”

Her accent shows that she is from Malakand, not Peshawar, the source said. Another source of confusion was pointed out. Even though the girl mentioned two suicide vests, only one was actually recovered from the site.

“She was wearing eight kilograms of explosives which was quite heavy for her age. Her (actions) were suspicious,” Qazi Jamilur Rehman, the regional police chief, told AFP by telephone.

“She is an innocent (little) schoolgirl who was scared. She is with us (now) and we are trying to contact her family,” Rehman added.

The police said they were trying to locate the militants who had abducted her and put her to this task. The official said that the kidnappers also changed her private school uniform with a government school one. Sohana told reporters that she was a student of a private school for which her parents paid a monthly fee of Rs500. She identified her father as Javed and said that she had an elder brother, Imran, who is a 9th grade student.

Suicide attacks by women and children are rare, but militant groups have frequently used teenage boys.

On December 26, 2010, a burqa-clad female suicide bomber struck a UN food distribution point and killed 43 people in Khar, the main town in the restive Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Nearly 4,500 people have been killed across Pakistan in attacks blamed on Taliban and other extremist outfits. With additional input from news wires

http://tribune.com.pk/story/192647/suicide-bomber-surrenders-herself-to-security-officials/

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Bangladesh moves to retain Islam as state religion

Jun 21, 2011

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Bangladesh will retain Islam as the state religion in amendments the government is proposing to its constitution, a government minister said on Tuesday.

A former military ruler declared Islam the state religion in 1988 by amending the charter, but it barely affected Bangladesh's secular legal system mainly based on British common law.

The government says the proposed changes won't affect the legal system. Inheritance and other family laws already are based on religion.

The decision was made late on Monday at a Cabinet meeting, the minister told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

A special government committee prepared proposals for the amendment, and the government will send those proposals to the parliament for passing as a law.

Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan in 1971 with help from India through a bloody nine-month war.

The original constitution was installed by independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. After Rahman's assasination in a military coup in 1975, military rulers made a series of amendments to the charter.

Some see the government's latest action as a compromise by Hasina, who during her election campaign before December 2008 polls said she would restore the 1972 constitution if voted to power.

The original charter did not recognize any faith as a state religion, promised elimination of communalism and disfavored discrimination or persecution because of a person's faith.

The new proposals want to restore those provisions of secularism but keep Islam as state religion.

Monday's Cabinet meeting chaired by Hasina also endorsed equal status and equal rights for practicing other religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, the minister said.

The Cabinet decided to keep the provision of state religion considering the national reality, the minister told AP.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has campaigned that Hasina's Awami League party is anti-Islamic. The country's main Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami and its hardline allies also brand Hasina's party as anti-Islamic.

Bangladesh has thousands of Islamic schools that advocate installation of Sharia laws, and a violent hardline group years ago bombed government buildings and courts demanding Sharia law. The government claims the group, Jumatul Mujahedin Bangladesh, was broken after its top leaders were hanged.

The government also proposed an amendment to cancel a constitutional provision that requires the government to hand over power at the end of its term to a nonpartisan administration. A former chief justice is usually chosen to head the three-month caretaker administration that conducts new elections.

The Supreme Court has ruled the provision in the 1996 constitution is undemocratic.

The next general elections is due in 2014, and opponents of Hasina say amending the consitution to remove that provision could lead to vote-rigging.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Bangladesh-moves-to-retain-Islam-as-state-religion/articleshow/8939372.cms

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Thousands protest in Morocco for more reforms

21 June 2011

Several thousand people marched through Morocco’s biggest city Sunday to protest that constitutional reforms unveiled this week by King Mohammed have not gone far enough.

After some of the biggest protests in decades — inspired in part by the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings — the monarch announced on Friday he would devolve some of his powers to parliament and the government and put the reforms to a referendum on July 1.

Under the changes, the king would retain his hold on security, the army and religion.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/23201.html

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Drone strikes kill 12 in Pak

Jun 21 2011

Parachinar: Suspected US drones fired missiles at a vehicle and a house in northwest Pakistan, killing 12 people Monday in a rare attack in an area where some of NATO’s fiercest enemies have reportedly travelled, Pakistani officials said.

The first attack in the Kurram tribal area hit a vehicle, killing five people, said Noor Alam, a local government official. As tribesmen rushed to the scene, the vehicle was struck again, killing two more people, he said. Minutes later, a suspected US drone attacked a nearby house, killing five people, Alam said.

Seven of the 12 people killed in the attacks were Afghan militants whose bodies were taken across the border to be buried, Alam said. The attacks were confirmed by two Pakistani intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/806405/

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Fresh 19 Libyan civilian deaths pile pressure on NATO

21 June 2011

SURMAN, Libya - The Libyan government said on Monday 19 civilians were killed in a NATO air strike on the home of one of Muammar Gaddafi’s top officials, a day after NATO admitted killing civilians in a separate aerial attack.

Libyan officials took reporters to Surman, 70 km (45 miles) west of Tripoli, to the site of what they said was a NATO air strike on the home of Khouildi Hamidi, a member of Libya’s 12-strong Revolutionary Command Council, led by Gaddafi.

Rescue teams were looking for survivors while reporters visited the site. Reporters were then taken to a hospital in nearby Sabrata where they were shown nine bodies, including those of two children, plus some body parts, which the Libyan government said were all of people killed in the attack.

The state-run Jana news agency later reported on its website that eight children were among 19 people killed in the attack. The dead included members of Hamidi’s family, it said. The government said Hamidi himself was not hurt.

NATO said it had bombed a ‘legitimate military target — a command and control node’ in the area, and it could not confirm whether civilians had been hurt. It said NATO does not target specific individuals.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June827.xml&section=international

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Police among dead as two car blasts kill 25 in central Iraq

June 21, 2011

DIWANIYAH: Two car bombs Tuesday ripped through a group of Iraqi police near the home of the local governor in Iraq’s central city of Diwaniyah, killing 25 people and wounding more than 30, officials said.

A medical source at the main hospital in Diwaniyah, 160 kilometres south of Baghdad, said most of the casualties were policemen.

“Two car bombs exploded almost simultaneously near the governor’s home in Diwaniyah, killing 25 people and wounding more than 30,” a defence ministry official told AFP.

It was not immediately known if Salam Hussein Alwan, governor of the province — also named Diwaniyah — was among the casualties.

The hospital source said they had received 20 bodies and admitted 35 wounded.

“Most of the casualties are policemen,” he told AFP.

Casualty figures often differ in the immediate aftermath of an attack in Iraq, due to the ensuing chaos and confusion.

Attacks against government officials have dramatically risen in recent months, with Iraqi leaders still bickering over key security positions that have remained unfilled since elections in March last year, and the formation of a government more than eight months later.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/21/bomb-blast-kills-21-at-local-iraqi-governors-house.html

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10-year-old girl saves herself from rapist by reciting Qur’an: Jeddah

Jun 21, 2011

JEDDAH: The latest victim of a serial rapist said reciting the Qur’an stopped her attacker from sexually assaulting her, Al-Madinah newspaper reported Monday.

The 10-year-old told the newspaper that she was able to protect herself against his evil deeds by reciting five chapters of the holy book that she had learned by heart.

“Every time he came closer to me, I started reciting Qur'an and he would withdraw,” she said.

The girl, identified by her initials M.M.S., said the rapist would ask her to stop reciting the Qur'an but when she refused to listen to him, he hit her hard on the face. “Because of my recitations, he was reluctant to touch me,” she said.

The girl was abducted from a wedding hall in the city. “The man knocked on the door of the wedding hall. As the doorwoman went inside to help serve dinner, I opened the door for him, believing that he was one of the guests.”

She said he asked her to go with him because he wanted to give a gift for the bride. She believed him when she saw a bag in his hand.

“When I came out, he came closer to me and took me by the hand. He told me that the remaining gifts were in the car. He asked me to go with him to his car near the entrance of the hall,” she said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article458383.ece

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North Waziristan border, Kurram drone strike kills 10 Haqqani Members

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: Keeping up the pressure from the skies on terrorists in the tribal belt adjoining Afghanistan, CIA-operated drones fired four missiles in the Kurram tribal agency on Monday, reportedly killing nearly 10 militants owing allegiance to the Haqqani network.

This is one of the few instances when Kurram, which borders North Waziristan, has been targeted by the drones. Given its proximity to North Waziristan, members of the Haqqani network are said to use Kurram as a safe haven and as an alternate route into Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, tribesmen came out in protest during the day in North Waziristan against the drone attacks.

The drones have been pounding the tribal belt at regular intervals despite the government describing the strikes as a “core irritant” in relations with the U.S.

The tribesmen demanded an immediate end to the drone attacks claiming innocent men, women and children were also being killed in these calibrated strikes based on ground intelligence. Though a senior Army officer had claimed that drone attacks were successful in taking out terrorists, the mainstream narrative in Pakistan is that such strikes are counter-productive as the loss of innocent lives produces more terrorists.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/21/stories/2011062157811700.htm

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6 Yemeni troops killed in clashes with Qaeda

June 21, 2011

Six Yemeni soldiers, including two officers, were killed in clashes with Al Qaeda-linked militants near the gunmen-held in Southern city of Zinjibar on Sunday, an officer said on Monday.

The officer from the 119th Artillery Brigade said that army units “fought fierce battles on Sunday night with Ansar al-Sharia (Supporters of Islamic Sharia law) gunmen connected to Al Qaeda.”

“Six members of the brigade were killed, including Colonel Jamal al-Jaafi, and eight others were wounded,” he told AFP, adding that the militants had also suffered casualties.

He said that air support had been called in and warplanes hit several areas held by the militants.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347339/6-Yemeni-troops-killed-in-clashes-with-Qaeda.html

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4 killed in Taliban attack in northwest Pakistan

Jun 21, 2011

Taliban militants attacked the homes of pro-government tribesmen in Mohmand region of northwest Pakistan and killed four persons, officials said on Monday.

A group of militants lobbed grenades at the house of a member of an anti-Taliban militia in Mohmand Agency late last night, they said.

The head of the family, Gulbab Khan, his son and a nephew died in the attack. The family returned fire but there was no report of casualties among the militants, who later escaped.

The militants later attacked the home of another militia member, Ghazi Muhammad, in the same area, killing a child and injuring two persons, including Muhammad, his family said.Residents of Mohmand Agency formed the “peace committee” or militia to help security forces fight the militants.

Taliban militants regularly target pro-government tribesmen and, according to official figures, nearly 140 volunteers have been killed in such attacks.

Many civilians have also died in Taliban suicide attacks in the region.

The Pakistan Army on Sunday said that 25 militants were killed in Mohmand Agency in an air and ground operation by security forces.

Four soldiers were also killed and several others injured in clashes, an Army statement said.

Pakistani officials say the militants receive help from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

http://www.asianage.com/international/4-killed-taliban-attack-northwest-pakistan-644

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Pakistan arrests brigadier on suspected militant ties

Jun 21, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan army brigadier assigned to military headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi has been arrested for suspected ties to a banned group, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

Spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said Brigadier Ali Khan, who was in charge of drafting army regulations, was linked to Hizb-ul-Tahrir, a banned group in Pakistan.

"We follow zero tolerance policy of such activities within the military therefore prompt action was taken on detection," Abbas said.

Hizb-ul-Tahrir, or "Party of Liberation", is a radical political group dedicated to reestablishing an Islamic Caliphate across the Muslim world. Active in Britain, it is banned in many Muslim countries for its calls to overthrow the sitting governments.

The group says it does not advocate violence, but many critics say it has ties to militant organisations and encourages young men to radicalism.

Abbas said efforts were also being made to arrest members of the group who were in contact with Khan.

Khan would be the highest-ranking serving army officer arrested in a decade.

A senior military official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters that the detention was made 20 days ago.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-arrests-brigadier-on-suspected-militant-ties/articleshow/8939257.cms

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Indonesia attempts to save 28 on death row

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Jun 21, 2011

RIYADH: Indonesia has called home its ambassador to Saudi Arabia for consultation following the execution of an Indonesian maid in Makkah on Saturday.

“The Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jakarta has recalled Ambassador Gatot Abdullah Mansyur for consultations and to discuss measures to solve other serious cases,” said Wishnu Krishnamurthi, spokesman of the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, on Monday. “A note of protest over the beheading of Indonesian maid Ruyati binti Sapubi has been sent to the Saudi side.”

Krishnamurthi added that the Kingdom carried out the execution by sword without giving Indonesia prior notice.

Sapubi’s family has sought the government help to get the body to Indonesia. The maid from Bekasi district, Western Java, was executed for murdering her 70-year-old Saudi woman employer in January 2010.

Didi Wahjudi, a representative from the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah, said neither the consulate nor the embassy was informed of the execution. The protest has been lodged because Indonesia was still trying to settle her case and seek clemency, he added.

Krishnamurthi said his government has stepped up efforts to save 28 Indonesians on death row.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article458535.ece

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Bangladesh leaders, face indictment in ULFA arms case

June 21, 2011

Several high-profile Bangladeshi politicians and top intelligence officials could face indictment in the country’s biggest arms haul case involving 10 truck loads of weapons allegedly destined for ULFA hideouts in India, a top police official has said.

“We are now set to submit the supplementary chargesheet based on our (extended) investigations within the stipulated deadline of June 29,” a senior official of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) told PTI.

The official was speaking on the outcome of an investigation into the arms haul case of 2004. He said the probe done over three years and 17 extensions revealed “astounding facts” and the proposed chargesheet would suggest indictment of several high-profile politicians — now detained — and intelligence agency chiefs for their role in the abortive weapons smuggling.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347328/Bangladesh-leaders-face-indictment-in-ULFA-arms-case.html

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Indian sailors to fly back home after reaching Pak

June 21, 2011

The 22 crew members of Egyptian merchant vessel MV Suez, including six Indians, will reach here before being sent back to their respective countries, Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney said today.

Burney, who has played a pivotal role in securing the release of the crew hoped the return of the Indian sailors would a "gift" to India.

Besides the 6 Indians, there are 5 Pakistanis and a Sri Lankan among the crew, which was this afternoon transferred to Pakistani warship PNS Babar after the vessel started sinking.

"I hope this will be a good gift to India from my side. I love you all Indians, I love you all Pakistanis," Burney said.

"When they will reach here, from the next flight I will send them back to their respective countries," he told CNN IBN.

MV Suez was on its way to the Omani port of Salalah when it ran out of fuel and began taking on water in stormy weather. On getting a call for assistance, Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir ordered the vessel's crew to be shifted to the frigate PNS Babar, which was escorting it.

Burney played a crucial role in arranging for ransom and negotiating with the Somali pirates who held the ship for 10 months.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347287/Indian-sailors-to-fly-back-home-after-reaching-Pak.html

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Seeking answers: CJ names heads of Abbottabad, Shahzad probes

By Qaiser Zulfiqar

June 21, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has nominated Justice Javed Iqbal to head the judicial commission to probe the Abbottabad operation, while Justice Saqib Nisar will head the commission to probe journalist Saleem Shahzad’s killing.

The government, through the law ministry’s secretary, had approached the Supreme Court registrar on Sunday to request the chief justice to appoint apex court judges to head inquiry commissions into the two incidents.

Earlier on Monday, the court temporarily disposed of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ (PFUJ) petition and directed that while nominating other members for the commissions, the government must keep in mind that their status should not be less than the president of the commission, ie, a judge of the Supreme Court.

At the outset of the hearing the PFUJ petition through Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir, Chaudhry observed that while this petition is being heard, another journalist was reportedly tortured by police in Islamabad.

The chief justice informed the counsels about the government’s letters. While appreciating the government’s move, he observed, “All things should not come to the court, let the government do its job.” He asked Jahangir to take the time to decide whether she wants to pursue the petition or the formation of the commission.

After deliberations in Jahangir’s office with leading journalists, a consensus emerged that the petition will be withdrawn but under certain conditions. The bench was informed in writing about the decision.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/193221/seeking-answers-cj-names-heads-of-abbottabad-shahzad-probes/

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Pakistani prisoner in Rajasthan one step closer

June 21, 2011

JAIPUR: A mercy petition was forwarded to the Rajasthan governor on Monday in a bid to expedite the release of a 78-year-old Pakistani prisoner, Dr Saiyyad Mohammad Khaleel Chishty, who is languishing in Ajmer’s prison hospital, according to The Times of India.

The decision came a day after Indian Supreme Court Judge Markandeya Katju wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him for assistance in releasing the ailing Chishti.

The petition was cleared on “humanitarian grounds” and was forwarded for the approval of Rajasthan governor Shivraj Patil. Chishti is in India and has not been allowed to return since 1992.

In an appeal written to the prime minister and president of Pakistan seeking their indulgence for the release of her father, Dr Chishty’s daughter Shoa Jawaid wrote, “My father is currently in a very precarious condition as necessary medical treatment is not available to him.” Over a month has passed since the appeal was delivered but a response is yet to take form.

Although human rights activists both in Pakistan and India are trying to get his sentence pardoned, not a single right wing political party has come forward in Chishty’s support.

Dr Chishty acquired BSc Honors and MSc in Microbiology from the Karachi University in 1959, as well as a PhD from Edinburgh University in Scotland.

He also has additional degrees in M I Biology as well as FRSH from London University.

He has also been a professor in universities of Karachi, Nigeria, King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and Tebrez in Iran. (with additional reporting by Ali Usman in Lahore)

http://tribune.com.pk/story/193149/pakistani-prisoner-in-rajasthan-one-step-closer/

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Samjautha Blast: Hindu radicals charge-sheeted

June 21, 2011

NEW DEHLI: Just three days before the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, the National Investigation Agency on Monday filed a charge-sheet in a court against five Hindu radicals, including Swami Aseemanand, in the Samjhauta Express train blast case and mentioned a senior leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Indresh Kumar, as one of the “suspects” in the terror act, India Times reported on Monday.

Though Kumar is not an accused in the case as NIA has so far not found “any corroborative evidence of his direct link”, the agency referred to him thrice in the charge-sheet. It said that his involvement in the conspiracy is “highly suspected”.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/192835/samjhota-express-bombing-india-files-case-against-5-accused/

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India will raise terror issue with Pak: Krishna

Jun 21, 2011

NEW DELHI: India confirmed that terror would remain on its agenda with Pakistan during the forthcoming foreign secretary talks. Foreign minister S M Krishna's commitment came on a day when the National Investigation Agency ( NIA) filed a chargesheet against the accused in the Samjhauta blasts case, which is seen as a strong signal to Pakistan.

In an interaction with journalists before leaving for Myanmar, Krishna indicated that India would strongly pursue the 26/11 trial. Expressing disappointment over the glacial pace of the trial, he said, "I hope Pakistan realises how serious the Indian view is on this particular question. Our trial has concluded and the appeal is pending with the Supreme Court. Whereas the trial virtually has not even started in Pakistan, I think even the examination of the witnesses has not begun yet."

Nevertheless, Krishna cautioned against building up expectations before the talks, confirming he would meet his counterpart (Pakistan is yet to announce a foreign minister) in July. "We have to be patient, realistic and positive," he said.

Krishna said India's approach would be aimed at reducing the trust deficit. The "central point" would be asking Pakistan to deal firmly with the menace of terrorism and eliminate all sanctuaries for terrorists on its soil. He added that India would continue asking for Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-will-raise-terror-issue-with-Pak-Krishna/articleshow/8931692.cms

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UAE enforces UN freeze on Libyan assets

21 June 2011

UAE Central Bank has ordered banks and financial houses operating in the country to freeze the assets of Libya’s controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi and 18 of his family members.

The UAE on Monday implemented the two UN Security Council Resolutions seeking a freeze on the bank accounts and assets of Libya’s controversial leader Muammar Gaddafi and 18 of his family members, close associates and entities for violating human rights and killing people in the North African country.

“We have instructed banks to initiate a search and freeze any accounts, investments, deposits in the name of persons named in the UNSC resolutions,” said Abdulrahim Al Awadhi, executive director and Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit at the UAE Central Bank.

Al Awadhi, who was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the UAE capital on methods to detect  and combat money laundering, said: “The UAE has implemented the UN Security Council’s Resolutions 1970 of 2011 and 1973 of 2011 against Libya.” 

He further said that under the orders, banks will also freeze any safe deposits lockers and will stop money transfers by the 19 people and entities with immediate effect, in line with the UNSC resolutions.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/June/theuae_June569.xml&section=theuae

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Women2Drive campaign faced roadblock due to few risk takers

By MD AL-SULAMI & RIMA AL-MUKHTAR

Jun 21, 2011

JEDDAH: A Facebook campaign that urged Saudi women to drive in a bid to overturn a ban on female motorists was a failure, according to  local media. Traffic police say no one was arrested and there were no accidents reported on June 17.

“The traffic police did not expect women to drive on Friday and not one ticket was issued for women that day,” said a Makkah province police source. “It was a normal day on the streets of Jeddah as the police did not see any women driving and we did not respond to the online campaign whatsoever.”

The campaign urged women who drove on the day to upload videos of them driving.

A Saudi woman living in Riyadh uploaded a clip of her driving to the supermarket at 12.45 p.m. the same day. The video showed that the woman was clearly nervous while driving, as she could not keep up with the conversation she was having with the man behind the camera. “We just want to run our lives by ourselves. We don’t need to be driven around. We need to go to work, shop and run errands without having to rely on drivers,” she said in the video.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article458534.ece

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Bomb hits French embassy convoy in Baghdad

Jun 21, 2011

Seven people were wounded when a French embassy convoy was hit by a make-shift bomb in Baghdad.

BAGHDAD: Seven people were wounded on Monday when a French embassy convoy was hit by a make-shift bomb in Baghdad in the second attack on the mission's vehicles in a month, an embassy official and local police said.

The attack in Baghdad's al-Mesbah neighbourhood underscored the still shaky security situation in the capital as the last US troops prepare to withdraw by a planned year-end deadline.

Iraqi security sources said seven people were wounded in the attack, but an embassy spokesman said no French diplomatic or security personnel were hurt though one of the convoy's vehicles was badly damaged.

"We had an attack with an IED (improvised explosive device)," Issa Maraut, the French embassy first consul, said.

A French embassy convoy also was hit by an improvised explosive a month ago, but Maraut said there was no indication the embassy was being specifically targeted.

A Reuters witness said one of the convoy's vehicles and two other civilian cars were damaged in the blast.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Bomb-hits-French-embassy-convoy-in-Baghdad/articleshow/8927224.cms

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Tunisian court sentences toppled president Ben Ali, wife to 35 years

Jun 21, 2011

TUNIS: Toppled Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife were sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison each in a trial for misappropriating public funds, a judge said.

Judge Touhami Hafi also fined the exiled ex-leader 50 million dinars (25 million euros) and his wife Leila Trabelsi 41 million dinars on the first day of the trial.

He postponed a trial in a second case until June 30 to allow Ben Ali's lawyers more time to prepare their defence.

Ben Ali and Trabelsi were charged with embezzlement after the discovery of money and jewellery in their palace in the outskirts of Tunis.

The second case, targetting Ben Ali only, involves weapons and drugs allegedly found in a presidential residence in Carthage.

Ben Ali denied all the charges in advance of the trial through his lawyer Akram Azouri.

The former president, his wife and their two children fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia in January at the climax of the first of the Arab uprisings.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Tunisian-court-sentences-toppled-president-Ben-Ali-wife-to-35-years/articleshow/8931886.cms

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Mubarak has stomach cancer, says lawyer

Jun 21, 2011

Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak, whose trial on charges of ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters is due in August, has stomach cancer, his lawyer Farid al-Dib said on Monday.

"He has a stomach cancer and the tumours are growing," the lawyer said.

Mubarak, who turned 83 in May, and his sons are to face trial on August 3 on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising in January and February that toppled the veteran leader.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Mubarak-has-stomach-cancer-says-lawyer/articleshow/8931332.cms

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Syria prez offers reforms, but won't quit

Jun 21, 2011

BEIRUT: Syria's embattled president said on Monday his regime would consider political reforms, including ending his Baath Party's monopoly on power, but gave no sign he might step down, a key demand of nationwide protests.

The opposition dismissed Bashar Assad's speech, saying it lacked any clear move toward democracy. Activists said thousands of people took to the streets to protest in several cities.

Much of Assad's message was not new, including his claim that the unrest is being driven by armed thugs and foreign conspirators. "Saboteurs" were trying to exploit legitimate demands for reform, he said. "What is happening today has nothing to do with reform. It has to do with vandalism," Assad told supporters at Damascus University.

"There can be no development without stability, and no reform through vandalism."

But he also announced that a "national dialogue'' would start soon and he was forming a committee to study constitutional amendments, including one that would open the way for formation of political parties other than the ruling Baath Party.

The vague timetable and few specifics – and lack of any clear move toward ending the Assad family's 40-year rule – left Syrian dissidents deeply dissatisfied. "It did not give a vision about beginning a new period to start a transfer from a dictatorship into a national democratic regime with political pluralism,'' Hassan Abdul-Azim, a prominent opposition figure, said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syria-prez-offers-reforms-but-wont-quit/articleshow/8931352.cms

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No change in redline for peace talks with Taliban: US

Jun 21, 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States has said it has not diluted its stand on peace talks with the Taliban, even as it has established "preliminary contacts" with the terror outfit.

"... Those are firm redlines because without renouncing violence, without accepting the Afghan constitution, and without cutting their ties with al-Qaida, these Taliban extremists have not rot really renounced extremism. Those are the basics for reconciliation," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Stating that many countries have had these kinds of contacts with the Taliban, Nuland said the US has had "some preliminary contacts."

"I think the main goal from our perspective is an Afghan-led process of national reconciliation. We have had our feelers and we continue to have very preliminary contacts, but that's as far as it's gone.

"In supporting this Afghan-led process, our goal in working with the Afghans has been to help them establish systems, procedures, that support these three essential redlines: first of all, renouncing violence; second, breaking ties with al-Qaida; and third, bringing - ensuring that those who are reconciled truly support the constitution," she said.

Nuland said US has a number of programs that support what the government of Afghanistan was up to, including supporting the Afghan High Peace Council and Provincial Peace and Reintegration Councils.

"We also supported the passage of UN Resolution 1988, which - in the UN on Friday, which allows us to take those Afghans who are truly reconciled off of the sanctions list while maintaining those who are not reconciled on the list," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/No-change-in-redline-for-peace-talks-with-Taliban-US/articleshow/8934231.cms

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Iran deputy foreign minister resigns amid pressure

Jun 21, 2011

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran's newly appointed deputy foreign minister has resigned under pressure from hard-liners who view him as part of a movement seeking to weaken the role of Iran's powerful Muslim clerics, media reports said Tuesday.

The dispute over Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh is part of a burgeoning power struggle involving President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the parliament and the country's clergy. While Malekzadeh faces corruption charges, the opposition to his appointment appeared more ideological.

In his resignation letter addressed to the foreign minister Tuesday, Malekzadeh denounced his critics.

``Despite dastardly manipulations and plentiful injustices done against me, I can't accept that you suffer from unjust pressures because of me anymore,'' the official IRNA news agency quoted Malekzadeh as saying.

Malekzadeh, who has denied the corruption allegations, is an ally of the president's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-deputy-foreign-minister-resigns-amid-pressure/articleshow/8937819.cms

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Somali pirates on Yemeni fishing boat arrested

Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: The foreign fishing boat captured by the Gujarat police at Nandel, a small port near Una in Junagadh district on the Saurashtra coast on Sunday turned out to be carrying 14 Somali pirates along with three Yemeni fishermen.

The boat with 17 persons on board was seized and all the seamen were arrested after local villagers alerted the police about the presence of some “foreign faces” aboard. The arrested seamen were in a precarious condition, not having eaten anything for several days. They were first admitted to the Una hospital prior to questioning them. The police believed the boat had exhausted fuel and drifted towards the Saurashtra coast in high tide.

After their condition improved they were put under joint interrogation which revealed that while the Yemenis were genuine fishermen, the Somalis on board were all pirates who had seized the Yemeni fishing boat “144 Al Badr-2” and set sail before the engine broke down.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/21/stories/2011062158322000.htm

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US in concerted bid to end Afghan war

June 21, 2011

S Rajagopalan

Outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed “preliminary talks” with members of the Taliban in a concerted effort to end the Afghan war, but cautioned against expectations of a dramatic breakthrough.

Making it clear that it may take several months for a possible peace deal to emerge, he argued that the military campaign has to continue in order to keep up the pressure on the Taliban to meet “the red lines”, including snapping all ties with Al Qaeda.

Gates’ confirmation of the talks came during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union”. While describing the parleys as “very preliminary”, he said “other countries are involved as well” in the exercise, adding it has been going on for “a few weeks, maybe”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347350/US-in-concerted-bid-to-end-Afghan-war.html

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US, Afghanistan to weather diplomatic storm

21 June 2011

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration’s ties with Afghan President Hamid Karzai remain solid despite an unusual public rebuke from the US envoy to Kabul this weekend, Karzai’s ambassador to Washington said on Monday.

Ambassador Eklil Hakimi sought to downplay the significance of remarks over the weekend by US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who complained in surprisingly blunt terms about ‘hurtful and inappropriate’ comments from Afghanistan’s political leaders — a clear reference to Karzai.

‘There are many positive things in the bigger picture’ that underpin bilateral ties, Hakimi said in an interview with Reuters. ‘But there are minor things that happen too. We have an old saying: a true friend is someone who can tell you the things that make you cry.’

Yet such candor — friendly or otherwise — comes at a sensitive moment as NATO-led forces prepare to begin handing off to local troops and as Afghanistan and the United States negotiate a deal outlining their long-term relationship.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June828.xml&section=international

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Afghanistan voices concern over border attacks

20 June 2011

KABUL - Afghanistan has voiced concern over cross-border violence which it blamed on Pakistan’s military, it said Monday, amid mutual recriminations over the issue.

Afghan foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul met Pakistani ambassador to Kabul Mohammad Sadiq three days after Pakistan summoned the Afghan Charge d’Affaires over the same question.

Several hundred militants crossed from Afghanistan on Thursday and targeted civilians in the Mamoond area of the lawless border tribal district of Bajaur, killing five people, Pakistani officials said.

But Afghan officials have denied any cross-border attack and accused Pakistani troops of killing six people in a rocket strike in the Shigal district of northeastern province of Kunar on Wednesday.

Rassoul expressed the “Afghan side’s concern for the shelling of Afghan villages by Pakistani artillery in Sarkano district of Kunar province” while demanding “such shelling to stop,” an official statement said.

On Friday, Afghan Charge d’ Affaires Majnoon Gulab was told of the “serious concern of the government of Pakistan” and asked to prevent such incidents from happening again, according to a Pakistani foreign ministry statement.

There have been a string of similar attacks in recent days.

The border is porous and ties between Afghans and Pakistanis are strained over Islamist militants in both countries.

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are thought to have sanctuaries in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas which they use to conduct cross-border raids against foreign and Afghan forces.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/June/international_June798.xml&section=international

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Iran, Afghan agree to strengthen bilateral ties

June 21, 2011

Iran and Afghanistan have pledged not to allow any third country to use their territories against any other country to destabilise it.

The joint statement issued by their Defence Ministers at the end of their second round of ministerial talks in Kabul, which saw an Iranian Defence Minister visiting Afghanistan for the first time, read, “Iran and Afghanistan will not allow any third country to use each of their territories against security, stability, territorial integrity, independence or political system of the other country.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347330/Iran-Afghan-agree-to-strengthen-bilateral-ties.html

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Assad must bring in changes or step aside, says Britain

June 21, 2011

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must implement reforms in his country or step aside, as the embattled leader prepared to make a major speech.

Hague, on arrival at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg, said he hoped Turkey would use its influence on Damascus to tell the regime that “they are losing legitimacy, that Assad should reform or step aside.”

He added that he hoped Turkey “will be very clear and very bold about that” with the Syrian authorities.

The British chief diplomat said that “there are crucial developments in Syria” and that London was awaiting a speech that Assad was to deliver later on Monday.

“The UK looks to him to respond to legitimate grievances, to release prisoners of conscience, to open up access to Internet and freedom of the media,” Hague said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/347331/Assad-must-bring-in-changes-or-step-aside-says-Britain.html

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Afghan reconciliation talks: Pakistan worried about being left out in the cold

By Kamran Yousaf

June 21, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday sought ‘greater transparency and clarity’ from the United States in its plans to reach out to the Afghan Taliban in a move that indicates Islamabad’s unease over Washington’s recent overtures with insurgents.

The Obama administration has recently confirmed that it had established contacts with the Afghan Taliban though it insisted the negotiations were at a preliminary stage.

It is widely believed that the US has deliberately kept Pakistan at bay about its efforts to seek a peace deal with the Taliban ahead of the phased withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Senior Pakistani officials conveyed concerns to visiting US deputy special  representative Frank Ruggiero about Washington’s ‘attempts to bypass’ Islamabad, sources told The Express Tribune.

The statement issued by the Foreign Ministry after talks between State Minister Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Ruggiero clearly indicated Pakistan’s discomfort with the US approach on the Afghan reconciliation process.

It said the two discussed the Afghan reconciliation process that seeks a political solution to the decade-old war.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/193224/afghan-reconciliation-talks-pakistan-worried-about-being-left-out-in-the-cold/

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Obama calls Turkey’s Erdogan on Syria, Libya

June 21, 2011

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the second time in six days to discuss Syria’s political crackdown and the effort to oust Libya’s Moamer Qadhafi.

“The leaders agreed that the Syrian government must end the use of violence now and promptly enact meaningful reforms that respect the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people,” a White House statement said.

Erdogan has traditionally had good ties with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, but had been urging him to halt a fierce crackdown on protests which have erupted across his country.

More than 10,000 Syrians are sheltering from the unrest in camps in neighboring Turkey, while thousands more are in a no-man’s land, hesitating to cross the border.

Erdogan and Obama also discussed the situation in Libya, after White House spokesman Jay Carney predicted on Monday that Moamer Qadhafi’s days as leader were “numbered.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/21/obama-calls-turkeys-erdogan-on-syria-libya.html

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PA forces arrest 11 Hamas members in West Bank

By MOHAMMED MAR’I

Jun 20, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Hamas movement on Monday said that security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas arrested 11 of its members in various West Bank cities.

Hamas said in a press statement that forces from the Palestinian Preventive Service and the Palestinian General Intelligence Service arrested the 11 members in the cities of Nablus, Ramallah and Qalqilyah.

The movement said that the detainees include teachers, university students and prisoners recently released from Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli jails.

Hamas said that the wave of arrests came a day after the cancellation of a meeting in Cairo between Hamas’ Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The two leaders were expected to name the head of the national unity government hat would be formed in accordance with the unity agreement.

Azzam Al-Ahmed, a member of Fatah Central Committee and head of its team to Cairo reconciliation talks with Hamas, said that huge differences between the two movements over the identity of the premier of the new Palestinian unity government led to the postponing of the meeting.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article458402.ece

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Thousands in Yemen call for president’s sons to go

By AHMED AL-HAJ

Jun 21, 2011

SANAA: Tens of thousands took to the streets of the capital on Monday, demanding that the president’s sons leave Yemen as pressure rose for the wounded leader being treated outside the country to step down.

Ahmed Saleh, 42, is a one-time heir apparent to his father, who was badly wounded in an attack earlier this month.

In his absence, pressure has been mounting at home and abroad for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step aside after nearly 33 years in power.

His son Ahmed Saleh commands the elite Presidential Guard, the country’s best equipped and trained military unit. The force has played a key role in protecting his father’s regime since pro-democracy protests erupted in February.

The protesters on Monday called for Ahmed Saleh to leave, along with his brother Khaled, who is also an army commander. Their demonstration led to the closure of major streets in the capital. Most stores shuttered down, but there were no immediate reports of clashes with security forces.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article458403.ece

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Militants attack homes of anti-Taleban elders

Jun 21, 2011

KHAR, Pakistan: A government official says dozens of militants attacked the homes of two prominent anti-Taleban tribal elders in northwest Pakistan, killing four people and wounding six others.

Zabit Khan says the attacks early Monday in the Mohmand tribal area were nearly simultaneous. More than 80 militants assaulted the homes of Malik Ghazi Gul and Malik Mian Gulab with grenades and machine gun fire.

Khan said Gul was critically wounded along with two guards and an unidentified woman. His 12-year-old son was killed.

Gulab was not wounded, but his brother, son and nephew were killed. Two women at Gulab’s house were also wounded.

Both homes were located in the Safi area of Mohmand. Gul and Gulab were members of an anti-Taleban militia.

http://arabnews.com/world/article458128.ece

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Iranian company duped US banks: indictment

By NOELEEN WALDER

Jun 21, 2011

NEW YORK: Prosecutors in New York have indicted an Iranian shipping company for setting up shell companies so that it could evade sanctions and move millions of dollars through the US financial system.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said on Monday the state-sponsored Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, known as IRISL, used bogus companies to dupe New York-based banks into processing wire payments totaling more than $60 million.

An indictment filed in state court charged the company, which has major shipping centers in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates, with conspiracy and falsifying business records. Fifteen other defendants are named in the 317-count indictment.

The charges capped a 14-month investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and the US Department of Treasury, which had sanctioned IRISL in 2008 for its role in aiding Iran’s ballistic missile development program.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article458464.ece

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Citizens deserve better tourism facilities: Sultan bin Salman

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Jun 21, 2011

JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), said on Monday that it is the right of citizens to have better tourist facilities in the Kingdom.

He emphasized the importance of improving tourist services in the country. “The SCTA has given top priority to ensure the requirements of local tourists to help enjoy their holidays in the Kingdom,” he said.

Prince Sultan disclosed that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has approved the organizing of an exhibition for retrieved Saudi antiquities at the National Museum in Riyadh as part of the National Heritage and Cultural Festival in Janadriyah next year.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article458442.ece

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Leadership row delays Palestinian unity govt

20 June 2011

Disagreement over who should be the next Palestinian premier is holding up the creation of a unity government agreed last month between Fatah and Hamas.

A meeting in Cairo on Tuesday between Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah, and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has been postponed due to Hamas opposition to the reappointment of Western-backed economist Salam Fayyad, they said.

“The real reason for the delay in the forming and convening of the government is disagreement over Fayyad,” an official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“President Abbas insists on nominating Salam Fayyad, whose appointment Hamas categorically rejects,” he added. “That has led the two sides to postpone the meeting rather than announce the collapse of the reconciliation.”

“Fayyad is not wanted because his name is linked to Palestinian division, the debt-ridden Palestinian economy and operations by the (Palestinian) security services against the resistance,” Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said, referring to the group’s armed campaign against Israel.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/June/middleeast_June568.xml&section=middleeast

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Dhaka for friendly ties with India, other neighbours: PM

21 June 2011

The Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has stated Bangladesh believes in peaceful co-existence and friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.

The prime minister made this reiteration of her government’s foreign policy when visiting Indian army chief General VK Singh called on her at Ganabhaban Monday morning.

PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters that during the meeting, the prime minister observed such visits would help strengthen bilateral ties.

Bangladesh believes in good relations with India, as with all other neighbouring countries, Hasina is said to have made clear to General Singh.

The prime minister also stressed cooperation to alleviate poverty in South Asia.

She recalled with deep gratitude the active cooperation of the Indian government, people and military during Bangladesh war of liberation in 1971. She remembered in particular the sacrifice made by the Indian army.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/national/23289.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/police-detain-9-year-old-girl-with-suicide-vest/d/4881


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