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Islamic World News ( 16 Apr 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pope Francis Quotes Mother Teresa, Says His Help for Syrian Families 'A Drop in the Ocean'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: The board will send the resolution to PM Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases pending in Supreme Court, board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

 

Will Urge PM Modi Not to Interfere With Shariat Laws, Says Muslim Law Board

Saudi Arabia Warns Of Economic Fallout If US Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

Over 90 Militants Killed In Afghan Forces Clearance Operations

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Europe

Pope Francis Quotes Mother Teresa, Says His Help for Syrian Families 'A Drop in the Ocean'

Implementation of Iran Deal Difficult, Admits EU Official

‘Many danced after attacks’: Muslim integration failure caused ‘cancer’ – Belgian Interior Minister

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India

Will Urge PM Modi Not to Interfere With Shariat Laws, Says Muslim Law Board

Muslim Rashtriya Manch to Appeal Youth Not Fall For ISIS

Protesters threaten to embrace Islam if liquor shop allowed

India may make citizenship for Pakistan Hindus easier

Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian counterpart; reviews bilateral ties

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Arab World

Saudi Arabia Warns Of Economic Fallout If US Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

20 ISIL Terrorists Killed In Sweida Province

Iran vows to defend Muslim nations against terrorism, Israel

Deir Ezzur: ISIL Sustains Heavy Losses in Syrian Army, Air Force Attacks

Syria opposition rejects UN proposal for Assad to stay

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Win Back Strategic Regions in Southeastern Aleppo

Al-Nusra Military Positions Razed Down in Syrian Army Attacks in Aleppo Province

Syria: Army, Palestinian Resistance Forces Kick Off Operations to Win Back Yarmouk Camp

Syrian Analyst: Iran, Russia, Syria to Jointly Control Aleppo Operations' Command Center

Damascus Countryside: Syrian Army wins Back Key Regions in Qalamoun Region

Syrian Army, Air Force Destroy ISIL's Military Positions, Equipment in Damascus Countryside

Iran Arrests Dangerous Terrorist, Blames Certain Regional States

Iran Displays Russian S-300 Missile Defence Shield in Military Parade

Iranian Air Force Displays Latest Capabilities in Army Day Parade

Oil producers mull output freeze in Doha, Iran stays home

Fire at chemical plant in Saudi Arabia kills 12, injures 11

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South Asia

Over 90 Militants Killed In Afghan Forces Clearance Operations

Editor Held in Bangladesh over Murder Plot

Afghan child casualties soar as urban warfare intensifies: UN

MoD confirms 2 pilots injured as helicopter was hit by 82mm rocket

New Study Identifies Trade Opportunities on Both Sides of Afghan-Tajik Border

600 civilians killed, 1,343 wounded in first quarter of 2016: UNAMA

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Mideast

Erdoğan: Iran, Turkey Should Work Together

One Policeman Killed, Two Wounded In PKK Attack in Şırnak

No ‘urban transformation’ by state agency in Diyarbakır: Turkish Deputy PM

Intel officer linked to Kurdish women’s murder in Paris probed over ‘parallel-links’

US soldier mobbed by Turkish nationalist youth group, two detained

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Africa

Armed Group Kills Over 140 in Ethiopia

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North America

Catholic Teacher Feels Pride after Embracing Islam

Anti-Muslim Speaking Circuit Runs Through Rural Minnesota

Trump-Loving Anti-Muslim Gun Nut is Freaking out Police

Duh! moment: Islam incompatible with utopian diversity fantasies

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Pakistan

Pakistani Islamic Group Demands Execution of ‘Blasphemers,’ Including Asia Bibi

Probe Confirms Damage to 15th-Century Tomb at Makli

Afghan Army Cadets Graduated From Pakistan Military Academy

Pakistani rewarded by crown prince for saving Saudi national's life

At least 18 people were killed as heavy rains and floods lashed Saudi Arabia last week

Red warrants suggested for Musharraf in treason case

Banks to accept Haj applications from April 18-26

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Holds Dialogue on 1960s Communist Purge

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pope-francis-quotes-mother-teresa,-says-his-help-for-syrian-families--a-drop-in-the-ocean-/d/107013

 

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Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa, says his help for Syrian families 'a drop in the ocean'

AFP | Apr 16, 2016

Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa, says his help for Syrian families 'a drop in the ocean'

ON BOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis, who visited the Greek migrant hotspot island of Lesbos Saturday, took three Syrian families with him on the papal plane back to the Vatican, describing the move as a "humanitarian gesture... (but) a drop in the ocean."

Speaking to reporters on board the flight home, the pope said taking in the refugees back had been suggested by an aide a week earlier.

"Everything has been done according to the rules, with the agreement of the Greek and Italian governments," he said. "They have their papers, and everything is in order."

The three families were all Muslim, the Vatican said in a statement earlier.

"I didn't make the selection. These three families had papers which were in order and it was feasible," the pope said.

"There were two Christian families but their paperwork wasn't ready. Religion was not grounds for exemption. All refugees are children of God."

Pope Francis, in lesson to Europe, brings 12 Syrian refugees from Greece to Italy

Asked about the symbolic nature of his actions, as Europe struggles to deal with its biggest migrant crisis since World War II, the Argentinian pontiff paraphrased the sainted Mother Teresa of Kolkata in reply: "It's a drop in the ocean, but after this drop the ocean will never be the same again."

The pope said he understood European fears over the massive number of migrant arrivals but added that "we have a great responsibility for welcoming" them.

"To build walls is not a solution," he added. "We must build bridges but build bridges intelligently, through dialogue, through work."

The refugee families to be taken in by the Vatican, which include six children, will be initially cared for by the community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, the Holy See said.

They originally lived in Damascus and Deir Azzor, an area currently occupied by jihadists, and have lost their homes to bombings, it said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-Francis-quotes-Mother-Teresa-says-his-help-for-Syrian-families-a-drop-in-the-ocean/articleshow/51858570.cms

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Will urge PM Modi not to interfere with Shariat laws, says Muslim law board

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Updated: April 17, 2016

Pm Narendra Modi, muslim Law board, AIMPLB, shariat law, NDA, india news, nation news The board will send the resolution to PM Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases pending in Supreme Court, board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Saturday alleged that attempts are being made to “interfere” in Shariat laws through courts and appealed to the NDA government to maintain the stand of “non-interference in such matters” as was adopted by the previous governments.

The AIMPLB working committee passed a resolution to this effect in a day-long meeting at Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow. The board will send the resolution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases currently pending in the Supreme Court, board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

His remarks comes weeks after the Supreme Court sought the Centre’s response in a plea challenging the constitutionality of Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and nikah halala (by which a Muslim man is not allowed to remarry his divorced wife if she did not marry another man after she was divorced). The plea has been moved by one Saira Banu who wants triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy declared illegal, calling them in violation of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.

Jilani said the board will also prepare its stand with the help of Ulamas (Islamic law scholars) and submit it before the Supreme Court. He said the board will inform the apex court that Islam allows women to remarry, allows widow remarriage and has even regularised divorce.

To a query, Jilani said issues like chanting of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” were not discussed as they are not related to the personal law. He, however, added that Deen Bachao-Dastoor Bachao (save religion and constitution) campaign started by the board last year against the “imposition of surya namaskar and yoga” in Rajasthan government’s schools, will continue. He said wherever there are any such attempts to force the education of a particular religion in the government schools, the board will campaign there.

He said earlier programmes under the campaign had attracted a large number of non-Muslims who are not in favour of changing the secular nature of education in government schools.

Responding to a question, Jilani said the decision to run the campaign started over the apprehension that there could be interference in the Muslim personal law after the formation of new government at the Centre. He said uniform civil code is often advocated by BJP spokespersons and this raises the fear that the government will also support it.

Jilani said officiating AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani was elevetaed as general secretary in the meeting, which was presided by its chairperson Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi and also attended by All India Muslim Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, a member of the board’s working committee.

Meanwhile, responding to a question about BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj reportedly comparing Muslim women “to shoes”, which can be removed anytime, Jilani said though such personal statements are never discussed in board meetings, his personal view is that the Unnao MP does not have any knowledge about Islam.

Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said the BJP MP’s remarks are unfortunate and shows that he does not know about the pro-women nature of Islam. He said it is expected that the BJP leadership will ask its members to not make such comments.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/will-urge-pm-modi-not-to-interfere-with-shariat-laws-says-muslim-law-board-2756907/99/print/

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Saudi Arabia warns of economic fallout if US Congress passes 9/11 bill

Mark Mazzetti | NYT News Service | Apr 17, 2016

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of US Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of American assets held by the kingdom if lawmakers pass a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill's passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of inten se discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the state department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom's message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the US before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are sceptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom's economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the US.

The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of 9/11 victims are infuriated.In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.

"It's stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens," said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on September 11 and who is part of a group of victims' family members pushing for the legislation.

US President Barack Obama will be in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the 9/11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.

A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the terror plot, and the 9/11 Commission found "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organisation".

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Saudi-Arabia-warns-of-economic-fallout-if-US-Congress-passes-9/11-bill/articleshow/51860942.cms

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Over 90 militants killed in Afghan forces clearance operations

By Khaama Press - Sun Apr 17 2016

Afghan army raids on Taliban hideoutsOver 90 anti-government armed militants were killed and 48 others were wounded during the clearance operations of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Kandahar, Zabul, Badghis, Farah, Jawzjan, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Baghlan, Kunduz and Helmand provinces.

A statement by MoD said the operations were conducted by the security forces who were receiving artillery and close-air support.

The statement further added at least 22 of the militants were killed in Sangin district of Helmand which included a group’s commander.

At least 38 militants were killed and 13 others were wounded during the operations in Dasht-e-Archi, Khanabad and in the outskirts of Kunduz city, MoD said, adding that 8 others were killed and 13 more were wounded in a seprate operatoin in Sayad district of Sar-e-Pul province.

The Afghan forces killed 11 militants and wounded 12 others during a separate operation conducted in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahbuddin of Baghlan, the statement added.

A clearance operation was conducted in Farah province in the west of the country where 6 militants were killed and 3 others were wounded, MoD said.

The statement by MoD also added that 8 militants were killed and 7 others were wounded during an operation in Andar and Deh Yak districts of Ghazni province.

According to MoD, at least 5 soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces also lost their lives during the operations.

khaama.com/over-90-militants-killed-in-afghan-forces-clearance-operations-0685

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Europe

Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa, says his help for Syrian families 'a drop in the ocean'

AFP | Apr 16, 2016

Pope Francis quotes Mother Teresa, says his help for Syrian families 'a drop in the ocean'

ON BOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis, who visited the Greek migrant hotspot island of Lesbos Saturday, took three Syrian families with him on the papal plane back to the Vatican, describing the move as a "humanitarian gesture... (but) a drop in the ocean."

Speaking to reporters on board the flight home, the pope said taking in the refugees back had been suggested by an aide a week earlier.

"Everything has been done according to the rules, with the agreement of the Greek and Italian governments," he said. "They have their papers, and everything is in order."

The three families were all Muslim, the Vatican said in a statement earlier.

"I didn't make the selection. These three families had papers which were in order and it was feasible," the pope said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-Francis-quotes-Mother-Teresa-says-his-help-for-Syrian-families-a-drop-in-the-ocean/articleshow/51858570.cms

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Implementation of Iran deal difficult, admits EU official

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN: The European Union’s top diplomat during a visit to Tehran on Saturday admitted difficulties in implementing Iran’s recent nuclear deal with world powers, but maintained that the agreement was on track.

Federica Mogherini’s comments, in a joint press conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, underscored tension in Tehran over the accord, which has been in force for three months.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252557/implementation-of-iran-deal-difficult-admits-eu-official

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‘Many danced after attacks’: Muslim integration failure caused ‘cancer’ – Belgian Interior Minister

17 Apr, 2016

In an interview with a Belgian newspaper, Jan Jambon said that he regretted that a “significant” proportion of the Muslim community had been “dancing” in the streets following the attacks on March 22 in which 32 innocent victims and three suicide bombers were killed, and over 300 people injured.

“A significant section of the Muslim community danced when attacks took place,” Jambon told De Standaard newspaper as cited by AFP. Shocked with such reaction, the minister blamed Belgian integration policy which had failed to incorporate migrants and refugees into European society.

By way of example he said that residents of the Molenbeek neighbourhood in Brussels were very belligerent to both the authorities and the press during a raid which resulted in the arrest of the main suspect in the deadly Paris attacks last November which killed over 130 people.

Full report at: rt.com/news/339882-belgium-muslim-integration-cancer/

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India

Will urge PM Modi not to interfere with Shariat laws, says Muslim law board

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Updated: April 17, 2016

Pm Narendra Modi, muslim Law board, AIMPLB, shariat law, NDA, india news, nation news The board will send the resolution to PM Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases pending in Supreme Court, board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Saturday alleged that attempts are being made to “interfere” in Shariat laws through courts and appealed to the NDA government to maintain the stand of “non-interference in such matters” as was adopted by the previous governments.

The AIMPLB working committee passed a resolution to this effect in a day-long meeting at Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow. The board will send the resolution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases currently pending in the Supreme Court, board member Zafaryab Jilani said.

Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/will-urge-pm-modi-not-to-interfere-with-shariat-laws-says-muslim-law-board-2756907/99/print/

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Muslim Rashtriya Manch to appeal youth not fall for ISIS

Press Trust of India  |  Nagpur  April 17, 2016

Youth must be told to say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai': RSS chief BJP, RSS can't have monopoly over 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai':Vaghela Can't force anyone to say 'Bharat Mata ki Jai': RSS chief Slogan row: Owaisi's stance for vote bank politics, says RSS 'Hindu samskriti' is our identity: RSS chief

The three-day national convention of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) here is expected to appeal to the Muslim youth not to join ISIS, and launch a special cell to monitor those who could fall prey to the terror group's propaganda, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar said.

Full report at: business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/muslim-rashtriya-manch-to-appeal-youth-not-fall-for-isis-116041700265_1.html

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Protesters threaten to embrace Islam if liquor shop allowed

Ajay Parmar | TNN | Apr 17, 2016, 09.15 AM IST

Besides Bhadwasia, such dissent has been sounded in Kudi Bhagtasni Housing Board, Madhuban housing Board and Ratanada areas. Mostly the women of these areas have raised the issue on the ground of disturbance and hooliganism in their areas because of the liquor shops. (Representative Image)Besides Bhadwasia, such dissent has been sounded in Kudi Bhagtasni Housing Board, Madhuban housing Board and R... Read More

Jodhpur: Residents of Bhadwasia here have threatened to convert to Islam if the liquor shop in their locality was not withdrawn. They are protesting the opening of this shop in their locality for the past 15 days holding 'dharna' in front of the proposed shop.

A team constituted by the district collector visited the spot and spoke to the people but they were not ready to back off for anything less than cancellation of the liquor shop in their locality.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Protesters-threaten-to-embrace-Islam-if-liquor-shop-allowed/articleshow/51861561.cms

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India may make citizenship for Pakistan Hindus easier

IANS | Apr 17, 2016

NEW DELHI: The government on Sunday announced that it proposes to simplify procedures for grant of Indian citizenship to minority Hindus from Pakistan.

The proposal also envisages allowing "minority communities of Pakistan staying in India on a Long Term Visa" to buy property, open bank accounts and obtain permanent account number (PAN) and Aadhaar number, a home ministry official said here.

According to the proposal, the collectors or district magistrates of 18 districts will be empowered for two years' period to grant citizenship to such people at heavily reduced fees.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-may-make-citizenship-for-Pakistan-Hindus-easier/articleshow/51865509.cms

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Sushma Swaraj meets Iranian counterpart; reviews bilateral ties

PTI | Apr 17, 2016

TEHRAN: Resetting ties, India and Iran today held extensive talks on stepping up engagement on a range of key areas, particularly to increase Indian investment in oil and gas sectors in the Persian Gulf nation which has opened several lucrative sectors after lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal.

In a meeting here on Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif reviewed entire gamut of bilateral ties and the centerpiece of the deliberations was to give a new momentum to overall ties.

The focus of the talks was to ramp up India's investment in areas of energy, ports, connectivity in Iran where investors from world's major economic powers are rushing in to get early footholds after end of economic sanctions.

The size of Iran's economy is around USD 400 billion, the second largest in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, and the country is being seen as one of the world's hottest investment destination as it has opened various critical sectors including oil and gas for joint ventures and foreign capital.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sushma-Swaraj-meets-Iranian-counterpart-reviews-bilateral-ties/articleshow/51864513.cms

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Arab World

Saudi Arabia warns of economic fallout if US Congress passes 9/11 bill

Mark Mazzetti | NYT News Service | Apr 17, 2016

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of US Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of American assets held by the kingdom if lawmakers pass a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill's passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of inten se discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the state department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom's message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the US before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are sceptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom's economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the US.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Saudi-Arabia-warns-of-economic-fallout-if-US-Congress-passes-9/11-bill/articleshow/51860942.cms

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20 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Sweida Province

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- ISIL sustained heavy losses and casualties in the Syrian army attacks on the Takfiri terrorists' positions in the Northeastern part of Sweida province on Sunday.

At least 20 ISIL terrorists were killed in the village of al-Qaser in Northeastern Sweida.

The Syrian army also destroyed ISIL's artillery unit in Tal Ashayheb (Ashayheb hilltop) in Northeastern Sweida province.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000869

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Iran vows to defend Muslim nations against terrorism, Israel

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened.

Speaking during a National Army Day parade in which Iranian forces displayed sophisticated air defense systems recently acquired from Russia, Rouhani praised Tehran's role in helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments roll back the Islamic State group.

Related: Iran to defend Palestinians 'in every possible way', vows Khamenei

"If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said. But he added that Iran would only help if Muslim countries asked it to, and said its military power was purely for defensive and deterrent purposes.

"The power of our armed forces is not against our southern, northern, eastern and western neighbors," he said.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252649/iran-vows-to-defend-muslim-nations-against-terrorism-israel

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Deir Ezzur: ISIL Sustains Heavy Losses in Syrian Army, Air Force Attacks

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian fighter jets pounded and destroyed the military positions and gathering centers of the ISIL terrorists near the military airport in Deir Ezzur province, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.

The ISIL sustained heavy losses in the Syrian airstrikes in Tal Kroum (hill of Kroum) near Deir Ezzur military airport on Saturday.

The Takfiri terrorists' military vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns were destroyed in Syrian airstrikes.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000499

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Syria opposition rejects UN proposal for Assad to stay

April 17th, 2016

GENEVA: Syria's opposition has rejected a proposal from the UN envoy that would have kept Bashar al-Assad as president during a political transition, with three deputies of his opponents' choosing.

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura told Syria's opposition attending peace talks in Geneva that the proposal could end the "vicious cycle" of debate over a transitional period to end the war, a source told AFP on Saturday.

On the ground, tens of thousands of Syrians are at risk of being displaced as clashes between rebels and jihadists intensified in the country's north.

The escalating fighting across swathes of Aleppo province has threatened to collapse a fragile ceasefire and derail the latest round of indirect negotiations in Switzerland between the regime and opposition.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Syria-opposition-rejects-UN-proposal-for-Assad-to-stay/articleshow/51856577.cms

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Win Back Strategic Regions in Southeastern Aleppo

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and National Defense Forces (NDF) seized back a strategic village and hilltop in the Southeastern part of Aleppo province on Sunday.

The army units and popular forces are now in full control of Burj al-Atshanah village and Jabal al-Qaliyat (al-Qaliyat mountain) after tough battle with the Takfiri terrorists.

Scores of militants were killed and their military hardware was razed down in clashes with the Syrian government troops.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their advances in Aleppo province after inflicting a huge loss on the terrorists.

At least 90 Takfiri terrorists, including their notorious commanders, were killed South of al-Mallah Farms and near the town of Hraytan in fierce clashes with the Syrian army and popular forces.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129001046

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Al-Nusra Military Positions Razed Down in Syrian Army Attacks in Aleppo Province

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued pounding and destroying the military positions of the Al-Nusra Takfiri terrorists in the Northern parts of the city of Aleppo on Sunday.

The army units hit hard the Takfiri terrorists in al-Sheikh Lutfi, al-Sheikh Saeed and al-Shaqief in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city and destroyed the Al-Nusra Front terrorists' gathering centers and military positions in those areas. 

The Al-Nusra Front terrorists sustained heavy casualties and losses in the Syrian army attacks in Northern Aleppo city.

The Takfiri terrorists' military equipment was also destroyed in the army attacks on their positions.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000748

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Syria: Army, Palestinian Resistance Forces Kick Off Operations to Win Back Yarmouk Camp

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and Palestinian resistance forces paved their way into the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in the Southwestern part of the capital, Damascus, on Sunday to push out the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who are controlling the camp.

The army units and Palestinian resistance forces struck ISIL's military positions along Loubya and Safad streets, killing several Takfiri terrorists after a series of fierce clashes near the Tadamon region inside the camp.

Later, the Syrian army advanced in Tadamon region, seizing a number of building blocks at the Palestine street border.

An army officer underlined that the close cooperation between the Syrian army and Palestinian resistance forces will finally drive out the ISIL terrorists from the Yarmouk camp.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000972

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Syrian Analyst: Iran, Russia, Syria to Jointly Control Aleppo Operations' Command Center

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Syrian analyst dismissed media reports claiming that the Russians will not participate in the operations to liberate Aleppo city, and said Tehran, Moscow and Damascus have planned to run a joint command and control center to win back the strategic city.

Speaking to FNA on Sunday, Issa al-Zahir rejected media claims that Russia has withdrawn from the operations to seize back Aleppo.

"A joint operations room, consisting of the Syrian, Iranian and Russian experts and advisors, will command the Syrian army and its allies in their military operations to free Aleppo city," al-Zahir told FNA.

Zahir said pro-government troops are now deployed near Aleppo city in the two regions of Shaikh Maqsoud and Khan Touman in the Southern parts of the province, readying to launch the massive Aleppo liberation operation.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000685

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Damascus Countryside: Syrian Army wins Back Key Regions in Qalamoun Region

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army made considerable advances in Eastern Qalamoun in Damascus countryside by taking full control of two strategic regions there.

The army units seized back Estraha al-Safa and Palmyra (Tadmur)-Baghdad-Jordan triangle in Eastern Qalamoun region after heavy clashes with the Takfiri terrorists.

Scores of terrorists were killed and wounded in heavy clashes with the Syrian army in Eastern Qalamoun.

In a relevant development earlier on Sunday, the Syrian army units maintained the security of Sein military airport in Qalamoun region in Eastern Damascus, and killed a large number of ISIL terrorists.

Meantime, the Syrian air force pounded and destroyed the military positions and gathering centers of the ISIL terrorists in Tal Dakwa region in the Northeastern part of Damascus countryside.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000548

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Syrian Army, Air Force Destroy ISIL's Military Positions, Equipment in Damascus Countryside

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in the Eastern part of Damascus countryside, killing scores of Takfiri militants in heavy clashes.

The army units maintained the security of Sein military airport in Qalamoun region in Eastern Damascus, and killed a large number of ISIL terrorists.

Meantime, the Syrian air force pounded and destroyed the military positions and gathering centers of the ISIL terrorists in Tal Dakwa region in the Northeastern part of Damascus countryside.

Battlefield sources also said that the Syrian air force intensified its attacks on the terrorists' gatherings in Tal Dakwa in the Northeastern part of Beir al-Qasab that is used by the terrorists to launch terrorist attacks on the neighboring areas.

The Syrian fighter jets destroyed the terrorists' military positions and military equipment Tal Dakwa.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000382

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Iran Arrests Dangerous Terrorist, Blames Certain Regional States

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi announced that the country's security forces have arrested a dangerous terrorist, adding that he was supported by certain regional countries.

"A terrorist whose mission was conducting blasts was arrested by the security forces... in the Western parts of the country," Alavi said on Sunday.

"Certain regional states are behind this ominous and failed operation," he added.

His remarks came after Commander of Iran's Law Enforcement Border Guards Brigadier General Qasem Rezayee announced on Wednesday that his forces had disbanded three terrorist groups with plots to carry out sabotage acts in the country in the past Iranian year (ended on March 19).

"Members of three terrorist groups were arrested at the country's Eastern and Northwestern borders," Rezayee told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

"These terrorist groups were identified and arrested in separate operations by Iran's dedicated border guards at the Eastern and Northwestern borders last year," he added.

Rezayee explained that one of the disbanded terrorist groups included a Pakistani and two Iranian nationals who were carrying advanced equipment.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced that the security and intelligence forces have foiled dozens of terrorist plots in different parts of the country last year.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000400

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Iran Displays Russian S-300 Missile Defense Shield in Military Parade

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran on Sunday displayed the first S-300 air defense missile system imported from Russia a few days ago. [+PHOTOS]

A battalion of the S-300 missile defense system was showed off today without displaying the missiles.

The missile defense shield went on display on the occasion of the national Army Day during which military parades were held in Southern Tehran in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani.

Russia is due to deliver several more S-300 missile shields to Iran by the end of this year.

The Iranian news agencies released photos of the first S-300 missile defense system delivered to Iran last week.

Russia had announced earlier this month that the first shipment of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran will be made within days.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000325

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Iranian Air Force Displays Latest Capabilities in Army Day Parade

April 17th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) displayed several squadrons of its operational fleet in an air show on the national Army Day on Sunday.

Different types of IRIAF fighter jets and fighter bombers took part in the air show staged over the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, South of the capital Tehran.

The home-made 'Saeqeh' (Thunderbolt) fighter jets as well as F4, F5, F7, F14 and Mig 29 fighter jets in several squadrons flew over the sky of Southern Tehran.

Aerial refueling operation was also conducted by a Boeing 707 refueling tanker aircraft to an F4 and two F14 fighter jets during the air show.

Also, different helicopters, including Chinook, Cobra 206 and Cobra 214 flew over the military parade zone.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950129000473

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Oil producers mull output freeze in Doha, Iran stays home

April 17th, 2016

DOHA: Major oil producers gathered in Qatar on Sunday for crucial talks on capping production to boost prices, despite Iran's refusal to take part.

Top energy officials from some 15 countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia were at the Doha talks, amid reports a draft agreement was in the works to freeze output at January levels until at least October.

Major producers both inside and outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) are anxious to stem a market nosedive that has cost exporters billions in lost revenue.

From above $100 in mid-2014, oil prices dropped to 13-year lows of around $27 in February due to a supply glut, though they have since rebounded to about $40.

Officials held "consultations" in the morning and delayed the official start of the meeting from 0600 GMT to the afternoon, a member of the Ecuadorian delegation told reporters, declining to provide details. Other officials confirmed the delay.

A new draft of a deal to freeze oil output that is to be agreed later on Sunday has a line saying all Opec members should be part of the agreement, industry sources said.

The change appears to be a major obstacle for clinching a binding deal, given that Opec member Iran had decided not to send representatives to the meeting.

Ecuadoran Hydrocarbons Minister Carlos Pareja told reporters that his country would support a plan to freeze output until at least October.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252663/oil-producers-mull-output-freeze-in-doha-iran-stays-home

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Fire at chemical plant in Saudi Arabia kills 12, injures 11

Apr 17, 2016

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency says a fire at a chemical plant in the kingdom's east has killed 12 people and injured 11.

The Saudi Press Agency said the fire in al-Jubail happened around 11:40 am on Saturday at the Jubail United Petrochemical Co. The news agency quoted the company as saying the fire began during maintenance at the plant.

The company also said the fire caused thick black smoke, which contributed to the death of the contractors working on the maintenance at the plant.

A telephone number for the plant could not be immediately found last night.

The website for SABIC, a chemical conglomerate based in Riyadh, says the firm holds a 75-percent stake in al-Jubail United Petrochemical Co. SABIC did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Fire-at-chemical-plant-in-Saudi-Arabia-kills-12-injures-11/articleshow/51860438.cms

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South Asia

Over 90 militants killed in Afghan forces clearance operations

By Khaama Press - Sun Apr 17 2016

Afghan army raids on Taliban hideoutsOver 90 anti-government armed militants were killed and 48 others were wounded during the clearance operations of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Khost, Kandahar, Zabul, Badghis, Farah, Jawzjan, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Baghlan, Kunduz and Helmand provinces.

A statement by MoD said the operations were conducted by the security forces who were receiving artillery and close-air support.

The statement further added at least 22 of the militants were killed in Sangin district of Helmand which included a group’s commander.

Full report at: khaama.com/over-90-militants-killed-in-afghan-forces-clearance-operations-0685

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Editor held in Bangladesh over murder plot

April 17th, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh police on Saturday arrested a magazine editor over an alleged plot to kill the prime minister’s son, officials said.

Three officers in civvies entered the Dhaka home of Shafik Rehman, 81, in the morning claiming to be from a private TV station and took him away, his wife said.

Police later announced that Mr Rehman, who was formerly a speech-writer for the opposition leader and arch-rival of the Bangladeshi prime minister, had been arrested.

Police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder initially said that Mr Rehman was arrested for sedition. Later, he said the charge was “conspiracy to commit crime”. Officers said they had found evidence linking the editor to a plot to murder Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

Mr Rehman edits a popular Bengali monthly magazine called Mouchake Dhil.

dawn.com/news/1252559/editor-held-in-bangladesh-over-murder-plot

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Afghan child casualties soar as urban warfare intensifies: UN

April 17th, 2016

KABUL: Urban warfare has caused a spike in deaths and injuries among women and children in Afghanistan this year as the Taliban intensifies their campaign against the Kabul government, the United Nations said on Sunday.

In all, 161 children were killed from January to March and 449 were injured, a 29 percent rise over the first three months of 2015, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.

"If the fighting persists near schools, playgrounds, homes and clinics, and parties continue to use explosive weapons in those areas – particularly mortars and IED tactics, these appalling numbers of children killed and maimed will continue," UNAMA human rights director Danielle Bell said in a statement.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252654/afghan-child-casualties-soar-as-urban-warfare-intensifies-un

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MoD confirms 2 pilots injured as helicopter was hit by 82mm rocket

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 17 2016

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed that an Afghan army helicopter was hit by 82mm rocket fire anti-government armed militant groups.

Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said the helicopter was making emergency landing in Nari area of Kunar when it was hit by the rocket.

He said two pilots of the helicopter suffered minor injuries after the rocket impacted the helicopter and caught fire.

Waziri further added that the Taliban group claims that 20 soldiers were killed in the incident are baseless and the two pilots have fully recovered.

The Taliban group released the video late on Friday as part of the group’s ongoing propaganda as the group has launched its spring offensive under the name of Omari Operations.

Full report at: khaama.com/mod-confirms-2-pilots-injured-as-helicopter-was-hit-by-82mm-rocket-0682

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New Study Identifies Trade Opportunities on Both Sides of Afghan-Tajik Border

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 17 2016

The results of a field study, recently conducted in the towns of Khorog and Ishkoshim in Tajikistan and Shegnan and Ishkashim in Afghanistan, indicated that a number of value chains offer potential for short-term scalable interventions which could mutually benefit populations on both sides of the border. “These include the processing of livestock and related products, fruit processing, beekeeping and handicrafts,” the study indicated, “Populations on both sides of the border should be encouraged to share processing facilities.”

Late last year the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tajikistan signed a contract with Samuel Hall to conduct a study on cross-border economic opportunities in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) region in Tajikistan and Afghan Badakhshan. The purpose of the study was to identify the needs and the economic potential in border communities on both sides, and point out initiatives with the potential to be scaled up to the benefit of local residents.

Full report at: khaama.com/new-study-identifies-trade-opportunities-on-both-sides-of-afghan-tajik-border-0680

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600 civilians killed, 1,343 wounded in first quarter of 2016: UNAMA

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 17 2016

At least 600 civilians were killed and 1,343 others were wounded in the first quarter of 2016, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.

Calling on all parties to the conflict to take precautions to protect civilians during the operations, the UN mission, said release of the first quarter civilian casualty data for 2016 showed continued record numbers of civilian casualties.

“Even if a conflict intensifies, it does not have to be matched by corresponding civilian suffering provided parties take their international humanitarian law and human rights obligations seriously,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. “Failure to respect humanitarian obligations will result in more suffering in a nation that has suffered enough.”

According to the UN mission, it documented 1,943 civilian casualties (600 deaths and 1,343 injured) in the period between 1 January and 31 March 2016, adding that these figures mark an overall increase in civilian casualties of two per cent compared to the same period in 2015 with a 13 per cent decrease in deaths but an 11 per cent increase in injuries.

Full report at: khaama.com/600-civilians-killed-1343-wounded-in-first-quarter-of-2016-unama-0681

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Mideast

Erdoğan: Iran, Turkey should work together

April/16/2016

Ankara and Tehran should lead the way to ending violence in Iraq, Syria and the region, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 16 during a press meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined the role of trans-regional and regional dialogue mechanisms led by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) intended to promote regional peace and prosperity.

Rouhani had arrived in Ankara on April 16 and met with Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace.

Erdogan said that strengthening political dialogue between two countries and minimizing differences of opinion are in favor of both Turkey and Iran.

“We should work together for tackling the problem of sectarianism and terrorism that have occurred in our region,” Erdoğan said.

During the press conference Rouhani also touched on the importance of two countries' political dialogue.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-iran-turkey-should-work-together.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97897&NewsCatID=510

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One policeman killed, two wounded in PKK attack in Şırnak

April/17/2016

Anti-terror operations have been ongoing in Şırnak since March 14 and an additional operation has been launched to apprehend the April 16 attackers.

One police officer was killed while two others were wounded in an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) late on April 16 amid ongoing operations in the Turkish southeastern province of Şırnak.

PKK militants launched a rocket attack against an armored police vehicle passing through Vatan Street in central Şırnak and injured three police officers.

All three were transferred to the nearby Şırnak State Hospital, where police officer Hüseyin Danacı, 28, succumbed to his wounds. The other officers are reportedly in a good condition.

A funeral ceremony was held for Danacı at the 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division Command on April 17. His body was later sent to his hometown of Kayseri in Central Anatolia.

hurriyetdailynews.com/one-policeman-killed-two-wounded-in-pkk-attack-in-sirnak.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97899&NewsCatID=341

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No ‘urban transformation’ by state agency in Diyarbakır: Turkish Deputy PM

April/17/2016

The state housing agency will not be involved in the rebuilding of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Sur district, the scene of months-long clashes between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has vowed.

The PKK has been “lying” by claiming that the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) will destroy historical buildings in Sur in order to build “10-15 story” buildings, Kurtulmuş said in an interview with a local TV station late on April 16 during a visit to the Black Sea province of Ordu.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/no-urban-transformation-by-state-agency-in-diyarbakir-turkish-deputy-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97906&NewsCatID=341

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Intel officer linked to Kurdish women’s murder in Paris probed over ‘parallel-links’

April/17/2016

[Intel officer linked to Kurdish women’s murder in Paris probed over ‘parallel-links’]

Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation against a member of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Haluk Özcan, for links to the “parallel structure” – a group of Fethullah Gülen sympathizers accused of trying to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the former’s ally-turned-foe. Özcan was also suspected of ordering the murder of three Kurdish women in Paris in 2013.

A public prosecutor from Turkey’s Counter-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department (KOM), Hasan Yılmaz, asked MİT to provide information on links between Özcan and the “parallel state” in an April 4 request, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet has reported.

According to the report, a complainant identified only by the initials F.C. accused Özcan of involvement in the assassination of an unidentified person within Turkish territory and claimed the officer managed to secure a decision to wiretap his phone calls from Istanbul’s 4th Heavy Penal Court over false reasons, following the complaint.

In his request to MİT, the prosecutor informed the organization that “an investigation has been launched as Haluk Özcan declared liaising with the parallel state structure,” and asked MİT to provide documents on whether the subject is covered under the officer’s activities under the organization, in which case the prosecutor is legally obliged to drop charges.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/intel-officer-linked-to-kurdish-womens-murder-in-paris-probed-over-parallel-links.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97904&NewsCatID=509

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US soldier mobbed by Turkish nationalist youth group, two detained

April/17/2016

Two members of the nationalist Turkish Youth Union (TGB) were detained after trying to put a sack over a U.S. soldier’s head at the İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana on April 16.

Footage of the incident shows TGB Adana Provincial Head Yalçın Semir Akarsu chasing the U.S. soldier and attempting to put a sack over his head.

“You put a sack over our soldiers head in 2003. You are responsible for that and for the terrorism in our country,” Akarsu can be heard saying in the footage, referring to a notorious 2003 incident when a group of U.S. soldiers staged an operation against Turkish soldiers based in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, taking 11 Turkish soldiers hostage and putting sacks on their heads.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/us-soldier-mobbed-by-turkish-nationalist-youth-group-two-detained.aspx?pageID=238&nID=97909&NewsCatID=509

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Africa

Armed group kills over 140 in Ethiopia

April 17th, 2016

ADDIS ABABA: An Ethiopian official says that armed groups have killed more than 140 civilians near Ethiopia’s border with South Sudan.

The attackers came from South Sudan and killed civilians, including women and children, Getachew Reda, Ethiopia’s communications minister, said on Saturday.

“The Ethiopian defence force is currently chasing after the perpetrators,” said Reda, adding that there is no relation between the attackers and the South Sudanese government or the country’s rebels.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252530/armed-group-kills-over-140-in-ethiopia

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North America

Catholic teacher feels pride after embracing Islam

April 17, 2016         

Riyadh: Lorna, former catholic teacher feels pride after embracing Islam.

She told this in a ceremony organized to honor new Muslims in Riyadh. The function was attended by Zeinab bint Abdullah Al-Rajhi, Under Secretary of the Student Study Center at the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University and others.

Full report at: siasat.com/news/catholic-teacher-feels-pride-embracing-islam-947577/

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Anti-Muslim speaking circuit runs through rural Minnesota

April 16, 2016

One hour into a presentation on the perceived threat posed by Muslim immigrants, St. Cloud car salesman and anti-immigration activist Ron Branstner ramps up his pitch.

The United Nations, he begins, sends Muslim refugees to the United States and to such cities as St. Cloud, “to divide and conquer, get rid of our Constitution, get rid of our way of life and implement it with another way of life called. …”

Branstner pauses for effect, and a few people in the crowd of 100 shout the answer: “sharia law!”

The speaker nods. “Sharia law.”

Full report at: startribune.com/anti-muslim-speaking-circuit-runs-through-rural-minnesota/375924701/

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Trump-Loving Anti-Muslim Gun Nut is Freaking Out Police

April 16, 2016

On Monday, far-right activist Jim Stachowiak plans to grab his rifle and lead an armed rally outside the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta to unite likeminded citizens “against Islam and Islamic immigration.” The gun-toting activist wishes to “raise public awareness to what we perceive as a threat to our nation from Islamic immigration and refugees,” as well as “the dangerous agenda of the current administration.”

In mounting the protest, he intends to publicly shred pictures of Hillary Clinton, President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Prophet Muhammad, and (of course) the Quran.

You might have already guessed that this man is a Trump fan.

“I support Donald Trump because I like his agenda on dealing with the threats to this country — his ban on Islamic immigration,” Stachowiak told The Huffington Post on Tuesday, pointing out that Muslim refugees and immigrants are “no more than an invading horde or army” threatening the United States.

Full report at: thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/17/trump-loving-anti-muslim-gun-nut-is-freaking-out-police.html

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Duh! moment: Islam incompatible with utopian diversity fantasies

April 16, 2016

Radical Islam has shown itself to be a deadly force in recent months, with Muslim jihadists carrying out terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino. But despite the apparent danger, the Obama administration recently decided to fast-track the resettlement of refugees from Syria, a hotbed of Islamic violence.

Whereas it usually takes 18 to 24 months for the government to process each refugee admission, the administration has now slashed the processing time to three months in an effort to reach its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year.

Of the 1,366 Syrians already admitted this fiscal year, 99.2 percent are Muslims and only 0.6 percent are Christians.

So what could explain the counter-intuitive rush to settle thousands of Muslims within U.S. borders? William Murray, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, says U.S. leaders are chasing the utopian dream of a diverse society, which is leading to a “Duh! moment.”

Islam and diversity, after all, are incompatible, he points out.

“We have a situation in the United States, particularly with Muslim immigration, in which we have this concept of leveling the society and creating a utopian type of existence by having many people that are diverse and that somehow we’re going to eliminate the selfishness that comes with the Judeo-Christian concept,” Murray told WND.

Murray, who explained utopianism in his most recent book, “Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World with Central Planning,” said many leaders on the left have the idea that Christianity is about self-sufficiency and the values associated with capitalism.

Full report at: wnd.com/2016/04/duh-moment-islam-incompatible-with-utopian-diversity-fantasies/

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Pakistan

Pakistani Islamic Group Demands Execution of ‘Blasphemers,’ Including Asia Bibi

April 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS - April 15, 2016) - Supporters of a Pakistani Islamic group demanded on Friday, April 15, 2016, the immediate execution of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman on death row, and all others convicted under the country's harsh blasphemy law.

Media reports monitored by ANS, learned that small groups from the Sunni Tehreek party held demonstrations in several Pakistani cities warning the government against any attempt to amend the blasphemy law.

A statement from the party accused the government of seeking to change the blasphemy law to pave way for transforming the country into a secular and liberal state.

Thirsty for blood, the protesters demanded the execution of all those convicted of blasphemy including Asia Bibi, who was convicted in 2010. Her appeal was dismissed by the Lahore High Court in 2014, but the supreme court stayed her execution in 2015 and suspended the high court verdict.

Bibi was originally arrested under the blasphemy law after she had a verbal clash with Muslim women working at a farm harvesting berries in eastern Punjab province. She was accused of insulting the prophet of Islam, a charge she has repeatedly denied.

The situation boiled over when Asia had been asked by her fellow workers to go get them some water, and on the way back, she took a sip from a cup, and when the other women found out, they accused her of "defiling" the water as she was, in their eyes, an "infidel" and then she argued with them. She apparently told them that the person she worshiped, Jesus, was "still alive," while the one they followed, Mohammed, was dead.

This resulted in her being beaten up, and then charged with blasphemy, a charge she is appealing.

Full report at: crossmap.com/news/pakistani-islamic-group-demands-execution-of-blasphemers-including-asia-bibi-27154

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Probe confirms damage to 15th-century tomb at Makli

April 17th, 2016

THATTA: An inquiry committee has confirmed damage to the tomb of Mir Sultan Ibrahim (1556-1592AD) because of unprofessional handling of conservation work by M/S Heritage Foundation Pakistan at Makli necropolis, the world heritage site, and recommended that the conservation work be withdrawn from the contractor.

The committee suggested the foundation be warned over use of substandard material and unskilled, unprofessional and defective conservation work which could have led to a major disaster at the world heritage site.

The committee formed by the culture, tourism and antiquities department to probe reports of damage to the monument said in its report submitted recently that the conservation project, which received financial assistance of $260,000 out of the US ambassador’s fund for culture preservation, was entrusted to the foundation and the work was inaugurated by the then US envoy Richard G. Olson on Sept 16, 2014 at the Makli necropolis.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252478/probe-confirms-damage-to-15th-century-tomb-at-makli

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Afghan army cadets graduated from Pakistan Military Academy

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Apr 17 2016

A group of Afghan National Army (ANA) cadets have reportedly graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy, marking the first batch of the Afghan army cadets to graduate from the military academy of the country.

The cadets were graduated from the military academy in Kakul in Abottbad on Saturday after going through almost 14 months of training.

According to the local media reports citing the military officials, the 6 Afghan cadets graduated along with the 134th PMA Long Course, 52nd Integrated Course and 6th Mujahid Course.

The graduation ceremony was attended by the Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

The deployment of the Afghan army cadets to Pakistan Military Academy comes as the Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had offered training to Afghan forces during his visit to Kabul late in 2014.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-army-cadets-graduated-from-pakistan-military-academy-0684

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Pakistani rewarded by crown prince for saving Saudi national's life

Apr 17, 2016

RIYADH: Pakistani national Shaukat Amin was honoured by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz for saving a Saudi citizen from drowning in a flood in Assir, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

The crown prince offered Amin a financial reward for saving Fahd Al Qahtani who had been swept away by floods in Tathleeth Valley in the Assir region, the Saudi Civil Defence Directorate tweeted.

The Pakistani thanked the prince for his appreciation.

dawn.com/news/1252661/pakistani-rewarded-by-crown-prince-for-saving-saudi-nationals-life

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At least 18 people were killed as heavy rains and floods lashed Saudi Arabia last week. The toll covered much of the country, from Riyadh to Hail, Mecca, Medina, Al-Baha, Asir, Najran and Jazan. The civil defence agency said it rescued 915 people.

Sharif’s ‘Panama link’ could impact Pakistan’s India policy

Sameer Arshad | TNN | Apr 17, 2016

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to London for a "cardiac check-up" on Wednesday fueling wild speculation as he faces the worst crisis of his political career. His departure followed the Panama Papers leak, which confirmed his family owns offshore companies and prime London properties. The revelation has given a fresh handle to Sharif's rival, Imran Khan, whose 126-day sit-in demanding the prime minister's removal over alleged poll fraud charges had eventually fizzled out in 2014. Khan sees the leak a godsend opportunity to topple Sharif, whom he accuses of corruption, nepotism and being obsessive about infrastructure while ignoring human development.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Sharifs-Panama-link-could-impact-Pakistans-India-policy/articleshow/51860312.cms

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Red warrants suggested for Musharraf in treason case

April 17th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Special Public Prosecutor Muhammad Akram Sheikh has suggested initiating a coercive process like issuance of red warrants (through Interpol) or forfeiture of surety of retired Gen Pervez Musharraf to record his statement under Section 342 of the CrPC.

In a statement submitted before a special court on Saturday, the prosecutor also proposed a second option for the purpose, saying the facility of a video link or Skype could be used in the interest of justice to record the former president’s statement.

The three-man special court seized with a treason case against Mr Musharraf for his Nov 3, 2007 proclamation of a state of emergency in the country would resume the hearing on April 19.

The prosecutor submitted his statement in compliance with the court’s earlier directions to explain why Mr Musharraf had been allowed to leave the country despite the fact that he had been summoned by the special court.

Prosecutor proposes using video link facility or Skype to record the former president’s statement

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1252572/red-warrants-suggested-for-musharraf-in-treason-case

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Banks to accept Haj applications from April 18-26

April 17th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Haj applications will be accepted from April 18 to April 26, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said on Sunday, Radio Pakistan reported.

Designated branches of scheduled banks will begin receiving applications under the Government Haj Scheme on Monday and balloting will be held on April 29, Yousaf said.

Over 143,000 Pakistanis are expected to make the pilgrimage this year; 60 per cent of these will perform Haj under the government scheme while 40pc will opt for private Haj organisers, the minister said.

The Haj package will cost Rs261,941 for pilgrims from the 'south region' and Rs270,941 for pilgrims from the 'north region', he said, adding that no one would be allowed to perform Haj on government expenditure.

Last year's pilgrimage was marred by two fatal incidents a crane accident and a stampede which caused the deaths of over 2,000 people.

dawn.com/news/1252652/banks-to-accept-haj-applications-from-april-18-26

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia holds dialogue on 1960s communist purge

17 Apr 2016

The killings of at least half a million Indonesians who were accused of being communists is being publicly discussed for the first time in 50 years.

Up untill now, government leaders have not revealed exactly what happened during one of the darkest periods of Indonesian history.

Researchers estimate that half a million or more communists, and people accused of supporting them, died in those years - killed by soldiers and some religious groups that had an anti-communist agenda.

Survivors have come from all over Indonesia for this historic opportunity.

Never before have victims of the communist purge in the mid-1960s been asked to speak at a government symposium.

"The government of Joko Widodo is reaching out to us and I happily accept the gesture as long as

Full report at: aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/indonesia-holds-dialogue-1960s-communist-purge-160417095551300.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pope-francis-quotes-mother-teresa,-says-his-help-for-syrian-families--a-drop-in-the-ocean-/d/107013

 

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