New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 12:56 AM

Islamic World News ( 15 Apr 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pope Brings 12 Refugees Back to Vatican after Emotional Trip to Greece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Pope Francis arriving at the Moria detention center, where refugees are held as they await rulings on their asylum applications, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday. Credit Aris Messinis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

Quneitra: Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

Shining the Light of Knowledge: Local Lutheran Churches to Host Presentation on Islam

The OIC’s 10-Year Strategic Plan for The Muslim World

Shocking! Muslim Man Divorces Wife After She Votes For BJP in Assam

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Europe

Pope Brings 12 Refugees Back to Vatican after Emotional Trip to Greece

The MCB Has Officially Decided I'm Not Islamic Enough - But I Never Did Anything Wrong

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Arab World

Quneitra: Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

Syria: Over 25 ISIL Members Killed in Clashes with Rival Terrorists in Aleppo

Syria: Several ISIL Terrorists Killed in Own Car's Explosion in Deir Ezzur

Syrian Army Targets Terrorists' Military Column near Border with Turkey

ISIL Offensives Repulsed by Syrian Gov't Forces in Aleppo Province

Egyptians protest island deal with Saudi Arabia

IS makes gains in northern Syria: monitor

Aleppo: the main battleground in Syria war

Report: Lebanese Army Hits Terrorists' Positions near Syrian Border

Syrian man says FSA killed his baby son to recruit him

Ansarullah Spokesman: Saudi Arabia Continues Attacks on Yemeni Forces Despite Ceasefire

ISIL Convoy Bombed Heavily by Syrian Military Jets in Sweida

Aleppo: Top Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

Russian, Syrian Warplanes Hit ISIL Centres Hard West of Raqqa

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North America

Shining the Light of Knowledge: Local Lutheran Churches to Host Presentation on Islam

NY Mosque Hosts Seder for Jews, Muslims

UN: Saudi Arabia renews rejection of acts of terrorism in all forms

The Citadel Considers Allowing Muslim Headscarf

New ISIS hit list targets Michigan Muslim leader

Corruption Fuels Extremism, Warns US

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Mideast

The OIC’s 10-Year Strategic Plan for The Muslim World

Muslim Nations Accuse Iran of Supporting Terrorism

Erdoğan welcomes Iranian president in Ankara after 'terrorism' row

PM: Turkey Ready to Cooperate with Iran in War on ISIL

Turkish parliament approves omnibus code despite opposition calls

Erdoğan urges Islamic leaders to ‘pay their dues’

Turkey blocks Russia’s Sputnik news website

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India

Shocking! Muslim Man Divorces Wife After She Votes For BJP in Assam

India Looks to Corner China on Jaish Chief Masood Azhar

Sena to Host Mass Marriage of 8 Muslim Couples From Marathwada

Centre sends more troops, curfew-like restrictions continue in Kashmir

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South Asia

87 Militants Killed, 91 Wounded In ANSF Air and Ground Raids: MoD

Haqqani Network Attack on a Kabul Hotel Foiled By NDS Operatives

Afghan Forces Engaged In Offensive Operations In 12 Provinces: MoD

Bangladesh celebrates Bengali New Year amid tight security

District police chief killed in northern Faryab province

Iran promises not to force Afghan refugees for repatriation

Taliban shadow governor for restive Ghazni arrested by Afghan intelligence

Taliban video shows Afghan army helicopter blown up

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Southeast Asia

U.S. Commission Advises Myanmar to End Abuse of Muslim Rohingya

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Pakistan

‘No Leader in Muslim World Willing To Take On Sectarianism’: Analyst Ahmed Rashid

Tempers flare as guards exchange harsh words on Pak-Afghan border

Rangers pick up five KU employees in campus raid

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pope-brings-12-refugees-back-to-vatican-after-emotional-trip-to-greece/d/107009

 

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Pope Brings 12 Refugees Back to Vatican After Emotional Trip to Greece

By JIM YARDLEYAPRIL 16, 2016

MYTILENE, Greece — Pope Francis made an emotional visit into the heart of Europe’s migrant crisis on Saturday and brought 12 Muslim refugees from Syria including six children back to Rome aboard the papal plane.

The action punctuated the pope’s pleas for sympathy to the plight of the refugees just as European attitudes are hardening against them.

The refugees taken to Rome consisted of three families whose homes had been bombed in the Syria war, the Vatican said in a statement as the pope departed the Greek island of Lesbos. They will be cared for by the Vatican.

The announcement capped a brief one-day trip by the pope to Greece that again placed the plight of migrants at the center of his papacy.

“We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution,” Francis said during a lunchtime visit to the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, where he was joined by leaders of Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

“As people of faith, we wish to join our voices to speak out on your behalf,” Francis continued. “We hope that the world will heed these scenes of tragic and indeed desperate need, and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity.”

Francis’s first papal trip in 2013 was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, to call attention to the refugees who were arriving there from Libya — or drowning before they reached shore. During his February visit to Mexico, Francis prayed beneath a large cross erected in Ciudad Juárez, just footsteps from the Mexican border with the United States, and then celebrated Mass nearby where he spoke about immigrants.

Upon landing in Lesbos on Saturday, Francis held a brief private meeting with Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, before traveling across the island to the detention center in Moria, where refugees are held as they await rulings on their asylum applications — or as they wait to be deported under a recent agreement struck between the European Union and Turkey to curb migration.

Beginning last summer, hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have poured into Lesbos after paying smugglers to make the short sea journey from the Turkish coast. The procession of refugees through Greece and the Balkans toward Germany plunged the European Union into a political crisis and eventually led several countries to restrict or close their borders, despite the bloc’s system of open internal borders.

The deal with Turkey includes a provision under which refugees arriving in Greece can be swiftly deported back to Turkey. Since the deal took effect last month, the number of refugees arriving in Lesbos has dropped sharply (even as the numbers arriving in Italy are steadily rising). Critics say the agreement has trampled on the civil rights of refugees fleeing war and betrayed the ideals of the European Union.

In speaking at the refugee camp, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians, bluntly reminded Europeans, and their leaders, that Christians and others are judged on how they treat the weak and powerless.

“The world will be judged by the way it has treated you,” Bartholomew told the refugees. “And we will all be accountable for the way we respond to the crisis and conflict in the regions that you come from. The Mediterranean Sea should not be a tomb.”

Thousands of migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean, including a young child whose limp body washed ashore last year on the Turkish coast. A photograph of the child became a searing icon of the refugee crisis.

“I hope that we never see children washing up on the shores of the Aegean Sea,” said Archbishop Ieronymos, leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, who called for a greater response by the United Nations. “I hope to soon see them there, untroubled, enjoying life.”

At the Moria refugee center, Francis slowly walked down a line of refugees, many of whom are Muslims, greeting people as some waved handwritten signs with slogans like “Freedom of Movement.” Others propped their children above their shoulders or held out smartphones to photograph the pope.

Inside a large white tent, Francis greeted a mother in a headscarf as she cradled her baby, as well as other refugee families. A small boy stepped forward and handed him a picture drawn with crayons. An Iraqi mother asked Francis to help her find medical care for her child’s bone cancer.

At one point, a man began wailing as Francis placed his hands on the man’s head. “Please father, bless me!” the man shouted. “Please father, bless me!”

Francis and the other religious leaders offered special praise on Saturday for ordinary Greeks, who have welcomed refugees, taken some into their homes or provided food and clothing, even as they endure hardship amid the country’s long-running financial crisis. Mr. Tsipras and other Greek leaders have called on the European Union to provide more help to the country as it has born the brunt of the refugee crisis.

Across Europe, the mood has soured in recent months, as many countries have closed or restricted their borders amid mounting public anxiety over the chaotic influx of more than a million refugees last year. The recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels have also darkened public attitudes and stirred anti-migrant sentiment in some areas, even as many refugees say they are trying to escape extremist violence. Far-right, anti-immigrant parties have seized on the crisis to make gains, most recently in regional elections in Germany.

By appearing with the two Orthodox Christian leaders, Francis also took another small step in healing the historic breach between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity. Francis has made ecumenical outreach a priority and in February became the first pope to meet with the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Carlo Pioppi, a professor of church history at Santa Croce University in Rome, said the appearance by the three leaders showed they could put aside doctrinal and theological differences to highlight their shared concern about refugees. The three men described the refugee crisis as one of Europe’s most serious crises since the end of World War II.

“Regular people will understand the sign these three religious leaders are sending,” Professor Pioppi said in an interview on Friday. “To see them have lunch with refugees, all together, is a strong message of humanity.”

The British charity Oxfam released a statement on Friday calling for a moratorium on deportations of refugees from Greece to Turkey until the authorities can guarantee that asylum processes are followed. The group also raised questions about new “fast track” processes to review asylum cases that the Greek Parliament recently approved under pressure from the European Union.

“Thousands are being held in squalid detention centers on the Greek Islands — this is the state of Europe in 2016,” Farah Karimi, the executive director of Oxfam Novib, the Dutch affiliate of Oxfam, said in a statement. “Shame on the E.U. for prioritizing detention and deportation over people’s rights to safety and dignity.”

nytimes.com/2016/04/17/world/europe/pope-francis-visits-lesbos-heart-of-europes-refugee-crisis.html

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Quneitra: Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops fended off attempts of a 10-member group of terrorists to prevail over the government forces' positions in the Northern part of the Golan Heights and killed all the terrorists right on spot.

The Syrian army men engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who tried to break through the defense lines of the pro-government forces near the village of Abu Shabta and move towards the village of Jubata.

Last week, the Syrian army and popular forces thwarted an attack by the al-Nusra Front and its allied terrorist groups on a strategic highway linking Damascus to Quneitra in the Southern part of Syria.

The al-Nusra front terrorists tried to attack al-Salam Highway between Damascus and Quneitra, but the Syrian government troops pushed them back.

The al-Nusra Front attacked al-Salam highway from four different directions of Filat al-Azm, al-Khalil Farm, Marmala and al-Mansha al-Sanayeh.

The al-Nusra terrorists sustained heavy losses in the army offensives on their military positions.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000994

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Shining the light of knowledge: Local Lutheran churches to host presentation on Islam

16 April 2016

Different religions coexisting peacefully is an ideal that has waxed and waned over the centuries in nearly all parts of the world.

Misinformation on a faith tradition can have an outsider looking upon a particular religion as an ideology rather than a faith tradition.

The Rev. Jim Lynch, the pastor of both St. John and Holy Nativity Lutheran churches in Kenosha, wants to shed the light of knowledge on those misconceptions when it comes to Islam.

In that quest, St. John’s Church, 3833 Eighth Ave., will hold an hourlong presentation on Islam at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“As a people, humanity is always looking for a scapegoat. Because of terrorist attacks, we’ve decided that the Muslim people can be the scapegoat, they can be the boogeyman,” Lynch said.

“These are our brothers and sisters. These are the people whom God has given us to live with in the world. It behooves us to try and get along rather than try to exclude,” he explained.

Lynch said he was prompted by the current political climate to arrange the event.

“Some of the Republican candidates and others, not just candidates, are trying to vilify all Muslims because of the actions of a few extremists,” Lynch said.

It isn’t the first presentation on Islam in which Lynch has been involved.

As requested by a congregation member, he did a half-hour presentation in late January on the Islamic faith after a church service at Holy Nativity church.

“I got some very serious push back from some of the members of the congregation,” Lynch recalled. “There were some people who didn’t think we should have been talking about it, period.”

In retrospect, Lynch said, he didn’t allow enough time for a full presentation.

He was thankful for St. John’s parishioner Karen Kempinen, who persevered and made contact with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and the society’s executive director, Othman Atta.

Atta, who has spoken to groups for decades on Islam and current events in the Muslim world, will begin the presentation with an overview on the beliefs, demographics and culture of Islam.

A majority of time that night will be spent addressing questions from the audience.

People have lots of questions, Atta said, but have limited accurate information on the subject.

“No question is a bad question. I will not be offended by anything asked,” Atta said.

“Even though Muslims represent a huge chunk of the world population, most (people) can’t tell you what Muslims actually believe,” he said, adding that because the Muslim population here is small, most people don’t have the opportunity to interact with Muslims.

News media focuses more on traumatic events involving Muslims, but may not report on a Muslim group conducting a blood drive or collecting food for the local food pantry.

“Even in popular media, there’s very little positive portrayal of Muslims historically,” Atta said. “I ask my audiences to name me a positive character in any movie or sitcom over the last 20 or 30 years. And they don’t.”

Atta rejects the extremists as unconditionally not representative of the Muslim faith or community.

Atta acknowledges that a handful of people he meets will cling to their negativity about Islam even when confronted with accurate information.

“A handful tend to be quite negative,” Atta said. “They want to prove to me that Islam is hateful and violent.”

In response, Atta points to the Klu Klux Klan burning crosses, and asks if Klansmen are representative of Christianity.

“There are extremist groups in every faith and even in those with no faith,” he said.

There is, he said, xenophobia, racism and prejudice, but most of it is overwhelmingly based on ignorance and not bigotry.

“You combat that through education,” Atta said.

Lynch revealed that at least one other area church would take advantage of the educational opportunity.

Fifty eighth-grade students from St. Mary’s Lutheran Church’s confirmation class will be in attendance.

Early arrival is encouraged to ensure seating.

If you go

What: Intro to Islam presentation

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday

Where: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3833 Eighth Ave., Kenosha

Cost: Free, but donations to the Islamic Society of Milwaukee gratefully accepted

kenoshanews.com/life/shining_the_light_of_knowledge_local_lutheran_churches_to_host_presentation_on_islam_487490853.php

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The OIC’s 10-year strategic plan for the Muslim world

Saturday, 16 April 2016

This week, over 40 heads of state, representing the Muslim world, met in Istanbul at a Summit of the second largest intergovernmental organization in the world: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The theme of the Summit was unity - it is no coincidence that the OIC has ‘Cooperation’ in its name.

The Summit sowed the seeds of rapprochement across the Muslim world, based on mutual understanding and respect, and shared goals around peace, development, and education for stability and counter-extremism.

If the last two decades have shown the Muslim world anything, it is that we cannot depend on others to do things for us - we must get our own house in order. Too often, ‘intervention’ by outside powers is seen as a continuation of colonial policies, with only short-term aims around resources and tactical, rather than strategic aims.

Islamic rapprochement and unity is long overdue - the Summit committed to this in its final communique. Sectarianism is the gateway to extremism, division, and destruction of millions of lives - as we have seen in Syria.

Tough on extremism

The Heads of State were tough on extremism and tough on the causes of extremism. The largest exporters of extremist recruits tend to be states whose citizens face the greatest socio-economic difficulties. Many so-called ‘revolutions’ and examples of civil unrest in the Muslim world have begun not with political demands per se, but with demonstrations about food prices or cost of living. That is why the OIC Heads of State committed to further increase intra-OIC trade, which has already been growing by 4% annually. OIC member states include some of the wealthiest, and some of the poorest nations on earth - mutual trade will create safety and security for all Muslim countries. The Conference also welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, a new specialized institution of the OIC. National and global security starts with food security.

Tragically, many Muslim countries lack high quality education - that is why the OIC has already established four universities, in Bangladesh, Niger, Uganda and Malaysia. The Conference supported efforts to widen access of women to these institutions.

As well as educating our people, we must create jobs for them through development - that is why the Conference commended the increase of the Islamic Development Bank’s Authorized Capital from 100 Billion Islamic Dinars. It also supported various member states in contributing to the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, which is currently scaling-up its micro-finance and vocational training, with a target capital of $10 Billion.

All of this political and economic effort is essential to resolve conflicts in the Muslim world and fight extremism. The biggest victims of extremists like ISIS are Muslims. There is no room for double standards on terrorism, which the Head of State unequivocally opposed in all its forms.

The Conference invited member states to join the Islamic Military Coalition to combat terrorism. Since Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism, it is Muslims who should be motivated to do the most to fight it. At the Summit, an ‘Islamic Interpol’ was also agreed upon to fight terrorism, headquartered in Istanbul. At the intersection of Europe and Asia and with input from various member states, this will be a game changer in fighting the roots and branches of terrorism.

The roots of terrorism inevitably lie in its financing, which is often disguised as charitable activity. The Conference welcomed the hosting of a workshop on this problem. It is essential to entice charities towards the official financial sector so that financial regulations can protect against their abuse by extremists.

The other side of extremism is Islamophobia - each problem feeds off the other. The OIC holds annual Islamophobia observatories, and the Conference called on member states to be proactive in fighting Islamophobia through both mainstream and social media. It is on unregulated social media that the enormity of the danger of Islamophobia is most evident - for example in the hashtag #stopislam trending recently.

Many anti-extremism efforts ultimately lie in working with Muslim youth - the majority of ISIS recruits are aged 15-24. This why the OIC has a dedicated youth wing which held its first ever Young Leaders Summit this week - all its recommendations were welcomed by the Conference.

All these OIC efforts towards solidarity, development and counter-extremism crystallized in positions on resolving conflicts and preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states including Palestine, Syria, Kashmir, Libya, and Yemen - and protecting Muslim minorities in Myanmar and the Philippines.

The Conference is committed to a 10-year strategic plan for the Muslim world - and it is working to ensure that there will be more security, development and - above all - unity, for the Muslim world in the next decade than there has been in the previous one.

Maha Akeel is the Director of the information department at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/04/16/The-OIC-s-10-year-strategic-plan-for-the-Muslim-world.html

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Europe

Pope Brings 12 Refugees Back to Vatican After Emotional Trip to Greece

By JIM YARDLEYAPRIL 16, 2016

MYTILENE, Greece — Pope Francis made an emotional visit into the heart of Europe’s migrant crisis on Saturday and brought 12 Muslim refugees from Syria including six children back to Rome aboard the papal plane.

The action punctuated the pope’s pleas for sympathy to the plight of the refugees just as European attitudes are hardening against them.

The refugees taken to Rome consisted of three families whose homes had been bombed in the Syria war, the Vatican said in a statement as the pope departed the Greek island of Lesbos. They will be cared for by the Vatican.

Full report at: nytimes.com/2016/04/17/world/europe/pope-francis-visits-lesbos-heart-of-europes-refugee-crisis.html

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The MCB Has Officially Decided I'm Not Islamic Enough - But I Never Did Anything Wrong

By Waqar Ahmedi : 16 April 2016

As a young boy, I attended the mosque - and now I take my children. My wife proudly wears the hijab. I pray and eat halal meat. What is my crime?

Have you ever identified yourself as something, lived and breathed it all your life, and then told you’re not really what you believe yourself to be?

I’ve always called myself a Muslim, but recently the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) made a statement about me, saying the beliefs I follow mean I “cannot be eligible for affiliation with the Muslim Council”.

What’s my offence - am I neglecting my prayers, or not eating halal meat? No: I’m a member of the Ahmadiyya community.

Ahmadiyya Muslims believe their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was Islam’s Messiah and Mahdi, who came to revive Islam, reform Muslims and bring humanity back to God. But because other Muslims will not accept any more messengers, the MCB have declared me and fellow Ahmadiyya Muslims as non-believers.

Full report at: independent.co.uk/voices/the-muslim-council-of-britain-has-officially-decided-im-not-islamic-enough-but-i-never-did-anything-a6986976.html

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Arab World

Quneitra: Entire Members of Terrorist Group Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops fended off attempts of a 10-member group of terrorists to prevail over the government forces' positions in the Northern part of the Golan Heights and killed all the terrorists right on spot.

The Syrian army men engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who tried to break through the defense lines of the pro-government forces near the village of Abu Shabta and move towards the village of Jubata.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000994

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Syria: Over 25 ISIL Members Killed in Clashes with Rival Terrorists in Aleppo

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Free Syrian Army's (FSA) terrorists repelled the ISIL rivals' offensives on their strongholds in the Northern territories of Aleppo province and killed 25 of them.

The ISIL attacks on the FSA-held small town of Doudiyan in the Northern part of Aleppo province near the border with Turkey was repulsed by the FSA fighters.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll in the failed attacks and fled the battlefield. 

Earlier reports said today that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces repelled ISIL's attempts to prevail over the government forces' positions Southeast of Aleppo province, and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128001057

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Syria: Several ISIL Terrorists Killed in Own Car's Explosion in Deir Ezzur

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops targeted an explosive-laden vehicle of the ISIL terrorist groups before reaching the government forces' post near one of the neighborhoods of the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur, leaving several terrorists dead and wounded.

The ISIL terrorists stormed the government forces' strongholds near al-Sina'ah neighborhood, but one of their bomb-laden vehicles was detonated in the Syrian army's heavy fire before hitting the defense lines of the government forces.

Explosion of the ISIL car changed the scene of the clash and inflicted a heavy death toll of the terrorists.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128001124

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Syrian Army Targets Terrorists' Military Column near Border with Turkey

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops opened fire at a long convoy of the terrorist groups' military vehicles near Lattakia province's border with Turkey, army sources announced minutes ago.

"Several vehicles of the terrorist groups, carrying fresh recruits and crossing Turkish border to the Syrian territories towards the small border town of al-Tafahiyeh, were traced and targeted by the Syrian army," the sources said, adding, "Most of the terrorists' vehicles were destroyed and several militants were killed or wounded in the army's shelling."

Last week, the Turkish Army shelled Syrian army forces in Lattakia province near the Turkish border.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000928

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ISIL Offensives Repulsed by Syrian Gov't Forces in Aleppo Province

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and popular forces repelled ISIL's attempts to prevail over the government forces' positions Southeast of Aleppo province, and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Force thwarted the ISIL Takfiri terrorists' attacks on their strongholds near the town of Khanasser, and forced the militants to retreat from the battlefield under the army's heavy fire.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and its military equipment sustained major damage in the unsuccessful attacks.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000771

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Egyptians protest island deal with Saudi Arabia

2016-04-15

More than a thousand Egyptian demonstrators rallied in central Cairo on Friday demanding "the fall of the regime", in the largest protest challenging the government in two years.

By evening, after most protesters had left, police fired tear gas to disperse the remaining few, while plainclothes officers chased them down side streets to make arrests.

Police had earlier dispersed another rally elsewhere in Cairo and arrested at least 12 people.

Full report at: france24.com/en/20160415-egypt-protest-against-island-deal-with-saudi-arabia

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IS makes gains in northern Syria: monitor

AFP | Apr 16, 2016

BEIRUT: The Islamic State jihadist group made gains in northern Syria on Saturday from both government forces and their rebel opponents, a monitoring group said.

On Saturday, IS fighters seized another border village in their offensive against non-jihadist rebel groups in the province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The IS counterattack has rolled back rebel gains in the border area, which had seen advance them from Azaz, a town eight kilometres south of the Turkish border, towards IS bastions further east.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/IS-makes-gains-in-northern-Syria-monitor/articleshow/51854796.cms

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Aleppo: the main battleground in Syria war

AFP | Apr 15, 2016

ALEPPO: The city of Aleppo is key to all sides fighting in Syria's five-year civil war and holds "the key to war and peace", according to a monitor.

The northern city, once Syria's economic capital and its surrounding province have since mid-2012 seen some of the worst fighting in a war that erupted on the heels of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

The once flourishing city has been divided into zones held by the regime in the west, and opposition areas in the east, since a rebel offensive in July 2012.

The countryside is now scene of the worst fighting to erupt in Syria since a truce began on February 27.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Aleppo-the-main-battleground-in-Syria-war/articleshow/51843850.cms

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Report: Lebanese Army Hits Terrorists' Positions Near Syrian Border

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Lebanese army pounded the terrorists' military positions in al-Qalamoun region near the border with Syria with artillery and mortar shells, media reports said.

The terrorists' military positions and gathering centers came under Lebanese army's artillery shells in Jaroud al-Arsal region in al-Qalamoun region, the Arabic-language media outlets reported.

There were no immediate reports of the possible losses and casualties.

Jaroud al-Arsal region is located near Lebanon's border with Syria; the ISIL and Al-Nusra Front terrorists are stationed there.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000887

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Syrian man says FSA killed his baby son to recruit him

15 Apr, 2016

A former Syrian soldier says so-called moderate rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) killed his infant son in efforts to force him to join them. The man had to flee to a refugee camp to take the rest of his family to safety.

For safety reasons, RT will not disclose the man’s identity, and will refer to him as ‘Abdel.’

“When they learned that I served at the checkpoint of the state army, the Free Syrian Army wanted me to join them. They kidnapped my little son, who was just 45 days old at that time, and told me that I had 72 hours to leave the military and become a Free Syrian Army soldier,” Abdel told RT’s Maria Finoshina.

Full report at: rt.com/news/339775-syria-army-moderate-opposition/

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Ansarullah Spokesman:Saudi Arabia Continues Attacks on Yemeni Forces Despite Ceasefire

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of Yemen's Ansarullah Movement Mohammed Abdulsalam announced that the Saudi-led forces continue the war in Yemen despite the ceasefire in the Arab country.

"Unfortunately, the other side (Saudi Arabia) is continuing the war and reinforcing its forces," the Arabic-language al-Rai newspaper quoted Abdulsalam as saying on Saturday.

Abdulsalam reminded that the Saudi continued attacks happen as the priority of the peace talks in Kuwait is cessation of hostilities.

He further stressed that popular forces would like to see the rise to power of an all-inclusive government that will help resolve the political differences through national dialogue.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000821

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ISIL Convoy Bombed Heavily by Syrian Military Jets in Sweida

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army aircraft tracked and targeted a long column of ISIL military-supplying vehicles in the Southern province of Sweida, inflicting major damage on the convoy.

Several military and supplying vehicles of the ISIL were destroyed and a number of the terrorists were killed or wounded in the Syrian fighter jets' bombardments.

On Friday, concentration centers of the ISIL terrorist group in the Northeastern part of Sweida province were heavily pounded in the Syrian Army troops' fresh round of offensives.

The Syrian army and the popular forces stormed the ISIL positions near the village of Rajm al-Dawleh, which ended in the killing or injuring of several terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000569

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Aleppo: Top Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Top field commander of the Faylaq al-Sham terrorist group was killed in heavy fighting with the Syrian Army troops in the Northern part of Aleppo province near the Handarat camp.

Hakim al-Omar, the leader of Falylaq al-Sham (the Sham Legion), was killed in clashes with the Syrian government forces in al-Mallah farms.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000367

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Russian, Syrian Warplanes Hit ISIL Centers Hard West of Raqqa

April 16th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian and Syrian Air Forces, in coordinated operations, targeted the ISIL headquarters and positions in and around a strategic military airbase in the Northeastern province of Raqqa, inflicting heavy damage on the terrorists' logistical vehicles.

The ISIL military and logistic vehicles inside the Tabaqa military airport came under the heavy bombardments of the Syrian and Russian fighter jets, which ended in the destruction of the terrorists' vehicles in large scale.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000435

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North America

Shining the light of knowledge: Local Lutheran churches to host presentation on Islam

16 April 2016

Different religions coexisting peacefully is an ideal that has waxed and waned over the centuries in nearly all parts of the world.

Misinformation on a faith tradition can have an outsider looking upon a particular religion as an ideology rather than a faith tradition.

The Rev. Jim Lynch, the pastor of both St. John and Holy Nativity Lutheran churches in Kenosha, wants to shed the light of knowledge on those misconceptions when it comes to Islam.

In that quest, St. John’s Church, 3833 Eighth Ave., will hold an hourlong presentation on Islam at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“As a people, humanity is always looking for a scapegoat. Because of terrorist attacks, we’ve decided that the Muslim people can be the scapegoat, they can be the boogeyman,” Lynch said.

Full report at: kenoshanews.com/life/shining_the_light_of_knowledge_local_lutheran_churches_to_host_presentation_on_islam_487490853.php

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NY Mosque Hosts Seder for Jews, Muslims

NEW YORK — 15 April 2016

 Some 100 Jews and Muslims participated in a Passover celebration at a Manhattan mosque.

Coordinated by the NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, the gathering took place April 14 at the Islamic Society of Mid Manhattan in New York, News 4 New York reported.

“I don’t believe anything quite like this has happened in New York before,” said Rabbi Allison Tick Brill of Temple Emanu-El, a large Reform congregation in Manhattan.

“It is particularly powerful to celebrate Passover here at this mosque because unfortunately, Muslim Americans are made to feel strangers in their own country,” Tick Brill said at the event, according to News 4.

Full report at: jpost.com/Diaspora/NY-mosque-hosts-Seder-for-Jews-Muslims-451386

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UN: Saudi Arabia renews rejection of acts of terrorism in all forms

15th April, 2016

NEW YORK, 15th April, 2016 (WAM) -- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday renewed its rejection and condemnation of acts of terrorism in all its forms and whatever its goals or sources, stressing that the protection of civilians from occupation and systematic murder, and refraining from spreading sectarian strife are not just moral and legal obligations, but are vital demands.

This came in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's speech before the UN Security Council on the item international peace and security threat, which was delivered today by Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Mouallimi.

Full report at: bignewsnetwork.com/news/243199089/un-saudi-arabia-re-rejection-of-acts-of-terrorism-in-all-forms

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The Citadel Considers Allowing Muslim Headscarf

April 15, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Citadel, South Carolina's state military college in Charleston, is considering a request from a new student that the school's longstanding uniform requirements be tweaked to allow her to wear a traditional Muslim headscarf.

Citadel spokeswoman Kim Keelor said Friday that as far as she knows, it's the first time such a request has been made although the school has had a number of Muslim students in the past.

"The college is reviewing the request at this time. We do not currently have anyone that has a special religious accommodation for uniforms," according to a statement released by the school.

Full report at: usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-04-15/the-citadel-considers-exception-to-allow-muslim-headscarf

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New ISIS hit list targets Michigan Muslim leader

Apr 15 2016

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) - ISIS released a new hit list. and it includes 10 Muslim Americans and one of those targets lives right here in Michigan.

According to the FBI, the Livingston County Muslim-American is on the world-wide hit list.  Located in a rural area of Tyrone Township Shaykh Hisham Kabanni established the Islamic Supreme Council of America. Neighbors say the council has been here more than 20 years.

Kabanni is one of 10 Muslim leaders who have been publicly critical of ISIS. The state sponsored terror organization says all 10 leaders should be killed because "they are crusaders who have deviated from Islam. "

Full report at: fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/123492011-story

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Corruption fuels extremism, warns US

April 16th, 2016

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has warned that corruption fuels extremism, increases economic instability and has a corrosive effect on society.

The department’s spokesman John Kirby made these remarks when asked if the United States supported the opposition’s demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down because of his alleged involvement in the Panama leaks scandal or continued to back him.

“These are decisions that the Pakistani people have to make, and...I’m not talking about this specific case,” said Mr Kirby but he did offer his views on corruption, `separate and distinct’ from this case.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252442/corruption-fuels-extremism-warns-us

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Mideast

The OIC’s 10-year strategic plan for the Muslim world

Saturday, 16 April 2016

This week, over 40 heads of state, representing the Muslim world, met in Istanbul at a Summit of the second largest intergovernmental organization in the world: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The theme of the Summit was unity - it is no coincidence that the OIC has ‘Cooperation’ in its name.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/04/16/The-OIC-s-10-year-strategic-plan-for-the-Muslim-world.html

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Muslim nations accuse Iran of supporting terrorism

Fri Apr 15, 2016

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Leaders from more than 50 Muslim nations accused Iran on Friday of supporting terrorism and interfering in the affairs of regional states, including Syria and Yemen, a condemnation that may widen the divide between Iran and its main rival, Saudi Arabia.

The leaders, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, have been attending a summit in Istanbul this week of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss a such issues as the humanitarian fall-out from Syria's civil war.

"The conference deplored Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the States of the region and other member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism," the OIC said in its final summit communique.

It also stressed the need for "cooperative relations" between Iran and other Muslim countries, including refraining from the use or threat of force.

Both Turkey, which has assumed the three-year rotating presidency of the OIC, and Saudi Arabia are part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in Syria. They are also opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a stance that has put them at odds with Iran, an ally of Assad.

Full report at: af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN0XC28Z?sp=true

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Erdoğan welcomes Iranian president in Ankara after 'terrorism' row

April/16/2016

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has reiterated Turkey's determination to fight terror during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara, before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed him at the presidential palace on April 16.

The two leaders were expected to discuss regional issues along with the the 13th Organization of Islamic

Cooperation summit in Istanbul.

The summit ended April 15 with a communique that criticized Iran for “supporting terrorism” on April 15in in Istanbul.

According to prime ministry sources, the closed-door meeting between Davutoğlu and Rouhani lasted about two hours on April 15.

The sources said Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey's resolve over fighting against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) - the Iranian arm of the PKK.

Rouhani said ISIL, the PKK and its extensions were the common enemy of Turkey and Iran.

The PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU - resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July.

The prime ministry sources said that the two talked over the regional issues especially about the solution of Syrian crisis.

Davutoğlu and Rouhani also agreed to improve economic cooperation between the two countries.

hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-welcomes-iranian-president-in-ankara-after-terrorism-row.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97893&NewsCatID=510

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PM: Turkey Ready to Cooperate with Iran in War on ISIL

April/16/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu underlined his country's determination to launch serious cooperation with Iran in the fight against the ISIL terrorist group.

"Terrorism is a problem and threat to all the regional and world states," Davutoglu said in a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara on Friday night.

"Today, the ISIL is a common problem and threat against all the regional states and all of them should fight against it beside each other, and Turkey is ready for any cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran to this end," he stressed.

Rouhani, for his part, described Zionism and terrorism as the main problems of the region and the Muslim world, and said all Islamic countries, specially Iran and Turkey, should endeavor to settle the Muslim world's problems and differences and stand against Islamophobia plots.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950128000567

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Turkish parliament approves omnibus code despite opposition calls

April/15/2016

The Turkish parliament has adopted a government-led omnibus bill which includes various legal arrangements concerning issues such as rebuilding the conflict-hit Sur district in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the assertive “Kanal Istanbul” project, which foresees the building of a giant canal on Istanbul’s European side to ease the aquatic traffic of the city’s busy Bosphorus Strait, the employment of 15,000 police officers and the prevention of terrorism financing.

The omnibus code, approved late on April 14, brings in a new definition, “waterway,” which grants a legal framework to Kanal Istanbul, one of Turkey’s largest infrastructure projects, which is promoted by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan says low buildings will be constructed on the banks of the waterway.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Seyit Torun said during the debate in parliament that the project would open vast areas to unearned benefits.

Also included in the code was the employment of 15,000 people by the police department, in addition to 26,120 people who will be employed at the Social Security Institution to increase inspections and fight against unregistered economy.

Those who benefit from general health insurance will be exempted from premium payments until they reach the age of 25.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-parliament-approves-omnibus-code-despite-opposition-calls.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97888&NewsCatID=338

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Erdoğan urges Islamic leaders to ‘pay their dues’

April/15/2016

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, addresses the leaders and representatives of the Islamic countries during the second day of the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016 - AP photo

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul on April 15 witnessed a heated debate over unpaid dues and unfulfilled donation pledges, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telling the participants that it was “time to pay up.”

Turkey will donate a total of $2 million to the OIC, Erdoğan said at the summit, calling on volunteer countries to publicly declare their own donation pledges at the summit.

“Of the money we have donated, $1.8 million will be delivered to the secretary-general’s office. $100,000 will be delivered to the Human Rights Commission and another $100,000 will be delivered to the Islamic Unity Fund,” said Erdoğan.

However, his call for further donations was rejected by a group of states led by Saudi Arabia.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-urges-islamic-leaders-to-pay-their-dues.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97889&NewsCatID=510

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Turkey blocks Russia’s Sputnik news website

April/15/2016

Turkey’s Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication (TİB) has blocked access to Russia’s state news agency website Sputnik, without issuing prior notification, citing “legal consideration” of a law regarding crimes committed through online broadcasts.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on Law No. 5651, an administration measure has been taken for this website (sputniknews.com) according to decision No. 490.05.01.2016.-56092, dated 14/04/2016, of the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication,” reads an error message that appears when users attempt to access the website from Turkey.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-blocks-russias-sputnik-news-website-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97844&NewsCatID=339

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India

Shocking! Muslim man divorces wife after she votes for BJP in Assam

Friday, April 15, 2016

Guwahati: Estranged couples often have several reasons to end a long-term relationship, but this one has a bizarre political angle attached to it.

In what could be seen as an example of how severely political differences can affect a nuptial relationship, a Muslim man has divorced his wife for voting for the BJP instead of Congress in the ongoing Assam Assembly elections.

As per a report in India Today, Ainuddin reportedly divorced his wife Dilwara Begum in Donam Addahati village in Sonitpur district after she had cast her vote in favour of BJP, going against the village diktat to vote for Congress.

The village elders had passed the diktat that all the votes from the village will go to the Congress, report claimed.

The husband decided to end the 10-year-old relationship soon after his wife revealed him that she had voted for the BJP.

zeenews.india.com/news/india/shocking-muslim-man-divorces-wife-after-she-votes-for-bjp-in-assam_1876519.html

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India looks to corner China on Jaish chief Masood Azhar

TNN | Apr 16, 2016

NEW DELHI: As foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and NSA Ajit Doval look to meet their Chinese counterparts next week, India has mounted a diplomatic offensive to corner Beijing for its decision to again block a UN ban on Pathankot attack accused and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

Addressing a UNSC open debate on threats from terrorism, India has demanded that the secret veto provision in the al-Qaida, Taliban & ISIS Sanctions Committees be revisited to prevent its misuse by members. The procedures of unanimity and anonymity resulted in lack of accountability, India's permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said in his address. China has used the same to block the ban on Azhar.

Official sources said the issue of Azhar will dominate the agenda of meetings which Swaraj and Doval will have with Chinese leaders next week. While Swaraj is expected to have a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of RIC trilateral in Moscow on April 18, Doval will meet state councilor Yang Jiechi in Beijing three days later.

While India had taken up the Azhar issue with China at a fairly high level, as foreign secretary S Jaishankar had said earlier, in the absence of any response from Beijing, the government is now looking to Swaraj and Doval to convince the Chinese that their intransigence on Azhar would hurt attempts by the international community to fight terrorism.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-looks-to-corner-China-on-Jaish-chief-Masood-Azhar/articleshow/51849560.cms

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Sena to host mass marriage of 8 Muslim couples from Marathwada

By Chaitanya Marpakwar, Mumbai Mirror | Apr 16, 2016, 09.04 AM IST

The Shiv Sena, famous for its annual bashing of Valentine's Day and the more-than-occasional communal slip of tongue, seems to be looking to straighten its image. The party will play host to 8 Muslim couples from drought-hit Marathwada in a mass marriage ceremony today. While the Sena has held such ceremonies in the past, this is the first time that Muslim couples will be part of the event.

The event will be held in Aurangabad and 244 couples will participate. Party president Uddhav Thackeray will bless the couples and governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao will also be present. "All couples are from drought-affected regions. They can't afford to host a wedding due to financial constraints so the Sena will bear all the wedding expenses," said Chandrakant Khaire, Shiv Sena MP from Aurangabad.

Full report at: mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Sena-to-host-mass-marriage-of-8-Muslim-couples-from-Marathwada/articleshow/51850577.cms

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Centre sends more troops, curfew-like restrictions continue in Kashmir

PTI | Apr 16, 2016

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: Concerned over violence in Jammu and Kashmir in last four days, the Centre on Saturday decided to rush 3,600 additional paramilitary personnel to the valley and asked the state government to ensure that there is no further loss of lives.

The decision to send more forces was taken at a high level meeting here where situation in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed extensively.

Curfew-like restrictions continued for the fourth day in parts of Kashmir following killing of five persons in security forces action during violent protests since Tuesday.

The central government is concerned over the loss of human lives in Jammu and Kashmir, a home ministry spokesperson said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Centre-sends-more-troops-curfew-like-restrictions-continue-in-Kashmir/articleshow/51853517.cms

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South Asia

87 militants killed, 91 wounded in ANSF air and ground raids: MoD

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

At least 87 anti-government armed militants were killed and 91 others were wounded in air and ground raids of the Afghan National Security Forces, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

A statement by MoD said the raids were conducted in the past 24 hours in different provinces to suppress the activities of the insurgent groups.

The statement further added at least 39 of the militants were killed and 53 others were wounded in Dasht-e-Archi, Khanabad and outskirts of Kunduz city.

At least 13 more were killed in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin districts of Baghlan province where 10 other were also wounded, MoD added.

MoD also added that 14 militants were killed and 10 others were wounded in a joint operation in Bala Bolok and Posht-e-Rod districts of Farah, while 5 others were killed and 12 were wounded in Ghaziabad district of Kunar.

According to MoD, at least 16 militants were killed and 6 others were wounded in separate raids conducted in Tagab district of Kapisa, Zurmat district of Paktia, Aqacha district of Jawzjan, Ghani Khel district of Nangarhar and Sangin district of Helmand province.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.

khaama.com/87-militants-killed-91-wounded-in-ansf-air-and-ground-raids-mod-0677

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Haqqani network attack on a Kabul hotel foiled by NDS operatives

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

The Afghan intelligence operatives have foiled a terrorist attack plot by the Haqqani terrorist network on a hotel in capital Kabul.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a suspected militant was looking to carry out the attack on a hotel in Shahr-e-Naw part of the city using 2 Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

A statement by NDS said the detained militant affiliated with the Haqqani network has been identified as Khalid who is also famous as Sohail.

This comes as the US Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert to US citizens regarding a possible attack on a hotel in Kabul city.

Full report at: khaama.com/haqqani-network-attack-on-a-kabul-hotel-foiled-by-nds-operatives-0676

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Afghan forces engaged in offensive operations in 12 provinces: MoD

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are engaged in offensive operations in at least 12 provinces.

MoD spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, said currently 15 offensive operations are being conducted by the Afghan security forces to suppress the militants who are looking to estabilize the country with their spring offensive.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-forces-engaged-in-offensive-operations-in-12-provinces-mod-0670

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Bangladesh celebrates Bengali New Year amid tight security

PTI | Apr 15, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh celebrated the Bengali New Year with tens of thousands of people joining the Pohela Boishakh festivities across the country, defying threats of fundamentalist Muslim groups.

Amid tight security, festivities began with the break of dawn when artistes of major cultural group Chhayanaut welcomed the day with Rabindrath Tagore's famous song 'Esho hey Baishakh, esho, esho' under the banyan tree at the Ramna Park in Dhaka.

Men, wearing traditional panjabi-pyjama, women attired in saris with red borders, and children in colourful dresses joined the open concerts and the Shovajatra, braving the hot weather and threats of Islamists who are opposed to the celebrations, in which people carry masks of animals and colourful garlands, as "un-Islamic".

Traditional Boishakh music filled the air as Dhaka University's students organised a colourful "Mongol Shovajatra" procession carrying statues and other traditional props in a key-feature of the celebration.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Bangladesh-celebrates-Bengali-New-Year-amid-tight-security/articleshow/51826898.cms

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District police chief killed in northern Faryab province

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

The district police chief for Bulcharagh in northern Faryab province was killed during a clash with the Taliban militants on Friday.

According to the local security officials, Gen. Najibullah was killed along with his 5 security guards after they were ambushed by the Taliban militants in Garziwan district.

Gen. Najibullah, the district police chief for Bulcharagh, is the second senior police official killed by the Taliban militants during the past one week.

Earlier, a senior police official, commander of Kunduz highway, was killed in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan after he was ambushed by the Taliban militants.

The senior police official was killed along with his 7 bodyguards in the attack which took place in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Full report at: khaama.com/district-police-chief-killed-in-northern-faryab-province-0674

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Iran promises not to force Afghan refugees for repatriation

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

The Iranian authorities have said they will not forcefully deport Afghan refugees from the country, promising that the government will pave the way for the registration of refugees.

The issue was shared during a meeting between the Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

According to a statement by the government of Afghanistan, the Iranian President has promised to step up efforts in a bid to register all the refugees based in Iran.

The statement further added that the two leaders also discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation in the field of economy.

Full report at: khaama.com/iran-promises-not-to-force-afghan-refugees-for-repatriation-0671

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Taliban shadow governor for restive Ghazni arrested by Afghan intelligence

By Khaama Press - Sat Apr 16 2016

The Afghan intelligence operatives have arrested the Taliban shadow governor for the restive Ghazni province in southeastern Afghanistan.

According to a statement by National Directorate of Security (NDS), the shadow Taliban governor Qari Yousuf was arrested during a military operation in Sheikh Amir village, Gurbaz district, Khost province.

Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-shadow-governor-for-restive-ghazni-arrested-by-afghan-intelligence-0669

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Taliban video shows Afghan army helicopter blown up

By Khaama Press - Fri Apr 15 2016

A distressing video has emerged online which purportedly shows an Afghan army Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter blown up by Taliban militants.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified, however, the high quality video shows an Mi-17 helicopter is blown up, apparently by an Improvised Explosive Device as it performs an operation.

There are no reports regarding the location of the incident but the video purportedly shows the helicopter blown up on top of a rocky mountain.

The location where the incident took place is similar to the mountainous regions of eastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces of the country.

Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-video-shows-afghan-army-helicopter-blown-up-0668

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Southeast Asia

U.S. Commission Advises Myanmar to End Abuse of Muslim Rohingya

Saturday 16th April, 2016

A U.S. government commission called on the Myanmar government on Thursday to end rights abuses against the country's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority group, hoping that State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi will sort out a better deal for them under the new government.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also minister of foreign affairs and the President's Office, has already earned high praise both inside and outside Myanmar for pushing for the release of political prisoners and detained students who were awaiting trial for participating in protests against national education policy last year.

Full report at: bignewsnetwork.com/news/243215005/us-commission-advises-myanmar-to-end-abuse-of-muslim-rohingya

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Pakistan

‘No Leader In Muslim World Willing To Take On Sectarianism’: Analyst Ahmed Rashid

April 16th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Noting that the fragmentation of troubled Arab states, the ‘death’ of minorities, and the rise of sectarianism in the Muslim world were the primary challenges facing the Middle East, political analyst Ahmed Rashid said on Friday that no Muslim leader had the guts to take a stand against these menaces.

“The Shia-Sunni rivalry is something that no leader in the Muslim world is willing to tackle. No Muslim leader is willing to stand up today against the kind of killing and sectarianism that is going on today,” he said, in a reference to the tactics of the self-styled Islamic State (IS).

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252430/no-leader-in-muslim-world-willing-to-take-on-sectarianism

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Tempers flare as guards exchange harsh words on Pak-Afghan border

April 16th, 2016

LANDI KOTAL: Tempers soared once again at the Torkham border on Friday when guards of Afghanistan and Pakistan exchanged harsh words after hundreds of Afghans were stopped by immigration staff to check their travel documents before they could enter Pakistan.

The incident also caused temporary suspension of both vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement on both sides of the border which was restored after senior officials intervened.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252445/tempers-flare-as-guards-exchange-harsh-words-on-pak-afghan-border

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Rangers pick up five KU employees in campus raid

April 16th, 2016

KARACHI: Five Karachi University (KU) employees were taken into custody by the Rangers in a raid on Friday morning when most students and teachers were busy in the rehearsal of a convocation being held on Saturday (today) on the campus.

Sources said the non-teaching staff were associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) or its students’ wing, All-Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO). They were identified as Zohaib (accounts officer), Rehan (accountant), Naveed Siddiqi (audit officer), Zeeshan Amin (junior accounts clerk) and Shamshad Alam (library clerk), all were present in one building at the time of the raid.

At around 11.30am, Rangers personnel, some of them masked, cordoned off the two buildings of the administration block and left within an hour or so after taking the ‘wanted men’ into custody.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252417/rangers-pick-up-five-ku-employees-in-campus-raid

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