New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 04:38 PM

Islamic World News ( 18 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Snipers kill 46 Yemeni protesters; state of emergency declared

Qaddafi Warns West on No-Flight Zone

J&K police busts a major Hizbul Mujahideen terror module

Libya faces military intervention

Qaddafi defies UN, forces push into Benghazi

Libya declares unilateral ceasefire after West threatens attack

UNSC approves no-fly zone over Libya

Obama says Libyan forces must pull back

Japan continues nuclear struggle, fixes key power cable

Despite Obama’s Warning, Attacks Go On in Libya’s East

Obama endorses military action to stop Gaddafi

Egypt's Islamists come in from the cold

Thousands in Iraq protest Bahrain crackdown

Syria police disperse protest at Damascus mosque

Respect rule of law in Al-Qaeda ‘war’: US official

Pak-US tensions undermine fight against terror

Pak boycotts US talks over Drone fury

Thousands protest against release of US shooter

China expresses serious reservations

Indonesia issues red alert as volcano erupts

Strong protest lodged: Pakistan pulls out of Afghanistan meeting

Terror threat to WC final, militants buy 17 tickets

22 Indian fishermen held in Pakistan

Japan cites radiation in milk, spinach near plant

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Wounded anti-government protesters lay receive medical help at a field hospital during clashes with security forces in Sanaa, Yemen

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/snipers-kill-46-yemeni-protesters;-state-of-emergency-declared/d/4310

 

 

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Snipers kill 46 Yemeni protesters; state of emergency declared

By SAEED AL-BATATI

Mar 19, 2011

SANAA: Yemen's National Security Council declared a state of emergency in the country on Friday after a massive demonstration against the government in the capital city turned into a killing field.

At least 46 people, including some children, were killed as snipers methodically fired on protesters from rooftops and police made a wall of fire with tires and gasoline, blocking a key escape route.

Doctors at a makeshift field hospital near the protest camp at Sanaa University confirmed three of the 46 killed were children. The makeshift hospital was overflowing with wounded protesters and medical officials had to request the hospitals to send their ambulances.

Witnesses said that the sight of dead bodies scattered on the ground was horrific. “The situation is tragic. There are dozens killed and hundreds wounded. We couldn’t send relief,” said Abdul-Qawi Al-Shumeiri, secretary-general of the doctor’s syndicate.

The dramatic escalation in violence marked a new level of brutality in President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s crackdown on dissent. Saleh was growing more fearful that the unprecedented street protests over the past month, set off by unrest across the Arab world, could unravel his 32-year grip on power in this volatile, impoverished and gun-saturated nation. The United States, which has long relied on Saleh for help fighting terrorism, condemned the violence.

The bloodshed, however, failed to dislodge protesters from Taghyir Square (Arabic for “Change”), a large traffic circle. Hours after the shooting, thousands demanding Saleh’s ouster stood their ground, many of them hurling stones at security troops and braving live fire and tear gas.

They stormed several buildings where the snipers had taken position, dragging out 10 people — including some the protesters claimed were paid thugs. They said the men would be handed over to judicial authorities.

The protest in the capital, Sanaa, drew tens of thousands, the largest crowd yet in Yemen’s uprising. It began peacefully. A military helicopter flew low over the square just as protesters were arriving after the main Muslim prayer services of the week.

A short while later, gunfire rang out from rooftops and houses, sending the crowd into a panic. Dozens were hit and crumpled to the ground. One man ran for help cradling a young boy shot in the head.

Many of the victims were shot in the head and neck, their bodies left sprawled on the ground or carried off by other protesters desperately pressing scarves to wounds to try to stop the bleeding.

Police used burning tires and gasoline to block demonstrators from fleeing down a main road leading to sensitive locations, including the president’s residence.

“It is a massacre,” said Mohammad Al-Sabiri, an opposition spokesman. “This is part of a criminal plan to kill off the protesters, and the president and his relatives are responsible for the bloodshed in Yemen today.”

Al-Sabiri told Arab News by telephone that there was no longer any way to reach a mutual understanding with the government after this “crime” and the regime has no other option but to leave.

Saleh blames 'angry residents'

Witnesses said the snipers wore the beige uniforms of Yemen’s elite forces and that others were plainclothes security officers. President Saleh denied at a press conference that government forces were involved, claiming that residents angry over the expanding protest camp had opened fire. He ordered the formation of a committee to investigate.

A Yemeni photojournalist, Jamal Al-Sharaabi, was among the dead, medical officials said. He is the first journalist killed in the unrest.

Interior Minister Gen. Mouthar Al-Masri, who is in charge of internal security forces, put the number of dead at 25 and the injured at 200.

Opposition groups in Yemen held an emergency meeting later Friday in which they defiantly called on all Yemenis to join in their peaceful protest. The groups denounced Friday’s violence, which they said was ordered by Saleh.

They also called on the international community and UN Security Council to take “political and moral responsibility with measures to protect civilians.” The United States, which supports Yemen’s government with $250 million in military aid this year alone to battle one of Al-Qaeda’s most active franchises, condemned the attack on protesters.

“Those responsible for today’s violence must be held accountable,” President Barack Obama said. He called on Saleh to adhere to his public pledge to allow peaceful demonstrations.

Instead, Saleh declared a 30-day nationwide state of emergency that formally gave his security forces a freer hand to confront demonstrators. The declaration bars citizens from carrying and using weapons.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “deeply troubled,” said an Associated Press report quoting his spokesman, Martin Nesirky. He “reiterates his call for utmost restraint and reminds the government of Yemen that it has an obligation to protect civilians.” Demonstrators are demanding jobs, greater political freedoms and an end to government corruption.

In the latest defection by a political ally of the president, Nabil Al-Faqih, the Yemeni tourism minister, resigned Friday from his Cabinet position and from the ruling party to protest the killings.

“This is the least I can do,” he said. Al-Faqih is the second minister to quit and the latest of several politicians to resign from Saleh’s Congress Party.

Throughout the unrest, security forces and government supporters have used live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas, sticks, knives and rocks against the protesters, who have only grown in number in Sanaa and in many other cities around the nation. The protesters say they won’t go until Saleh does and have rejected offers to discuss a unity government.

“They want to scare and terrorize us. They want to drag us into a cycle of violence — to make the revolution meaningless,” said Jamal Anaam, a 40-year-old activist camping out in the protest site.

He said government opponents would not follow the example of their counterparts in Libya who took up arms against Col. Muammar Qaddafi. “They want to repeat the Libyan experiment, but we refuse to be dragged into violence no matter what the price,” he said.

Friday’s violence showed the government of Saleh and his family are increasingly worried about losing power, said Gregory Johnsen, an expert on Yemen at Princeton University.

“He has been in power for more than three decades and he’s falling back on what he knows best, which is increasingly violent methods.” The tactic is unlikely to work, he predicted.

“Yemen does not have a population that’s easily cowed, so I don’t think they will be put out by fear of death,” he said. “It’s a heavily armed country. Many of the people there are quite confident and capable of putting security into their own hands.” Saleh and his weak government have faced down many serious challenges, often forging tricky alliances with restive tribes to delicately extend power beyond the capital. Most recently, he has battled an on-and-off, seven-year armed rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south, and an Al-Qaeda offshoot that is of great concern to the US.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article321858.ece

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Qaddafi Warns West on No-Flight Zone

Mar 19, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya —Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi urged President Obama and European leaders on Saturday to hold back from enforcing a no-flight zone over Libya as reports indicated that his forces were continuing to press their attacks against rebels in the east despite warnings from the United States and other Western countries that such moves would provoke military action from the West.

 Colonel Qaddafi’s comments, in open letters to President Obama and other leaders that were the Libyan leader’s first public response to the threat from the West, were the latest indication that military confrontation in the skies over Libya may be imminent. And their tone suggested that Colonel Qaddafi was leaving himself little room to back down in order to avoid a clash with the West.

One letter was addressed to Mr. Obama and a second to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations.

“Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans,” Colonel Qaddafi wrote, according to the government spokesman. “This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe.”

“You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs,” he added.

President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to a meeting in Paris on Saturday to consult with France, Britain and members of the Arab League on further action. An allied military strike on Libya did not appear imminent as he spoke.

President Obama on Friday ordered Colonel Qaddafi to carry out an immediate cease-fire, withdraw his forces from rebel-held cities and stop all attacks on Libyan civilians or face military action from the United States and its allies in Europe and the Arab world.

“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable,” Mr. Obama said from the East Room of the White House.

Libya had pledged a cease-fire hours before. But reports on Saturday from rebel-held territory indicated that Colonel Qaddafi’s troops were attacking in the east.

In a telephone interview from Benghazi on Saturday morning, a rebel fighter who gave his name as Monsour said there was heavy fighting in the west of the city. He said he had seen 12 tanks from the Qaddafi forces moving through the city. Qaddafi snipers were atop the Foreign Ministry building, not far from the courthouse that is the de facto rebel headquarters, and there was fighting along Gamel Abdul Nasser street nearby as well. The government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, denied in Tripoli that pro-Qaddafi units were attacking in Benghazi and said that only the rebels had an incentive to break the cease-fire.

Earlier, the BBC also reported that tanks were in the city on Saturday morning. After the report, the BBC Web site was inaccessible in Tripoli, suggesting that it may have been blocked.

News organizations reporting from Benghazi said that a fighter jet was shot down on the outskirts of the city and several Western Web sites published a dramatic photo of the warplane plunging to the ground in flames after the pilot appeared to have ejected. It was not immediately clear whether the plane belonged to attacking Qaddafi forces or the rebels, or how it had been shot down.

The head of the rebel National Libyan Council appealed to the international community on Saturday to act swiftly to protect civilians from government forces which he said were attacking Benghazi, Reuters reported. “Now there is a bombardment by artillery and rockets on all districts of Benghazi,” Reuters said, quoting Mustafa Abdel Jalil in an appearance on Al Jazeera television. “Today in Benghazi there will be a catastrophe if the international community does not implement the resolutions of the U.N. Security

The Qaddafi government appeared earlier Saturday to be laying the groundwork for a potential strike in the name of self-defense.

Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said government intelligence showed tanks, artillery and weapons from Benghazi attacking a town in the east. Government forces, he said, were holding back to observe the cease-fire.

On Friday afternoon, people fleeing nearby Ajdabiya said government troops were shelling and conducting assaults. The western city of Misurata was under siege, its electricity and water cut by the government, and doctors reported that at least 25 people were killed, including 16 unarmed civilians. In Tripoli, the repression of peaceful protests continued, and gunfire was heard late in the evening.

In the neighborhood of Tajoura, a center of opposition where residents say several people have been shot and many have been arrested after protests in recent weeks, one resident said there was an attempt to organize a demonstration after midday prayers on Friday to celebrate the decision to declare a cease-fire. But when they left the mosque, they were met by soldiers firing into the air, this resident said. They tried again at evening prayers but soldiers blocked the entrance to the mosque, dispersed them from the central square, and put up checkpoints that blocked any care or pedestrian movement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/africa/20libya.html?hp

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J&K police busts a major Hizbul Mujahideen terror module

Mar 19, 2011

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police claims to have busted a major terror module led by an Imam of a local mosque and two imprisoned self-styled commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, the indigenous terrorist outfit of Kashmir. The module planned to kill 16 residents of Kreeri and Pattan areas to "create fear psychosis and to revive" the Hizbul Mujahideen group, a police release said.

The Baramulla police discovered this during its investigation of a "blind murder case" of a civilian, Nazir Ahmad Lone resident of Kreeri, DIG, North Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmed Khan said at a press conference in Baramulla.

Some unknown gunmen on February 28, 2011 had shot at Nazir Ahmed Lone who was rushed to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) where he succumbed to his injuries. Nazir was a class "A" contractor and social worker. He had a good rapport among the general public of the area, the police said. After this shoot out, an FIR No. 13/2011 U/S 307 RPC, 7/27 A. Act (subsequently converted to 302 RPC,102-B) was registered in Police Station Kreeri. Sub-Divisional Police Officer Pattan Sajad Ahmad & DySP Riyaz Iqbal Tantray were assigned the task of investigation.

"The matter was discussed at District Headquarters level and it was decided that all the police officers would re-visit the spot, in order to know the in and out routes & examine the witnesses, neighboring businessmen so as to recreate the scene of crime. Sensing the sincerity, concerted efforts and professional approach being followed by the police, the assailants felt the pressure and in desperation wrote a letter intimidating the witnesses," the DIG claimed. The assailants also made threatening calls to the eye witnesses and their kin directing them not to disclose details to the police.

The police said that, on specific intelligence, Javed Ahmed Lone of Tilgam was lifted since he had delivered a threatening letter to Ali Mohammad Ganie, the father of one of the eye witness. During his sustained interrogation, Javid revealed the name of Parvaiz Ahmad Bukhari who, in turn, disclosed that the letter had been given by Bashir Ahmed Bukhari, the Imam of Jamia Masjid Kreeri. The letter was seized by the police. Interestingly, the letterhead was of Tehreeq Ul-Mujahideen (TUM), which is no longer an active militant organization, the police said.

On interrogation and CDR analysis of Bukhari, it came to surface that the Imam, on the directions of Mohammad Ashan Dar and Muzaffar Dar (senior self styled commanders of HM outfit) presently in judicial custody, had constituted two modules one for Kreeri and other for Palhallan to "kill sixteen respectable persons in kreeri and Pattan areas to create a fear psychosis and to revive the HM outfit." the police claimed.

The module "A" operating in Kreeri and Nihalpora, was led by a "recycled HM terrorist Hilal Ahmed Palla of Dangerpora, Pattan and his associates Ajaz Ahmad Khan of Khanpora, Mudassir Nazir of Kachawa and Mohd. Ashraf Kumar of Khanpora Baramulla. The group was "involved in Nazir Ahmed Lone's killing." The weapon of offence has been recovered on the confession made by Ashraf Mir and Bashir Bukhari.

Bashir Bukhari also disclosed the name of Mohd Ashraf Mir of Kalantra who was also part of the module "A". Mohammad Ashraf on February 28, 2011 met Mudassir Nazir, Hilal Palla and Mohd Ashraf in the hospital premises at Kreeri. He handed over two pistols to Hilal and Ashraf, while as Ajaz Ahmed Khan and Ashraf Mir had conducted recee and was to help in the escape. Hilal entered the office of the deceased and shot at him from point blank range, whereas Mohd Ashraf fired to create a commotion. All the four accused escaped through a bye lane near the office of the deceased, Nazir Lone.

The police has arrested Molvi Bashir, Ashraf Mir, Ajaz Dar, Ashraf and Abdul Hamid. Hilal Palla and Nazir are absconding while as other accused have been arrested, the police said. The police has also recovered two pistols, two magazines and three pistol live cartridges from Ashraf's shop while as one pistol, one pistol magazine, three live pistol cartridges, one handset, one antenna, four UBGL, four gelatin rods and a letter pad of TUM was recovered from Molvi Bashir Bukhari.

The second module is operating in the general area of Gosh Bug & Palhalan. The DIG said that the police and security forces were "putting in tireless efforts to bust this module and to neutralize the absconding militants."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-police-busts-a-major-Hizbul-Mujahideen-terror-module/articleshow/7743665.cms

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Libya faces military intervention

Mar 19, 2011

The United States accused Muammar Gaddafi of defying international demands for an immediate ceasefire, and France’s UN envoy predicted military action within hours of an international meeting on Libya on Saturday.

A unilateral ceasefire declared on Friday by the Libyan government appeared to have done little to convince outside powers to hold off on plans for air strikes to force an end to an increasingly bloody civil war.

Residents in the rebel-held western city of Misrata said they faced heavy bombardment on Friday—a charge the government denied—while a US official said Gaddafi’s forces were still advancing toward the rebels’ eastern stronghold Benghazi.

Within hours of President Barack Obama saying the terms of a UN resolution meant to end fighting in Libya were non-negotiable, his UN envoy, Susan Rice, asked by CNN whether Gaddafi was in violation of these terms, said: “Yes, he is.”

Gaddafi said there was no justification for the UN resolution.

“This is blatant colonialism. It does not have any justification. This will have serious consequences on the Mediterranean and on Europe,” he said in comments reported by Al Jazeera television.

France, which along with Britain has been leading a drive for military intervention, will host a meeting on Saturday on Libya which will be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Arab leaders.

“Tomorrow we will have a summit in Paris with all the major participants in the operations and in the diplomatic effort. So I think it would be a good moment to send the last signal,” the French ambassador to the United Nations told BBC’s Newsnight.

“So I guess that after this summit, I think that in the coming hours, I think we will go to launch the military intervention,” Ambassador Gerard Araud said.

Obama made clear any military action would aim to change conditions across Libya—rather than just in the rebel-held east—by calling on Gaddafi’s forces to pull back from the western cities of Zawiyah and Misrata as well as from the east.

“All attacks against civilians must stop,” Obama said, a day after the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorizing international military intervention.

“Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zawiyah, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya ...

“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable... If Gaddafi does not comply ... the resolution will be enforced through military action.”

Misrata Bombed, Residents SayA US national security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, later said the troop movements by Gaddafi’s forces toward Benghazi were “purposeful.” The assessment was based on official reporting reaching US national security agencies.

It was impossible to contact anyone on the frontline far to the west of Benghazi to find out what was happening. But in Benghazi, rebels dismissed the ceasefire declaration as a ruse.

“He is lying. His troops are advancing. We don’t believe what Gaddafi says,” said Mohammed Ishmael al-Tajouri, from the rebel coalition in Benghazi. “When he comes to Benghazi he will be fighting. There is no negotiating with Gaddafi.”

In Misrata, which like Zawiyah has been left stranded in the west while rebels who had advanced toward them from the east were beaten back by a counter-offensive by Gaddafi forces, residents said they had faced heavy bombardment on Friday.

One doctor said at least 38 people had been killed in the assault launched on Friday morning.

“Gaddafi’s forces are bombarding the city with artillery shells and tanks,” Dr Khaled Abou Selha told Reuters by satellite phone.

“They are even bombarding ambulances. I saw one little girl with half of her head blown off,” he said, crying.

Another doctor, who declined to give his name, said by telephone late on Friday evening, “Now they are on the outskirts of the city. I can still hear bombing from time to time.”

In Tripoli the government said there had been no bombing since it announced the ceasefire.

“We have had no bombardment of any kind since the ceasefire was declared,” Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told journalists when asked about reports of continued government operations in Misrata and other parts of the country.

Kaim said Libya was asking China, Germany, Malta and Turkey to send observers to monitor its adherence to the ceasefire.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday everything was ready to launch military strikes in Libya.

The United States, after embarking on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, had insisted it would participate in rather than lead any military action. Obama said the United States would not deploy ground troops in Libya.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was one of the main supporters of the US invasion of Iraq, wrote in The Times newspaper that he welcomed the imposition of a no-fly zone.

“Such a policy will be difficult and unpredictable. But it is surely better than watching in real time as the Libyan people’s legitimate aspiration for a better form of government and way of life is snuffed out by tanks and planes,” he said.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/March/middleeast_March341.xml&section=middleeast

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Qaddafi defies UN, forces push into Benghazi

By MOHAMMED ABBAS

Mar 19, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya: Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces pushed into the rebel-held city of Benghazi on Saturday, defying world demands for an immediate cease-fire and forcing rebels to retreat.

A Libyan rebel spokesman said Qaddafi’s forces had entered the city while a Reuters witness said rebels were erecting concrete barricades to defend their headquarters.

The fighting came despite a pledge by Libya’s government that it was observing a cease-fire and as France predicted imminent military action by the West.

The Libyan government denied its forces were in action in or around Benghazi. A government spokesman said they were observing the cease-fire, blaming rebels for attacks.

As explosions shook Benghazi, rebel fighters said they were being forced to retreat from the outskirts of the city where the revolt against Qaddafi began a month ago.

A fighter jet was shot down over Benghazi on Saturday.

“I saw the plane circle around, come out of the clouds, head toward an apparent target, and then it was hit and went straight down in flames and a huge billow of black smoke went up,” Reuters correspondent Angus MacSwan said.

“It seems it was attacking the Benghazi military barracks.”

Rebels said Libyan jets had bombed the road to the Benghazi airport and elsewhere on the outskirts.

“They were 60 km (40 miles) away yesterday, today they are 20 km away and they can be here in a half hour to 90 minutes,” rebel fighter Khalid Ahmed told Reuters at a rebel base on the western edge of the city.

The Libyan advance into Benghazi pre-empted an international meeting hosted by France on Saturday to discuss military intervention in Libya. The meeting will be attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Arab leaders.

Libya had declared a unilateral cease-fire on Friday after the UN Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya.

But the United States accused Qaddafi of defying international demands for an immediate cease-fire, and France’s UN envoy predicted military action within hours of the Paris meeting on Libya on Saturday.

“It’s clear we have to move quickly,” a French government source said, contacted after the reports of fighting in Benghazi.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article322370.ece

 

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Libya declares unilateral ceasefire after West threatens attack

Mar 18, 2011

TRIPOLI/UNITED NATIONS: Muammar Gaddafi's government said it was declaring a unilateral ceasefire in its offensive to crush Libya's revolt, as Western warplanes prepared to attack his forces.

"We decided on an immediate ceasefire and on an immediate stop to all military operations," foreign minister Moussa Koussa told reporters in Tripoli on Friday, after the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorizing military action. ( Read: Military action against Libya after UN vote: France )

He called for dialogue with all sides. Gaddafi had vowed to show "no mercy, no pity" on Thursday, and rebels pleaded for foreign aid before time ran out. They said the city of Misrata was being pounded by government forces on Friday morning. ( Read: Gaddafi vows 'no mercy' in attack on Benghazi )

France, a leading advocate of military action, said it was cautious about the ceasefire announcement and that the "threat on the ground has not changed."

Western officials said military action could include France, Britain, the United States and one or more Arab countries.

"Britain will deploy Tornadoes and Typhoons as well as air-to-air refueling and surveillance aircraft," Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament.

"Preparations to deploy these aircraft have already started and in the coming hours they will move to airbases from where they can start to take the necessary action."

Gulf state Qatar said it would take part but it was unclear whether that meant military help, while Denmark said it planned to contribute warplanes. France is to host international talks on Saturday to discuss the action.

People in Misrata said the rebel-held western city was under heavy bombardment by Gaddafi's forces on Friday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-declares-unilateral-ceasefire-after-West-threatens-attack/articleshow/7736711.cms

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UNSC approves no-fly zone over Libya

Mar 19, 2011

S Rajagopalan

The UN Security Council has cleared the decks for military action against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi even as India and four other countries abstained from the crucial vote.

India, along with China, Russia, Germany and Brazil, abstained as the 10-0 vote established a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace and authorised the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya, but excluded any foreign occupation force. Soon after the adoption of the resolution, News reports said military action could start “within a few hours” with French and British warplanes spearheading the offensive, including airstrikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery.

Explaining its stand, India spoke of the resolution’s lack of clarity on enforcement measures and stressed that these measures should mitigate, and not exacerbate, an already difficult situation for the people of Libya.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Manjeev Singh Puri said pointedly that the UNSC has adopted the resolution authorising far-reaching measures “with relatively little credible information on the situation on the ground in Libya”.

France and Britain took the lead on the UNSC resolution, with the US joining after its own initial reluctance over being drawn into another armed conflict. But it changed tack in recent days with rebels retreating fast in the face of Gaddafi forces registering major gains.

“Today, the Security Council has responded to the Libyan people’s cry for help. Today’s resolution is a powerful response…to the urgent needs on the ground,” US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/325435/UNSC-approves-no-fly-zone-over-Libya.html

 

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Obama says Libyan forces must pull back

Mar 19, 2011

President Barack Obama said on Friday Muammar Gaddafi’s government must end violence and pull back troops from towns under attack, or face military action.

Gaddafi’s government earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire as Western warplanes prepared to attack his forces, which had defeated rebels in the western city of Zawiyah and driven them back in a counter-offensive towards Benghazi in the east.

In the rebel-held western city of Misrata, surrounded by government forces, residents said there was no sign of a ceasefire. And in the rebel-controlled east, the government declaration was dismissed as a ruse.

“All attacks against civilians must stop,” Obama said. “Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zawiyah, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.”

“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable... If Gaddafi does not comply ... the resolution will be enforced through military action.”

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said everything was ready to launch military strikes in Libya and that the ceasefire would need to cover the whole country.

Britain, like France a strong advocate of armed action, said it would judge Gaddafi by “actions, not his words”.

After embarking on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States had insisted it would participate in rather than lead any military action. Obama said the United States would not deploy ground troops in Libya.

Turkey, an opponent of military action, said the Libyan ceasefire should go into effect immediately.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1054.xml&section=international

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Egypt's Islamists come in from the cold

Mar 19, 2011

Finally the old sheikh was released from his prison upon the demands of a revolution in which he did not take part. Abboud El-Zomor, who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for his part in the assassination of the ex-president Anwar Sadat, had had his sentence extended by five years under the emergency law imposed after the 1981 shooting.

The old sheikh, whose release was met with great attention from the Egyptian media, does not seem to regret the assassination of Sadat and think that it is a justifiable, yet unrepeatable action. This among, other things, has provoked renewed fear and suspicion towards the role of Islamist groups in Egypt, from the conservative Salafis to the politicized Muslim Brotherhood.

"The Brotherhood's participation in decision-making over Egypt's future has raised many concerns,” says Mamoun Fandy, director of the Middle East Program and Gulf Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “The prime minister’s meeting with representatives of those who demonstrated for the immediate release of Kamelia Shehata while a Coptic sit-in was held after a church was torched down, and later the extravagant reception of the El-Zomor cousins (Abboud and Tarek), increased suspicion that radical Islamists will have a say on Egypt’s future."

However, it is not right to deal with Islamic forces as one homogeneous group as, according to Fandy, even the Brotherhood cannot be viewed as a single entity with a firm perspective.

"For anyone who has been in Tahrir, it was clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a spectrum of opinions, some are hard-line, some moderates and others are like any other Muslim in the street," he says. "The political Islam in Egypt is the bogeyman that Mubarak used to frighten the west and they have to explain themselves in a new light and this will not be an easy task."

Fandy could be right. While the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have made a clear decision on the shape and size of their political participation in the future, the group is facing criticism from within. A call for "the revolution of the Muslim brothers" was recently contained by the group’s Shura council after it promised the opposition from within that their views will be considered and that a conference will be held to further debate issues of contention.

"We are a democratic group and we solve our problems in a democratic way" says Mohamed Morsy, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsy insists that the media has exaggerated the differences within the group, differences he considers as healthy as long they do not threaten the unity of the group.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/7920/Egypt/Politics-/Muslim-Brothers,-Jihadists-and-Salafists-Egypts-Is.aspx

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Thousands in Iraq protest Bahrain crackdown

Mar 19, 2011

More than 5,000 Iraqis rallied Friday in northern Diyala province to denounce a crackdown on Shia-led demonstrators in Bahrain, with many volunteering to join the protests in the Gulf kingdom.

The biggest turnout was about 3,000 protesters in the city of Jadidat Al-Shat, with another 2,000 in Khales and some 500 in the provincial capital of Baquba.

"Thousands of volunteers are asking the Iraqi government to open the way for them to go to Bahrain to support their brothers there," said Fadel Mohammed Saeed, a religious leader in Jadidat Al-Shat, which has a large Shia population. Diyala province is predominantly Sunni, but with a large Shia minority.

In Baquba, demonstrators converged outside the provincial council building in the capital's centre, demanding that outside forces leave Bahrain, and calling on Arab governments to stand beside the people of Bahrain.

"We are ready to volunteer to defend the soil of Bahrain," read a banner carried by demonstrators in Baquba. Five people were killed Wednesday .

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/7983/World/Region/Thousands-in-Iraq-protest-Bahrain-crackdown.aspx

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Syria police disperse protest at Damascus mosque

Mar 19, 2011

Plain-clothes Syrian police broke up a protest after Friday prayers at the main mosque in central Damascus, dragging away at least two activists, AFP reporters witnessed.

“There is no God but God,” a crowd inside the men’s section of the Omayyed Mosque started chanting in crescendo after Friday prayers. It was unclear what had sparked the chants.

Dozens of security forces, who had gathered outside the mosque during the prayers, pulled out batons as soon as the chants broke out and detained at least two people, dragging away one who resisted while beating him with batons and kicking him in the nose.

At least 200 people immediately gathered in a square outside the mosque, chanting support for President Bashar al-Assad and waving Syrian flags. Some carried portraits of his late father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad.

Terrified families could be seen fleeing the square, with many children in tears.

A Facebook group named The Syrian Revolution 2011 had called for demonstrations after Friday prayer in Damascus during a “Day of Dignity.”

Small impromptu protests have erupted for three days in a row in the Old City of Damascus, demanding political reforms in the Middle Eastern country.

On Thursday, Syrian authorities charged 32 activists with attacking the reputation of the state, a day after a rally outside the interior ministry, the Syrian Observatory for Human.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/March/middleeast_March323.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Respect rule of law in Al-Qaeda 'war': US official

By Sebastian Smith

Mar 19, 2011

NEW YORK — As the United States pursues its nearly decade-old war against a weakened Al-Qaeda, it must protect Muslim Americans from being scapegoated, a senior White House official said Friday.

"Nearly 10 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks the United States remains at war with Al-Qaeda and its adherents," John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism and homeland security advisor, said.

Brennan told a New York security conference that the radical Islamist organization's senior leadership "is increasingly hunkered down in its safe haven in Pakistan's tribal regions."

He said Al-Qaeda was at its "weakest point since 2001" and that its jihadist ideology had been "rejected by the overwhelming majority of Muslims."

Popular revolts against authoritarian, mostly secular governments across the Arab world, he noted, have barely featured Al-Qaeda.

"One of the things that is most notable about what's going on the Middle East is that Al-Qaeda has not been anywhere near the forefront of any of these activities. It is a populist and for the most part secular phenomenon," Brennan said at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

However, according to the White House expert, Al-Qaeda is mutating into an increasingly unpredictable presence -- including on US soil -- that requires a sophisticated response.

"Groups and individuals have sprung up in places like Pakistan, Yemen and North Africa," he said. "We have also seen this problem begin to manifest itself here at home. A very small but increasing number of individuals here in the United States have become captivated by these violent causes."

Full report at:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hyCtbIcJKxV5WxsMymLFjC_5Zoyw?docId=CNG.cb9a703546a716b6ea833e7994a082c9.281

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Pak-US tensions undermine fight against terror

By Cyril Almeida

Mar 19, 2011

PESHAWAR: A day after drone-fired missiles killed at least 45 people in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency, tensions between the US and Pakistan once again threatened to overshadow the fight against militancy in the region, according to officials and analysts in the provincial capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“Relations are bad and will get worse and will take away from the war on terror,” warned Brig (retd) Mehmood Shah, a former security secretary of Fata.

The CIA-run drone programme and the minutiae of Pak-US relations are shrouded in secrecy, but analysts and officials were unanimous in their opinion about at least three matters.

One, Thursday’s drone strike killed many non-militant tribals, including khasadars, who had gathered to resolve a local dispute. Two, the strike was a deliberate and provocative message from the US to the Pakistan Army. Three, the domestic criticism of the army in the wake of the release of Raymond Davis has played some part in Gen Kayani’s condemnation of the drone strike.

The drone strikes in an open field in Nevi Adda Shega occurred when members of the Madakhel tribe had convened a jirga to decide a dispute over a chromite mine in the area. Khasadars (members of a lightly armed local police force) and some other local officials were also present at the site of the attack. Tariq Hayat, secretary law and order, Fata, confirmed the civilian and police casualties.

However, while many of those killed were local tribesmen and not necessarily militants, there is some uncertainty over the exact circumstances of the attack.

According to a senior analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect local sources, the drones had initially fired at a car carrying five militants very close to the jirga. Having missed the first time, the drones fired again, this time killing both the occupants of the car and many people on the ground.

A Fata official appeared to corroborate this version and mentioned “people passing by in the area” who may have been the actual target.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/19/pak-us-tensions-undermine-fight-against-terror.html

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Pak boycotts US talks over Drone fury

Chidanand Rajghatta,

Mar 19, 2011

WASHINGTON: Ties between United States and Pakistan continued to head south despite resolution of the spat over CIA contractor Raymond Davis with Islamabad announcing on Friday that it is boycotting a US-convened meeting on Afghanistan to express displeasure over drone attacks that killed 44 people on Thursday.

The multiple Predator attacks in North Waziristan, which came within hours of Davis' release on payment of "blood money" compensation to families of Pakistanis he allegedly killed, ignited a fury in Islamabad, with the country's de facto ruler Army Chief Pervez Asfaq Kayani and Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani angrily denouncing it in strong terms.

In a rare public outburst, Kayani described the drone attack as "intolerable" and "unjustified," and fumed that "in complete violation of human rights, such acts of violence take us away from our objective of elimination of terrorism."

A statement from the Pakistani military had Kayani saying, "It is highly regrettable that a jirga of peaceful citizens, including elders of the area, was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life." The Pakistan foreign office followed suit, calling the attack a "flagrant violation of all humanitarian rules and norms" before announcing it will not attend the US-Af-Pak talks scheduled next week in Brussels.

A flurry of diplomatic activity followed, with Pakistan's foreign office summoning the US ambassador in Islamabad, Cameron Munter, to deliver a formal protest, and asking its ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, to do the same with the State Department.

Pakistan claimed that the Drones attacked what was a routine tribal jirga where elders were meeting to resolve local disputes. According to one account, the meeting involved a pro-government jirga where many tribal elders had gathered to resolve a dispute over a chromite mine.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-boycotts-US-talks-over-Drone-fury/articleshow/7740462.cms

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Thousands protest against release of US shooter

Mar 19, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Thousands of people from various political parties and civil society groups on Friday staged countrywide protest rallies against the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis and demanded that government must disclose full details of the circumstances and terms under which the US shooter was freed.

Political and religious parties including the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI), the Sunni Ittehad, the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and others had called for peaceful protests across Pakistan againstthe release of Davis.

In major cities like Karachi, Lahore and Multan large crowds joined the protest demonstrations after the Friday prayers and raised anti-government and anti-US slogans. Police prevented demonstrators to march up to the US embassy in Islamabad and consulate in Lahore.

Cricketer-turned-politician, PTI chief Imran Khan accused Pakistani rulers of succumbing to the US pressure and bartering away national honour, dignity and sovereignty. He said the federal and Punjab governments and security agencies had conspired to facilitate the release by keeping the nation in the ark.

Imran vowed to launch civil disobedience movement to oust the corrupt political leadership.

The JI chief, Munawwar Hasan, accused President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League chief Nawaz Sharif of submitting to the American dictats at the cost of national interests.

He also accused Pakistani intelligence services of reaching a deal with the CIA for the US shooter’s freedom.

“(Our) rulers were fully part of the deal that led to Davis’ release,” he said. The government had declared ‘high alert’ across the country for at least a week because of apprehensions of subversive activities and also possible violence during protests by different groups. The US authorities in Pakistan also decided to close the embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar.

According to AFP, security was tight and the US embassy in Islamabad and its consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar were closed in anticipation of public anger.

Some 3,000 people rallied outside Islamabad’s Lal Masjid against the release of US national Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistanis in January.

The protesters chanted “Friends of the US are traitors”, “Down with America” and “Hang Zardari”, a reference to the unpopular president.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1046.xml&section=international&col=

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China expresses serious reservations

Ananth Krishnan

Mar 19, 2011

BEIJING: China on Friday said it had “serious reservations” over the Security Council's resolution .“We oppose the use of force in international relations and have some serious reservations with part of the resolution,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu.

China, along with India, was among a group of five countries in the 15-member Council that abstained from voting on the resolution. A 10-0 vote backed the resolution, which called for “all necessary measures [notwithstanding the previous arms embargo] to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”. The resolution also expressed the U.N.'s “grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties”.

The resolution, drafted by Britain, France and Lebanon, was also supported by the United

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/19/stories/2011031966101800.htm

 

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Indonesia issues red alert as volcano erupts

Mar 18, 2011

Jakarta : Indonesia issued a red alert on Friday after Mount Karangetang on the island of Sulawesi erupted, sending lava and searing gas clouds down its slopes, a volcanologist said.

"We raised the volcano's status to the highest red alert level today at 5:45 pm (local time) and ordered an evacuation in three villages on the slopes," government volcanologist Surono said.

He said that the 1,784-metre mountain on the sparsely-populated island off North Sulawesi oozed lava, heat clouds and debris reaching as far as 3,800 metres away down its slopes.

"The eruption is still going on and its current activity remains high," he said.

"The main threat is heat clouds that will be fatal for

people living in villages on the slope."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/764475/

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Strong protest lodged: Pakistan pulls out of Afghanistan meeting

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

Mar 19, 2011

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, right, shakes hand with US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, left, as the new US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, center, looks on prior their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, March 7, 2011. – Photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: The resolution of the crisis involving Raymond Davis should have brought about a substantial improvement in Pakistan’s relations with the US, but a new irritant — the drone attack that killed 45 people in North Waziristan on Thursday — has served to erode any goodwill that may have been generated by the departure of the CIA operative.

On Friday, Islamabad announced that it had decided to pull out of next week’s trilateral ministerial meeting between the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan in protest against the deadly attack on a jirga.

The tough message from Islamabad was delivered to US Ambassador Cameron Munter after he was summoned to the Foreign Office, where Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir handed over a demarche on the drone attack in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan.

This is the second time that a state has pulled out of the trilateral meeting, which had been rescheduled for March 26 in Brussels. Earlier, the US had pulled out of the meeting that was initially planned for February 23-25 in Washington because of a diplomatic standoff with Islamabad over the Davis issue.

Two days after the CIA operative’s release that followed a “re-definition of intelligence cooperation contours” in the words of security officials, Pakistan’s foreign ministry was suggesting that the fundamentals of the broader Pak-US ties be revisited.

“It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited,” Secretary Salman Bashir was quoted as having told Ambassador Munter.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/19/strong-protest-lodgedpakistan-pulls-out-of-afghanistan-meeting.html

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Terror threat to WC final, militants buy 17 tickets

Mar 19, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Centre has warned Maharashtra police about a possible terror plot to target the cricket World Cup final in Mumbai on April 2.

According to sources, intelligence agencies have claimed that they have specific inputs about 17 tickets being bought by possible terror suspects for the World Cup final, with the possible aim of sabotaging the game. The inputs say the plot is being planned as a joint operation between Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-e-Ahle-Sunnat.

While LeT's avowed strategy to attack India is well known, it is for the first time that a Barelvi group, perceived to be liberal compared to the Deobandi strand followed by LeT, is being cited as a possible organizer of a terrorist attack in India. It is also noticeable that the two groups, not known to share any common ideological ground, are collaborating on such an operation.

Jamaat-e-Ahle-Sunnat recently captured media attention when some 500 Islamic scholars assembled under its banner to express support to the killer of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer. They also advised Muslims not to offer funeral prayers for Taseer.

According to inputs gathered by security agencies, someone linked to this collaboration between LeT and the Barelvi group has bought 17 tickets for the final. A group is expected to travel from Bangladesh to Mumbai for the April 2 final at Wankhade Stadium with these 17 tickets, inputs show.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-threat-to-WC-final-militants-buy-17-tickets/articleshow/7740819.cms

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22 Indian fishermen held in Pakistan

Mar 19, 2011,

ISLAMABAD: At least 22 Indian fishermen have been taken into custody in Pakistan for allegedly violating the country's marine border, a media report said on Saturday.

Five boats belonging to the Indians were seized on Friday off the port city of Karachi, the Daily Times citing Pakistan's maritime security agency reported.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/22-Indian-fishermen-held-in-Pakistan/articleshow/7742073.cms

 

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Japan cites radiation in milk, spinach near plant

Mar 19, 2011,

TOKYO: Japan's top government spokesman says radiation levels in spinach and milk exceed safety limits following nuclear accidents at a tsunami-stricken nuclear plant.

Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said checks of milk from Fukushima prefecture, where the plant is located, and of spinach grown in Ibaraki, a neighboring prefecture, surpassed limits set by the government.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Japan-cites-radiation-in-milk-spinach-near-plant/articleshow/7742869.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/snipers-kill-46-yemeni-protesters;-state-of-emergency-declared/d/4310


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