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Islamic World News ( 24 Nov 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Taliban Celebrate Graduation of the Latest Brain-Washed Recruits















Local Malaysian women watch preparations for the re burial of remains believed to be those of ethnic Rohingya found at human trafficking camps. (AFPFile Photo)

 

Taliban Celebrate Graduation of the Latest Brain-Washed Recruits

Red Shirts Leader: Muslim Politicians Who Don’t Support Shariah Are Devils

Movement Afoot to Establish Islamic State in Indonesia: NU

Suicide Attack About 100km South Of Baghdad Leaves 100 Dead

Mujahid Factions in India Gear Up For Merger

 

South Asia

Taliban Celebrate Graduation of the Latest Brain-Washed Recruits

Myanmar Pursuing 'Ethnic Cleansing' Of Rohingya: UN

Taliban Leader among 4 Killed In Nangarhar Province

2 militants blown by own explosives in East of Afghanistan

Intelligence gaps may have helped Afghan Taliban breach NATO fortress

Dhaka will stand by Saudi to protect Makkah

Attacks on Hindus in Narail leave community in terror

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Southeast Asia

Red Shirts Leader: Muslim Politicians Who Don’t Support Shariah Are Devils

Movement Afoot to Establish Islamic State in Indonesia: NU

China Asks Xinjiang Residents to Surrender Passport

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim: Insufficient Islamic criminal lawyers for Shariah courts

Malaysia will not quit Suzuki Cup over Myanmar Rohingya crackdown

Sarawak BN MP denies betraying non-Muslims over Hadi’s Bill

Muslim men in Terengganu to face two-years’ jail for missing Friday prayers

Indonesians protest violence against Rohingya Muslims

Indonesia’s Got A Drinking Problem – Muslim Hardliners Who Want To Ban Alcohol

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Arab World

Suicide Attack About 100km South Of Baghdad Leaves 100 Dead

Over 30 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Deir Ezzur

Analysts: Terrorists in Eastern Aleppo to Surrender Soon

Army Kills Tens of Militants, Destroys Command Centres, Arms Caches in Hama, Idlib

Car bomb attack kills 8 soldiers in Egypt’s Sinai

US service member killed in blast in Syria

Gunmen kill at least 3 policemen in Egypt’s Sinai

Syrian migrants who named child Angela Merkel have asylum application rejected

Aleppo rebels agree UN aid plan; Russia, Syria yet to approve

Aleppo: Army Starts New Phase of Operations in Bostan al-Basha

Syria: Pro-Government Troops Continue Aleppo Operations in Two Fronts

Terrorists Heavily Defeated in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus

Damascus: Militants in Khan al-Sheih Destroy Own Bases, Military Equipment

Homs: Army Smashes ISIL Stronghold Near Al-Sha'er Oilfield, Heavily Storms Terrorists in Al-Mahr

Kurds, Shiite fighters to coordinate after sealing off Mosul

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India

Mujahid Factions in India Gear Up For Merger

Mistaken for a Muslim, Indian Man Brutally Beaten up in US Bar

India will not forget for generations if Pak launches surgical strikes: Gen Raheel

Fulfil promises to Muslims: Ram Naik

PIL seeking Darul Qazas’ closure junked

Army Jawan, two terrorists killed in ongoing encounter in Kashmir’s Bandipora: Reports

Militants attack police station in Kashmir

India lodges strong protest with Pakistan against repeated ceasefire violations

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Africa

ISIS Expands into the Sahel, Africa’s Migration Hub

Boko Haram Jihadists Kill Five in Nigeria, Say Villagers

Somalia: Allied forces recapture a key town from Al Shabaab

Al Shabaab terror alert issued in Coast after leaked intelligence report

Why Muslims should lead peaceful nation campaign

Two Nigerian Soldiers Dead, Four Injured In Boko Haram Attack

British government defends its role in Libya campaign

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Europe

Europe Faces Threats of 2008 Mumbai-Style Terror Attacks

Terror Gang Was Set To Hit Paris on Dec 1: Source

Russia censures US call for ban on Syria-bound fuel tankers

Refugees clash with police, set fire to Bulgaria’s largest camp

Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam not put on terrorist list due to West’s position — diplomat

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Pakistan

Pakistan’s Sindh Passes Bill to Prevent Forced Conversions

Miscreants Blow Up Govt-Run School for Boys in Mohmand Agency

Ex Army Chief Calls For Negotiations with Taliban

Government incentives boost Islamic banks

PTI concerned over Qatari royal family’s visit to Pakistan

JUI-F to hold Peghame Islam conference

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Mideast

Yemen: Coalition Raids Kill Seven Houthi Militias

Turkey PM warns Europe: Cutting off ties would bring ‘flood’ of migrants

Two killed in bomb attack in southern Turkey

Blast kills two at governor’s office in Turkey

Turkish army blames Syria regime for deadly strike

UN, GCC concern over ‘missing’ Iranian N-device

Turkish Army Launches Heavy Attacks on Syrian Army in Lattakia

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North America

Boy, 5, Assaulted By Teacher in US For ‘Being Muslim’

US man gets 20-yr prison for IS-linked attack plot

Trump administration will hopefully separate terrorists from moderates – Syrian opposition rep to RT

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/taliban-celebrate-graduation-of-the-latest-brain-washed-recruits/d/109198

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Taliban celebrate graduation of the latest brain-washed recruits

Nov 25 2016

The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan released several photographs which purportedly show the graduation of scores of new brain-washed recruits as the group has been unleashing deadly attacks across the country since the regime was toppled down in 2001.

The group released the latest propaganda photographs amid reports that the leadership of the group is considering options to resume peace talks with the Afghan government and foreigners.

According to the group, the pictures were taken during the training of the militants in Khalid Bin Walid Training Camp, showing the Taliban fighters brandishing weapons and taking part in target practice.

The camouflaged militants appearing in the photographs are believed to have undergone a  45-day training course in the camp to learn military skills and strict implementation of Sharia law.

According to a statement released by the group “150 graduates had ‘shone brightly on the battlefields and have been touted by military commanders for their military skill.”

This comes as the Haqqani terrorist network released a similar video late last year which purportedly showed a training camp run by the terror group along with advertisements of the Taliban group’s relationship with al Qaeda terrorist network.

The network leaders assumed key posts following the death of Taliban found and Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The Haqqani terrorist network is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September 2011.

Haqqani network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist organizations in the region.

The network is considered the most lethal insurgent group targeting the NATO-led coalition security forces and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan.

The US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012.

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-celebrate-graduation-of-the-latest-brain-washed-recruits-02358

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Red Shirts Leader: Muslim Politicians Who Don’t Support Shariah Are Devils

November 24, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Red Shirts movement leader Jamal Yunos today reprimanded Muslim lawmakers who either did not support the proposed amendments to the PAS-proposed shariah bill or made fun of it.

“They are devils,” Jamal said in a statement today.

The Sungai Besar Umno division chief went on to express his support for the bill, which was tabled – albeit a tweaked version – earlier today by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

While the amendments would be explained at the next Parliament sitting, among the proposals is increasing the jail term, fine and lashes for offenders.

“I pray the amendments will be supported by all lawmakers, especially the Muslim ones, as it will benefit the community in Malaysia,” Jamal said.

While some quarters argue that it is the duty of Muslims to support the bill, there is a segment of politicians who oppose the controversial bill.

Chief among them is former Umno minister Zaid Ibrahim who had two days ago penned an open letter to lawmakers , cautioning them on the proposed amendments to the shariah law, claiming it will cause “grave and untold” suffering to Malay-Muslims.

In October, Zaid advised non-Muslims not to be nonchalant about proposed amendments, arguing that it would have a great impact on the lives of the people, including how they dressed and what they could do.

Yesterday, Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem directed the 25 BN MPs in the state, including those who were Muslim, not to support the bill.

DAP’s Zairil Khir Johari, meanwhile, had earlier this year said the bill would further divide society and suppress the personal liberty of Muslims.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/11/24/jamal-muslim-politicians-who-dont-support-shariah-are-devils/

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Movement Afoot to Establish Islamic State in Indonesia: NU

Nov 24, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesia's biggest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, has warned that the real danger in the blasphemy allegation against Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is that certain groups might claim it as a reason to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia.

"This [case] indicates the presence of groups that want to turn the republic into an Islamic state. This is a serious threat and very dangerous," Rumadi Ahmad, the head of NU's educational division, said during a seminar in Jakarta on Wednesday (23/11).

Rumadi claimed these groups choose to deny Indonesia's secular roots and do not believe in the Pancasila — the country's official ideology.

"We shouldn't be worried about the blasphemy allegation, we should be worried about these groups," Rumadi said.

According to him, the Nov. 4 anti-Ahok protest was a show of force by these groups, and indicated their increasing confidence.

Rumadi stressed the importance of recognizing and tolerating diversity, which Indonesia's founding fathers had put to good use to unite so many ethnic and religious communities in the country.

"Back then, diversity was the one thing that unites us. Now some people are trying to use it to divide people. This is extremely dangerous," Rumadi said.

http://jakartaglobe.id/news/movement-afoot-establish-islamic-state-indonesia-nu/

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Suicide Attack About 100km South Of Baghdad Leaves 100 Dead

Nov 24, 2016

BAGHDAD: A suicide truck bomb on Thursday killed about 100 people, most of them Iranian pilgrims, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla, about 100km south of Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

The militant Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement.

The pilgrims were en route back to Iran from Karbala, where they had commemorated Arbaeen, the medical sources said.

The gas station has a restaurant on its premises that is popular with travellers. Five pilgrim buses were torched by the force of the blast from the explosives-laden truck, a police official said.

IS claims responsibility for the assault

Many Iranian nationals — the largest contingent of foreigners at the Arbaeen pilgrimage that ended on Monday — were among the victims, the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said. The attack took place near a village called Shomali.

“At least seven buses with pilgrims were inside the petrol station at the time,” a senior police said. “Those buses were loaded with Iranians, Bahrainis and Iraqis. Ambulances and civil defence are on their way to the site,” a police intelligence source said. A Shomali resident said the petrol station is located on the main motorway between Baghdad and the southern port city of Basra. “There were Iranians but also lots of people from Basra and Nasiriyah,” Mousa Omran said, referring to another southern city. Between 17 and 20 million people visited Karbala, home to the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Husain.

The days-long final phase of the pilgrimage sees huge numbers of pilgrims walk long distances to reach Karbala. According to the Iraqi authorities, around three million Iranians were among this year’s visitors. Many of them stay a few days longer to visit the shrine city. Iraq’s security forces were on high alert for the duration of the pilgrimage, seen as a major potential target for IS.

The militant organisation, which is currently trying to defend its last major Iraqi bastion of Mosul against a massive offensive, has claimed countless such bombings. According to analysts, IS has intensified attacks over the past month in areas out of its control in efforts to weaken the US-backed offensive launched on Oct 17 to retake Mosul.

In a statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, the group said a bomber “blew up his vehicle amidst their assembly, inflicting among them more than 200 killed and wounded, including Iranians”.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2016

http://www.dawn.com/news/1298483/suicide-attack-leaves-100-dead-in-iraq

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Mujahid Factions in India Gear Up For Merger

NOVEMBER 24, 2016

The two rival groups of the Mujahid establishment in the State, which split vertically 14 years ago on ideological and personal issues, are coming together. The unification is likely to be formally announced next week.

Several challenges confronting the Muslim community in recent times such as the Uniform Civil Code, suspected case of Muslim youths joining Islamic State militants and the Centre’s move against the Islamic preacher Zakir Naik seem to have compelled the factions to sink their differences.

Merger talks between the main group, Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen (KNM) led by T.P. Abdulla Koya Madani, and the breakaway faction, Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen (Markazu-DHAVA) led by Hussain Madavoor, are under way. A general council meeting of office-bearers of affiliated outfits of the official faction, which met in Kozhikode a couple of days ago, endorsed the decision for unification talks with the splinter group, it is learnt.

Convention on Sunday

Sources said that a full-scale convention to be participated by 5,000 functionaries at the district and branch levels would be held at Perinthalmanna on Sunday. Likewise, the working committee of the KNM (Markazu-DHAVA), which met early this month, had also approved the move. This would be followed up by a council meeting in Kozhikode on Sunday. However, no talks would be held at this stage with another breakaway faction, Wisdom Group, which holds sway among a section in Gulf countries, the sources said.

The split in 2002 resulted in both the factions establishing their own mosques, educational institutions, including Arabic colleges, madrasas, and relief centres.

Five prominent members from each faction would lead the merger talks in the coming days. Prominent leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League had taken the merger initiatives earlier as the majority of the Mujahid sect showed an affinity towards the Muslim League.

Reacting to the development, writer and political commentator Hameed Chennamangaloor said ideologically both the factions of Mujahid functioned on the similar plane. Personality clashes and financial issues were the major problems that led to the split, he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/Mujahid-factions-gear-up-for-merger/article16695402.ece

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South Asia

 

Myanmar pursuing 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya: UN

Nov 25, 2016

TEKNAF, BANGLADESH: Myanmar is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims, a UN official has reportedly said, as horrifying stories of gang rape, torture and murder emerge from among the thousands who have fled to Bangladesh.

Up to 30,000 of the impoverished ethnic group have abandoned their homes in Myanmar to escape the unfolding violence, the UN says, after troops poured into the narrow strip where they live earlier this month.

John McKissick, head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar, told the BBC that troops were "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river" into Bangladesh.

Dhaka has resisted urgent international appeals to open its border to avert a humanitarian crisis, instead telling Myanmar it must do more to prevent the stateless Rohingya minority from entering.

"It's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further encourage the government of Myanmar to continue the atrocities and push them out until they have achieved their ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar," McKissick said.

A spokesman for Myanmar President Htin Kyaw slammed the comments.

''I would like to question the professionalism and ethics which should be followed and respected by UN staff. He should speak based on concrete and true facts, he shouldn't make accusations," Zaw Htay told AFP.

It's not the first time such claims have been made against Myanmar.

In April 2013 Human Rights Watch said it was conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya- an accusation rejected by then president Thein Sein as a "smear campaign".

But the scale of human suffering was becoming clear on Thursday, as desperate people like Mohammad Ayaz told how troops attacked his village and killed his pregnant wife.

Cradling his two-year-old son, he said troops killed at least 300 men in the village market and gang-raped dozens of women before setting fire to around 300 houses, Muslim-owned shops and the mosque where he served as imam.

"They shot dead my wife, Jannatun Naim. She was 25 and seven months pregnant. I took refuge at a canal with my two-year-old son, who was hit by a rifle butt," Ayaz told AFP.

Ayaz sold his watch and shoes to pay for the journey and has taken shelter at a camp for unregistered Rohingya refugees.

Many of those seeking shelter say they walked for days and used rickety boats to cross into Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of registered Rohingya refugees have been living for decades.

The Rohingya are loathed by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar who see them as illegal immigrants and call them "Bengali", even though many have lived there for generations.

Most live in impoverished western Rakhine state, but are denied citizenship and smothered by restrictions on movement and work.

As the crisis deepened, Bangladesh said Wednesday it had summoned Myanmar's ambassador to express "deep concern".

"Despite our border guards' sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross (the) border into Bangladesh," it said.

"Thousands more have been reported to be gathering at the border crossing."

Since the latest violence flared up, Bangladesh border guards have intensified patrols and coast guards have deployed extra ships. Officials say they have stopped around a thousand Rohingya at the border since Monday.

Farmer Deen Mohammad was among the thousands who evaded the patrols, sneaking into the Bangladeshi border town of Teknaf four days ago with his wife, two of their children and three other families.

"They (Myanmar's military) took my two boys, aged nine and 12 when they entered my village. I don't know what happened to them," Mohammad, 50, told AFP.

"They took women in rooms and then locked them from inside. Up to 50 women and girls of our village were tortured and raped."

Mohammad said houses in his village were burned, echoing similar testimony from other recent arrivals.

Human Rights Watch said this week it had identified more than 1,000 houses in Rohingya villages that had been razed in northwestern Myanmar using satellite images.

TEKNAF, BANGLADESH: Myanmar is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims, a UN official has reportedly said, as horrifying stories of gang rape, torture and murder emerge from among the thousands who have fled to Bangladesh.

Up to 30,000 of the impoverished ethnic group have abandoned their homes in Myanmar to escape the unfolding violence, the UN says, after troops poured into the narrow strip where they live earlier this month.

John McKissick, head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar, told the BBC that troops were "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river" into Bangladesh.

Dhaka has resisted urgent international appeals to open its border to avert a humanitarian crisis, instead telling Myanmar it must do more to prevent the stateless Rohingya minority from entering.

"It's very difficult for the Bangladeshi government to say the border is open because this would further encourage the government of Myanmar to continue the atrocities and push them out until they have achieved their ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar," McKissick said.

A spokesman for Myanmar President Htin Kyaw slammed the comments.

''I would like to question the professionalism and ethics which should be followed and respected by UN staff. He should speak based on concrete and true facts, he shouldn't make accusations," Zaw Htay told AFP.

It's not the first time such claims have been made against Myanmar.

In April 2013 Human Rights Watch said it was conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya- an accusation rejected by then president Thein Sein as a "smear campaign".

But the scale of human suffering was becoming clear on Thursday, as desperate people like Mohammad Ayaz told how troops attacked his village and killed his pregnant wife.

Cradling his two-year-old son, he said troops killed at least 300 men in the village market and gang-raped dozens of women before setting fire to around 300 houses, Muslim-owned shops and the mosque where he served as imam.

"They shot dead my wife, Jannatun Naim. She was 25 and seven months pregnant. I took refuge at a canal with my two-year-old son, who was hit by a rifle butt," Ayaz told AFP.

Ayaz sold his watch and shoes to pay for the journey and has taken shelter at a camp for unregistered Rohingya refugees.

Many of those seeking shelter say they walked for days and used rickety boats to cross into Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of registered Rohingya refugees have been living for decades.

The Rohingya are loathed by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar who see them as illegal immigrants and call them "Bengali", even though many have lived there for generations.

Most live in impoverished western Rakhine state, but are denied citizenship and smothered by restrictions on movement and work.

As the crisis deepened, Bangladesh said Wednesday it had summoned Myanmar's ambassador to express "deep concern".

"Despite our border guards' sincere effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross (the) border into Bangladesh," it said.

"Thousands more have been reported to be gathering at the border crossing."

Since the latest violence flared up, Bangladesh border guards have intensified patrols and coast guards have deployed extra ships. Officials say they have stopped around a thousand Rohingya at the border since Monday.

Farmer Deen Mohammad was among the thousands who evaded the patrols, sneaking into the Bangladeshi border town of Teknaf four days ago with his wife, two of their children and three other families.

"They (Myanmar's military) took my two boys, aged nine and 12 when they entered my village. I don't know what happened to them," Mohammad, 50, told AFP.

"They took women in rooms and then locked them from inside. Up to 50 women and girls of our village were tortured and raped."

Mohammad said houses in his village were burned, echoing similar testimony from other recent arrivals.

Human Rights Watch said this week it had identified more than 1,000 houses in Rohingya villages that had been razed in northwestern Myanmar using satellite images.

Police on Wednesday detained 70 Rohingya, including women and children, who they say will be sent back across the border.

"They handcuffed even young girls and children and then took them away with a view to pushing them back to Myanmar," said one community leader who asked not to be named, adding they faced "certain death" if made to return.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Myanmar-pursuing-ethnic-cleansing-of-Rohingya-UN/articleshow/55612651.cms

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Taliban leader among 4 killed in Nangarhar province

Nov 25 2016

A commander of the Taliban group was among at least four militants killed during clashes and military operations in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said a commander of the Taliban group identified as Ghorzang was killed during a clash with the security forces in Hesarak district.

The statement further added that two more militants were also wounded during the clashes.

According to the provincial police commandment, at least two militants were killed when an explosive device went off prematurely in the same district.

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

This comes as the Afghan security forces arrested the explosives expert of the Taliban group in this province last month.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-leader-among-4-killed-in-nangarhar-province-02360

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2 militants blown by own explosives in East of Afghanistan

Nov 25 2016

At least two militants were killed in an explosion triggered by own explosives in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment said the incident took place in Ghani Khel district on Thursday, leaving two militants dead and two others wounded.

A commander of the militants identified as Lal Mohammad was also among those killed in the explosion.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Nangarhar is among the relatively peaceful provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militants including the Taliban insurgents and loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are actively operating in a number of its remote districts.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/2-militants-blown-by-own-explosives-in-east-of-afghanistan-02359

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Intelligence gaps may have helped Afghan Taliban breach NATO fortress

November 24, 2016

In the year before Qari Naib blew himself up on Nov. 12 inside a NATO base near Kabul killing four Americans, Afghan intelligence warned the US military at least twice that a worker could be planning an attack, government and security officials said.

The Afghan officials also said they repeatedly asked Western forces to share information about local employees at the vast Bagram air base in order to check for "suspicious people among them", but were refused.

When asked about the information sharing, NATO spokesman Captain William Salvin said NATO forces "routinely partner with ANDSF (Afghan National Defence and Security Forces) on all elements of security, to include information sharing.

"We maintain a strong, day-to-day working relationship with our Afghan counterparts but due to operational security we do not get into specifics about what is shared."

According to Afghan authorities, the US military was cooperating closely now.

"After this attack, American forces have agreed to share that information about their Afghan workers with us," said Wahid Sediqqi, the governor's spokesman for Parwan province where the sprawling, heavily fortified base is located.

Authorities subsequently discovered that Naib, a known Taliban militant before undergoing a government de-radicalization program, was using a fake name, Qari Enayat, at work.

Many intelligence leads turn out to be false and it is not clear whether better coordination would have unearthed Naib's true intentions in time to prevent him killing two US soldiers and two contractors and wounding at least 15 others, in one of the worst assaults on US forces for years.

But the first attack inside one of NATO's most secure bases has raised questions about Western forces' screening of local workers and about program designed to reintegrate insurgents into society.

The insider attack has also further complicated operations in a country where the Afghan Taliban, al Qaeda and, more recently, a local offshoot of Islamic State, are inflicting heavy casualties and making more territory unsafe.

Since the Bagram attack, the base has been in near-lockdown, with few Afghan workers now permitted inside.

Only 200 of an estimated 3,000 Afghans are believed to be allowed to return to work for now, police in Bagram said.

SUCCESS STORY

Until Nov. 12, Naib would have been seen as a success story for Afghanistan, which has tried to turn militants away from the stubborn insurgency that is bent on toppling the government and ridding the country of foreign troops.

"He was a former Taliban ... working inside the base for a long time, gained their trust, and based on that trust he carried out this attack," said Sediqqi.

In early 2012, after signing up for the reintegration program, Naib enrolled in a nine-month course at the Korean Vocational Training Center inside Bagram base, learning English, computer skills and how to fix cars.

Like most students at the center, Naib was offered a job straight away.

After going through security checks, including finger prints and biometrics to make sure he was not involved in past crimes, Naib started working for Texas-based Fluor Corp (FLR.N) as a car mechanic at the base, members of his family told Reuters on a recent visit to his modest home a short walk from the base.

Fluor Corp. said he was hired by one of its subcontractors.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2016/intelligence-gaps-may-have-helped-afghan-taliban-breach-nato-fortress

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Dhaka will stand by Saudi to protect Makkah

November 24, 2016

Bangladesh will stand by the Saudi Arabian government to defend the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah at all costs, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi has said.

“The Kingdom has stood with Bangladesh in good and bad times and we have an obligation to safeguard the holy places not only as a friendly country, but also as a Muslim country to protect our Ummah,” Arab news reported quoting the envoy.

Speaking on Bangladesh Armed Forces Day yesterday, the envoy said: “The day reminds us of the unique examples of selfless sacrifices that the undaunted members of our armed forces and freedom fighters played during the war of liberation in 1971.”

He described it as a rare demonstration of the highest sense of patriotism, dedication and indomitable spirit of liberating the motherland under the dynamic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who is fondly remembered as the Father of the Nation.

Bangladesh will continue to contribute actively to international peace by advocating for the renunciation of the use of force, and for universal and complete disarmament as enshrined in the constitution, he concluded.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/dhaka-will-stand-saudi-protect-makkah-1319863

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Attacks on Hindus in Narail leave community in terror

Sultan Mahmood

November 25, 2016

In a spree of countrywide communal violence, the Hindus of Narail, the district famous for one of the greatest painters in the sub-continent SM Sultan, have faced such attacks three times since May.

Around 200 Hindu families of Palpara at Kundashi village in Lohagora upazila of the district had already been passing their days with fear and anxiety, as miscreants set fire to some of their houses on May 23 and then on November 3.

After the latest attack on early Wednesday, while miscreants torched the cattle shed, haystack and a warehouse of Nirod Paul and the haystacks of Paritosh Pal and Profullah Pal, burning two cows of Nirod alive, around 800 Hindu people of the village have become panic-striken.

Dipak Kumar Das, 54, teacher at Lohagora Pilot School and president of Dakshin Palpara Brahmman Kundashi Durga Puja Committee, said: “After the latest attack, we dare not go outside of our homes when the evening approaches. We cannot sleep at night fearing more attacks.”

Eighty-five years old Asha Rani Pal of the village said she could not sleep at night in fear of more attacks.

Another resident of Palpara Shibu Kumar Pal, 45, accountant of Kashinani College at Kashinani upazila of Gopalganj district, said his house came under attack on May 23 and since then they had been living with fear.

“If the law enforcers took proper steps after the first attack on May, we would not face the attacks two times this month,” said Shibu.

Tapan Pal and Mahananda Pal of the village said they required a regular police patrol in the village.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/11/25/attacks-hindus-narail-leave-community-terror/

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Southeast Asia

 

China asks Xinjiang residents to surrender passport

Nov 24, 2016

BEIJING: China has ordered all residents in its Muslim-majority Xinjiang province to surrender their passports in a bid to "maintain social order" and prevent them from moving abroad, days after the Communist nation tightened rules to suppress religious freedom in the restive region.

The northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has tightened passport regulations, requiring all residents to hand in their passports to local police for examination and management, state-run Global Times reported today.

All citizens in Aksu prefecture are required to hand their passports - private or official - to local police stations, the daily reported quoting an anonymous police officer.

"Anyone who needs the passport must apply to the police station," the official said, adding that the new passport management policy is implemented throughout Xinjiang.

The Public Security Bureau in Shihezi city gave the same directive last month saying it was for "annual examination" purposes. "Those who refuse to hand in their passports should bear the responsibility themselves if they are forbidden from going abroad," the directive said.

A resident from Kashar city, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), told the daily she received a call asking her to hand over her passport to police. She said her husband's passport application was denied by the police a few days ago.

A local official told the daily that Xinjiang government had loosened control over residents' passports in 2015. The new policy is aimed at maintaining social order, he said.

The latest directive follows an order reported yesterday, requiring all residents to report to authorities all religious activities, including circumcision, weddings and funerals.

Getting a passport is often complicated and takes more time in Xinjiang than in other provinces, given the increased threat of terrorism in the region and the government's ongoing anti-terrorism campaign, an official in the province said.

The passport policy also comes amid steady migration of Uyghurs, Turkik-speaking Muslims to Turkey and other nations.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-asks-Xinjiang-residents-to-surrender-passport/articleshow/55600747.cms

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Datuk Zaid Ibrahim: Insufficient Islamic criminal lawyers for Shariah courts

November 25, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 ― Malaysia does not have enough Islamic criminal lawyers to ensure justice for all if a parliamentary motion to enhance the Shariah courts’ punitive powers is passed, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim claimed.

The former de facto law minister is openly opposed to enabling the Islamic courts to pass out stiffer penalties and argued that the basic legal structures have not been met to support PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s proposal.

“I also want to remind these Muslim lawyers that we do not have enough peguam syarie (Shariah lawyers) specialising in criminal matters for those who can afford them,” he wrote in his latest blog post.

He pointed out that unlike the practice in civil courts, there is no central qualifying board to regulate sharie lawyers across the board here.

“Also, peguam syarie are accepted at the state level — if you are one in Kelantan, it does not mean that you automatically qualify to practise in Terengganu,” said Zaid who used to own the largest legal practice in the country.

In Malaysia, Islamic matters fall under state jurisdiction. This includes approval for legal practising permits.

The former Kota Baru MP was also sceptical that the state Islamic authorities would allow lawyers who hold a “liberal view” to practise or to defend “deviants”, and cited the example of the late Ariffin Mohammed, better known as Ayah Pin.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/zaid-ibrahim-insufficient-islamic-criminal-lawyers-for-shariah-courts

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Malaysia will not quit Suzuki Cup over Myanmar Rohingya crackdown

25 Nov 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia decided on Friday to carry on with a regional soccer tournament co-hosted by Myanmar, days after a Malaysian minister said it was considering pulling out in protest against Myanmar's bloody crackdown on ethnic Rohingya Muslims.

The decision came amid growing calls for Muslim-majority Malaysia to take a strong position and as protesters held simultaneous rallies on Friday in three Southeast Asian countries against Buddhist-majority Myanmar's actions in Rakhine state.

A withdrawal by Malaysia from the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, which began on Saturday, would have run counter to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations' long-standing policy of non-interference in other members' affairs.

"The cabinet decided today that we should proceed with our match tomorrow," Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told reporters before attending Friday prayers.

Khairy said on Wednesday that he had asked the cabinet at a pervious meeting about withdrawing from the tournament, and that Malaysia "must continue to speak up" regardless of the decision on Friday.

His comments were in response to a call by a Malaysian Islamic cleric for Malaysia to pull out of the tournament, which started on Saturday and is co-hosted by the Philippines.

The conflict in Myanmar's northwestern state of Rakhine has sent hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh and poses a serious challenge to Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who swept to power last year on promises of national reconciliation.

Escalating violence has reportedly killed at least 86 people and displaced some 30,000. Myanmar soldiers have also been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women from the persecuted minority.

Full report at:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-will-not-quit-suzuki-cup-over-myanmar-rohingya/3317510.html

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Sarawak BN MP denies betraying non-Muslims over Hadi’s Bill

November 25, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 ― Sarawak federal lawmaker Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing asserted that he has not “betrayed” non-Muslims by refusing to condemn a controversial move to strengthen the Islamic courts’ punitive powers.

The Bintulu MP who is also president of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), asserted that he was merely telling others to consider PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s proposal to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.

“All parties should carefully and rationally view this private Bill aimed to increase the punishment imposed in Syariah Court, it has nothing to do with implementation of Hudud law,” he was quoted by The Borneo Post today as saying in a statement.

He said his party did not join in the condemnation of the Bill because Abdul Hadi had only “expressed a wish” to amend the Shariah courts powers, adding that party leaders did not believe in judging his Bill prematurely.

“We must also respect the will of the Muslims if what are proposed in the amendment of the Syariah Act do not affect non-Muslims.

“I stress that I have not betrayed any religion and ignore the interests of non-Muslims,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sarawak-bn-mp-denies-betraying-non-muslims-over-hadis-bill

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Muslim men in Terengganu to face two-years’ jail for missing Friday prayers

November 25, 2016

KUALA TERENGGANU, Nov 25 ― Muslim men who do not perform Friday prayers in Terengganu will face a maximum fine of RM3,000 or two years' jail.

This followed the passing of the Bill to amend the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) 2001 by the state assembly, here yesterday.

Apart from amendments to Section 16, other amendments involved Section 19 on failure to respect Ramadan and Section 53 on harassing women in public places.              

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/muslim-men-in-terengganu-to-face-two-years-jail-for-missing-friday-prayers

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Indonesians protest violence against Rohingya Muslims

24.11.2016

By Ainur Rohmah

TUBAN, Indonesia

Hundreds of Indonesians took to the streets in Jakarta and other cities Thursday to protest against reported rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims during a military crackdown in Myanmar.

In the capital, demonstrators gathered in front of the presidential palace and Myanmar embassy carrying banners saying “Save the Rohingya Muslims”, “Myanmar, Stop Muslim Cleansing!” and “Stop Genocide against Rohingya.”

Over the past six weeks, rights groups have expressed concern over reports of killings, rapes, arbitrary arrests and other violations in villages predominantly occupied by Rohingya in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine State amid military operations launched after fatal attacks on police stations Oct. 9.

They have called for independent investigations into the initial attacks, ongoing operations and reported rights abuses in the area, which has been under military lockdown ever since.

Dian Hardiana, a coordinator of the protest in Bandung City in West Java, said Thursday that even though they live in a different country, Indonesian citizens have great empathy toward the stateless Rohingya.

"Although geographically separated, our hearts are one. Because in fact, fellow Muslims are brothers," Hardiana was quoted as saying by detik.com.

Several organizations -- including Big Family of Islamic Unity, commonly known as Persis -- joined the gathering, carrying posters reading “Save Rohingya, Cut Diplomatic Relations between Indonesia and Myanmar”, “Revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's Nobel” and “Drag Myanmar to the Human Rights Court”.

Protesters called for the Myanmar military’s leaders and all parties accused of violations against Rohingya to be brought before international courts in The Hague.

They also urged international bodies -- such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation -- to protect the Rohingya community and uphold their rights.

On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Natsir expressed Indonesia’s hopes that the Myanmar government would be able to restore calm to the country soon.

"We also emphasize the protection of human rights to all communities, including the Islamic minority in Rakhine," he said in a statement quoted by kompas.com.

Rohingya groups, however, claim that the number of civilians killed in one weekend alone earlier this month could be as high as 150.

On Monday, the government said that at least 430 people have also been detained for alleged involvement in the initial attacks, along with subsequent alleged attacks on military conducting clearance operations in the area.

Full report at:

http://aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/indonesians-protest-violence-against-rohingya-muslims/692456

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Indonesia’s Got A Drinking Problem – Muslim Hardliners Who Want To Ban Alcohol

19 NOV 2016

In all my half-century of drinking, I have only once encountered a pub with no beer. Ironically, that was the Macbeth Arms in the small Scottish village of Lumphanan, where my hallowed ancestor was slain by Malcolm III in 1057.

There was a reason, of course. It was inconveniently closed for renovations.

Imagine my horror then, when on a road trip along the northern Java coast to cover Indonesia’s 2014 presidential elections, I inadvertently stopped for the night at what turned out to be a TOWN with no beer.

Demak (Pop: 33,700), the site of one of Indonesia’s oldest mosques, is one of a growing number of towns and cities across populous Java that have quietly banned the sale of alcohol.

The next could well be Surabaya, the country’s third largest metropolis. But Muslim hardliners, who since the birth of the democratic era have nibbled away at Indonesia’s secular traditions, want to take it further and introduce prohibition nationwide.

If Indonesia was ever to shoot itself in the foot, this is it. Not only would it kill off the tourism industry and deter outside investors, but it might well trigger a rebellion on the resort island of Bali where foreign holidaymakers are its economic lifeblood.

President Joko Widodo’s government and hardline parliamentary holdouts appear hopelessly deadlocked over the issue, which is both good news and bad news for tipplers.

On one side is a draft statute, sponsored by three parties, two of them with Islamist credentials, called the Alcohol Prohibition Bill. On the other side is a draft statute, unveiled by the Trade Ministry last December, known as the Alcohol Regulation Bill.

The good, bad and ugly sides to Bali

Neither side can get past that basic difference. As their titles imply, one seeks to ban alcohol altogether, the other simply wants to regulate what is already a heavily-regulated industry.

Only 30 per cent of the special committee reviewing the two pieces of legislation is in favour of prohibition. But in a country hidebound by a consensus-minded political culture, that’s enough to keep it alive and drinkers on tenterhooks.

Giving in to Muslim hardliners of any stripe would be the ultimate injustice for a four million-strong Hindu population that has already suffered enough from the after-effects of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 terrorist bombings.

It is unlikely the prohibition legislation will be dropped. That’s not the way it works in Indonesia. “They won’t come out and reject it,” one legislator told me, as we arranged an after-work drink. “But they can just forget it.”

Prescribing jail terms from three months to 10 years, depending on whether it is for producing, distributing or consuming alcohol, it is a mystery why parliament thought the bill should be treated as “urgent” in the first place.

But Indonesian politicians, perhaps the most corrupt of their species on the planet, have always liked to prioritise issues that impinge on people’s freedoms. Not even the dictatorial former president Suharto did that. In this case, the deliberations are going on at the very time the government has been spending tens of millions of dollars on a television advertising campaign in a concerted effort to attract more visitors.

How Bali’s winemakers are battling Islamisation – and sour grapes

Jakarta has already sought to revoke hundreds of discriminative provincial bylaws, some of which outlaw alcohol sales, because of the effect they have been having on investment and development.

Full report at:

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2047366/indonesias-got-drinking-problem-muslim-hardliners-who-want-ban

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Arab World

 

Over 30 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Deir Ezzur

Nov 24, 2016

The Syrian army forces targeted the ISIL bases in al-Roshdiyeh and al-Sana'iyeh districts and al-Jafra village in the Eastern parts of Deir Ezzur killing over 20 terrorists and blewing up their weapons and ammunition.

The Syrian soldiers stationed in Deir Ezzur airbase also clashed with the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern side of the airbase, leaving 10 militants dead.

Also in response to the terrorists' attempts to attack the military parts of al-Jafra in the Southeastern side of Deir Ezzur, the army units inflicted heavy casualties on them and destroyed three of their military vehicles.

The Syrian forces also targeted an ISIL military vehicle in Hawija al-Sakar-al-Jafra passage, Southeast of Deir Ezzur, with missiles which smashed the vehicle and killed or wounded all the militants inside.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army troops had also clashed with ISIL terrorists near al-Thardah mountain and Deir Ezzur airbase, inflicting major casualties on the militants.

The army men engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL near al-Thardah mountain Southwest of Deir Ezzur city, while other units of the army engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists near the Airbase South of the city.

Fighting has been underway between the army men and ISIL terrorists in al-Thardah mountain and South of the airbase ever since the US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian army positions near Deir Ezzur two months ago.

In the meantime, the army men repelled ISIL's attack to capture al-Jafrah to arrive at the Eastern gate of Deir Ezzur airbase.    

Based on the latest reports from the battlefields, most clashes are underway in areas South and Southeast of Deir Ezzur airbase.

ISIL intends to take control of the airbase to multiply its pressure on army troops in Deir Ezzur city as its capture of the airbase would cut off dispatch of fresh soldiers and equipment by the army to Deir Ezzur city.

Currently, the Syrian soldiers can only receive government's supplies from air.

The army's distance to the government forces' closest base in Palmyra, East of Homs province, is around 160 kilometers.

In order to lift ISIL's siege of Deir Ezzur, the army should drive the ISIL out of the towns of Arak and al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000177

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Analysts: Terrorists in Eastern Aleppo to Surrender Soon

Nov 24, 2016

The military analysts and field sources told al-Watan daily that battlefield information after the Syrian army and its allies' massive attacks in Aleppo show that "the terrorists will soon be forced to surrender and their positions will fall one after another since they have lost a large number of their commanders and members as well as arms caches and can no more resist against the Syrian troops' offensives; this is while their regional allies have also withdrawn their support for them".

"Meantime, the residents of Eastern Aleppo districts continue to stage protest rallies against the terrorists, demanding their exit," the analysts said, adding that they have even mounted pictures of President Bashar al-Assad on their walls.

Local sources in Eastern Aleppo have also reported that the terrorists have lost confidence in their commanders after their repeated unfulfilled promises on breaking the army's siege and their morale has weakened after heavy defeats and sustaining abundant casualties and damages.

After continued defeats and nearly two months of insistence on remaining in the city and rejecting the army's several chances to leave Eastern Aleppo with their weapons, terrorists are now facing the realities of war as their comrades' massive attacks on the city to break the army's several-month-long siege have all ended up in fiasco.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000426

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Army Kills Tens of Militants, Destroys Command Centers, Arms Caches in Hama, Idlib

Nov 24, 2016

The Syrian army forces attacked the militants' positions and supply routes in the villages and towns of Murek, Atraf al-Buwaiza, Sakik, Atshan and Wadi Huwair in the Northern parts of Hama, killing over 50 terrorists and smashing their command center, arms cache and 6 military vehicles.

Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the terrorists' bases in Murek and the nearby areas, Tal Huwair, North of Ma'an, Zour al-Tayyebah, Sakik, al-Zalaqiyat, Atshan, North of Souran and East of Jabin, Abour Aidi, East of al-Sayyad and al-Haisa in the Northern parts of Hama which killed several terrorists and destroyed their tanks and military vehicles.

In the Southern parts of Idlib, the Syrian army forces attacked Jeish al-Fatah's hideouts and gatherings in al-Tamane'ah and regions to its West, Khan Shaikhoun and South of Sarja, killing a large number of terrorists and blewing up their centers and vehicles.

Also, on Wednesday, the Syrian fighter jets carried out tens of sorties over the terrorists' supply routes which link Idlib and Hama provinces to Aleppo to prevent transfer of fighters, weapons and ammunition.

Concurrent with the continuation of the Syrian army's anti-terrorism operations in different parts of Aleppo city, the army aircraft carried out several combat flights over the supply roads used by the terrorists in the provinces of Idlib and Hama in order to prevent dispatch of fresh militants and equipment to the terrorist groups in Aleppo.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000298

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Car bomb attack kills 8 soldiers in Egypt’s Sinai

25 November 2016

Eight Egyptian soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack targeting a checkpoint in Sinai, where the local affiliate of the ISIS group is leading an insurrection, the army said Thursday.

“A group of armed terrorists attacked one of the security checkpoints in north Sinai,” the army spokesman said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/Car-bomb-attack-kills-8-soldiers-in-Egypt-s-Sinai-.html

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US service member killed in blast in Syria

25 November 2016

A member of the US military died from his wounds Thursday after a blast caused by an improvised explosive device in northern Syria, the US military’s central command said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/US-service-member-killed-in-blast-in-Syria-.html

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Gunmen kill at least 3 policemen in Egypt’s Sinai

25 November 2016

Gunmen killed at least three policemen and injured seven in an attack on a checkpoint in the restive northern Sinai on Thursday, Egyptian security sources said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

An Islamist insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai Peninsula has gained pace since the military toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

In Thursday’s incident, assailants fired two rocket propelled grenades at the checkpoint south of the city of al-Arish, and three pick-up trucks carrying masked men then drove by and opened fire, security sources said.

The militant group staging the insurgency in Sinai pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and adopted the name Sinai Province. It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen since then.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/Gunmen-kill-at-least-3-policemen-in-Egypt-s-Sinai.html

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Syrian migrants who named child Angela Merkel have asylum application rejected

Nov 24 2016

The authorities in Germany have rejected the asylum application of a Syrian family who named their newborn baby girl Angela Merkl in honour of the country’s chancellor for her open door policy, it has been reported. (Photo WEB.DE)

The couple, Mamon Al-Hamza and Tema Al-Hamza, arrived in Germany last year and their daughter was born in December last year.

In a bid to show gratitude to Merkl and her open door policy, the couple decided to name their newborn baby girl Angela Merkl Al-Hamza.

However, the German authorities have reportedly sent a letter to them to inform regarding the status of their asylum application which the family say has been rejected.

Living in the city of Moenchengladbach, Mr. Al-Hamza has admitted that ‘The letter has given me great fear.’

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/syrian-migrants-who-named-child-angela-merkel-have-asylum-application-rejected-02356

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Aleppo rebels agree UN aid plan; Russia, Syria yet to approve

24 November 2016

Syrian rebels in besieged east Aleppo have agreed to a UN plan for aid delivery and medical evacuations, but the United Nations awaits a green light from Russia and the Syrian government, humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said on Thursday.

With freezing winter conditions setting in, some 275,000 people are trapped in east Aleppo, where the last UN food rations were distributed on Nov. 13.

Hundreds of trucks are ready in Turkey and government-controlled west Aleppo to bring aid to the eastern sector, but the United Nations needs 72 hours once it has all approvals to prepare a “big, complex and dangerous operation”, Egeland said.

“We do now have written approval in principle by the armed opposition groups of east Aleppo,” he told reporters, specifying that he was referring to rebels with whom the UN is in contact - which do not include former Nusra Front militants.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/24/Aleppo-rebels-agree-UN-aid-plan-Russia-Syria-yet-to-approve-.html

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Aleppo: Army Starts New Phase of Operations in Bostan al-Basha

Nov 24, 2016

The army forces and its popular allies, supported by the air force, launched massive offensive on militants' gathering centers in Bostan al-Basha and tried to advance in the region from al-Maydan and Sulaiman al-Halabi districts.

At present, the army and Hezbollah forces are in control of over 75% of the strategic region.

Reports said last Sunday that a long convoy of more Syrian army soldiers arrived in Aleppo to join the government forces' anti-terrorism operation in the Eastern districts of the city.

"Several hundred soldiers arrived in Aleppo province to join the army men and Liwa al-Quds forces' operation in the neighborhoods of Ba'aeidin, Bostan al-Basha and Hananou," military sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000716

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Syria: Pro-Government Troops Continue Aleppo Operations in Two Fronts

Nov 24, 2016

The Syrian army attacked terrorists' positions in the Western and Southern districts of Eastern Aleppo, while making limited advances in the Northern and Northeastern parts of the city.

According to the reports, Damascus has prepared all its military equipment and forces in all fronts of Aleppo and is repeatedly asking the militants to allow civilians to leave the region.

Kamal al-Jafa, a military analyst, said that terrorists' positions in the Eastern parts of Aleppo city have collapsed militarily.

He added that the defense lines of the terrorists in these regions came under attack and fell to the army. "There is no need to the use of heavy weapons, and only presence of more military men is needed," he said.

Reports said last Sunday that a long convoy of more Syrian army soldiers arrived in Aleppo to join the government forces' anti-terrorism operation in the Eastern districts of the city.

"Several hundred soldiers arrived in Aleppo province to join the army men and Liwa al-Quds forces' operation in the neighborhoods of Ba'aeidin, Bostan al-Basha and Hananou," military sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000779

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Terrorists Heavily Defeated in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus

Nov 24, 2016

The Syrian army units could advance in the Eastern parts of Meida'ani and Housh al-Zawahera towns and seize back control of more than 15 points, including several farms and buildings.

They also started military operations in the Northwestern parts of Eastern Ghouta to separate Harasta from Douma cities and increase pressure on terrorists in Douma city from the Eastern side.

The Syrian army also could advance in the two pivots of Medical Tower-International Road and al-Rayhan farms after heavy artillery attacks and airstrikes.

They also won back control of all terrorists' trenches and centers in Aliya farms in Harasta and could retake control of tens of command posts of Jeish al-Islam in al-Rayhan farms.

The Syrian air force, also pounded the militants' positions in Douma, Saqaba, Arabayn, al-Nashabiyah, al-Shifouniyeh, Housh al-Zaqahera, al-Rayhan and Ain Tarma in the Eastern Ghouta and targeted Jobar district in Eastern Damascus.

The army troops are now carrying out operations near Damascus to regain control of al-Rayhan and al-Shifouniyeh to further approach the terrorists' main stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, Douma.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000577

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Damascus: Militants in Khan al-Sheih Destroy Own Bases, Military Equipment

Nov 24, 2016

The sources also said that the Syrian army has started operations against the terrorists in al-Tal city in the Northern parts of Damascus and imposed control over several points after attacking the militants' positions in al-Matahen district in Wadi al-Moussa region.

Local sources in al-Tal said that members of the peace committee of the city held a meeting with the top military commander in al-Tal after the army started its operations.

The Syrian Army's devastating attacks and advances in Western Ghouta have forced the terrorist groups in Khan al-Sheih region to ask the government forces for a revival of the negotiations after they pushed the last round of peace talks into failure.

As ceasefire talks was in final stages to give the terrorist groups an opportunity to surrender in return for amnesty or relocate to Idlib province similar to other militant groups in Damascus province, the militants, mainly from the Al-Nusra Front, launched attacks to lift the army siege of Khan al-Sheih town irrespective of the truce and pushed the talks into failure.

After repelling terrorists' large-scale attacks to lift the army siege in the town of Khan al-Sheih that pushed the peace talks into failure, the government forces intensified their attacks on militants' defense lines in and outside the town and took full control of more regions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000819

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Homs: Army Smashes ISIL Stronghold Near Al-Sha'er Oilfield, Heavily Storms Terrorists in Al-Mahr

Nov 24, 2016

The Syrian fighter jets carried out several sorties against the ISIL positions and strongholds in the Eastern parts of al-Sha'er oilfield as well as Rahoum and Abu al-Dababir regions which destroyed an ISIL vehicle and a base, killing all the terrorists deployed there.

Meantime, heavy clashes have been reported between the Syrian army forces and militants near al-Mahr oilfield.

Also the Syrian army units clashed with the ISIL terrorists who sought to approach al-Sawam'a front in the Eastern parts of Palmyra (Tadmur) and repelled their attack after killing tens of them.

They also targeted the militants' positions in the two fronts of Tala al-Mushrafa and Northern Um al-Saraj with artillery fire.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out joint airstrikes over the largest military training camp of ISIL terrorist group in Eastern Homs, killing at least 70 militants and destroying the camp.

In a joint air raid, the Russian and Syrian fighter jets targeted ISIL's training camp in the town of al-Sukhnah, killing tens of recruits, fighters and their trainers.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000666

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Kurds, Shiite fighters to coordinate after sealing off Mosul

25 November 2016

IRBIL/BAGHDAD: Iraqi Kurdish and Shiite forces agreed to coordinate movements after cutting off Mosul from the rest of the territory held by Daesh in western Iraq and Syria in support of a US-backed offensive to capture the city, US and Iraqi officials said on Thursday.

The agreement between the Kurds and the Shiite groups was reached at meeting on Wednesday between commanders of Kurdish Peshmerga forces deployed in Sinjar, west of Mosul, and Hadi Al-Amiri, the leader of the Iranian-backed Badr Organization.

Badr is the biggest component of the paramilitary coalition known as Popular Mobilization, or Hashid Shaabi, which deployed southwest of Mosul to complete the encirclement of Daesh’s last major city stronghold in Iraq.

Mosul was already ringed to the north, south and east by Iraqi government forces and the Peshmerga. Iraq’s US-trained Counter Terrorism Service units breached Daesh defenses in east Mosul at the end of October and are fighting to expand their foothold there.

The offensive started on Oct. 17 with air and ground support from a US-led coalition. It is turning into the most complex campaign in Iraq since the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, and empowered the nation’s Shiite majority.

Al-Amiri “came in order to coordinate with us,” said Mahma Xelil, the mayor of Sinjar, a city where Daesh committed its worst atrocities after taking over the region two years ago, killing and enslaving thousands from the Yazidi minority.

Controlling the road will make it easier for the Iraqi army to enter Tal Afar, Xelil said. “There must be cooperation between us to prevent Daesh from moving their equipment and their fighters,” he added, referring to Daesh.

Sinjar was recaptured a year ago by the Peshmerga, forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq. It lies west of Tal Afar, another stronghold of Daesh, 60 km west of Mosul.

Another Iranian-backed group, Kata’ib Hezbollah also met with the Peshmerga, according to the TV station of the organization. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi on Thursday Popular Mobilization leaders on Thursday at the Tal Afar air base, just south of the town, state TV said.

“The joining of these forces greatly reduces the freedom of movement of Daesh insurgents in and out of Mosul,” said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the US-led coalition, referring to Daesh.

“They have already lost the effective ability to move in large numbers, but now this has been made more difficult for them.”

Another prominent leader of the Popular Mobilization units, Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes, said on Wednesday the Shiite forces had linked up with the Peshmerga near Sinjar, completing the encirclement of a region that extends from Mosul and Tal Afar.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1015406/middle-east

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India

 

Mistaken for a Muslim, Indian Man Brutally Beaten up in US Bar

November 24, 2016

Chicago: An Indian man was mistaken for a Muslim and brutally hit multiple times on his head and face at a bar in the US, the latest in a series of anti-Muslim hate crimes following Donald Trump's victory.

Ankur Mehta was allegedly attacked at the Red Robin Restaurant in Pennsylvania while he was working on his tablet with earbuds in his ears when the attacker grabbed and punched him with his elbow and fist.

The attacker who was identified as and Jeffrey Burgess also hurled racial and ethnic epithets at Mehta who was taken to a hospital with a loose tooth and a cut to his upper lip, Pittsburgh's Action News 4 reported.

Mehta told police that Burgess said to him that "things are different now" and "I don't want you sitting next to me. You people."

Burgess, 54, spoke with slurred speech and was staggering and smelled of alcohol, police said, adding that he then used an ethnic slur commonly used against those of Middle Eastern descent.

"We believe this is just the latest incident in spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes since the November 8 elections," Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said.

The criminal complaint says Burgess beat Mehta in the head and face with his elbow and fist, "launched an unprovoked attack on the victim as he was seated at the bar, beat him physically," Bethel Park police Chief Timothy O'Connor said.

Mehta was oblivious to the comments until Burgess allegedly struck him in the face with his elbow multiple

times, the officer said.

Witnesses told police Burgess grabbed Mehta by the head and punched him. They also said Mehta was defenceless and unaware of Burgess's impending attack.

Burgess was arrested for ethnic intimidation, simple assault, harassment and public drunkenness.

The incident comes amid a notable spike in hate-crime incidents against the minority community following Trump's election as US President.

Many Muslim women have posted on social media describing 'hijab grab' attacks on them.

http://www.news18.com/news/india/mistaken-for-a-muslim-indian-man-brutally-beaten-up-in-us-bar-1315510.html

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India will not forget for generations if Pak launches surgical strikes: Gen Raheel

November 25, 2016

Islamabad: Upping the ante, Pakistan today warned India that its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression, with army chief General Raheel Sharif saying if ever Pakistan launched surgical strikes India would not be able to forget it for generations.

“If Pakistan were to launch surgical strikes, India would not be able to forget it for generations to come,” General Sharif said just days before his scheduled retirement.

“India would be teaching its children as part of syllabus what a surgical strike means if Pakistan launched such strikes,” he said.

He also dismissed India’s assertion that it had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan army was capable of teaching Indian forces a lesson.

Addressing tribal elders after inaugurating a cricket stadium named after flamboyant cricketer Shahid Afridi in Khyber tribal region, the General confirmed he will be retiring on November 29 after a three-year term, as scheduled.

He said he would dedicate his life after retirement for the welfare of the families of martyrs of the armed forces.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will not tolerate “deliberate targeting” of civilians particularly children and women, ambulances and civilian transport.

“Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite continuing ceasefire violations from Indian security forces along LoC,” he added. “We will not tolerate the deliberate attack on innocent civilians.”

Air Force chief Marshal Sohail Aman also said Pakistan is not worried at all about any threat from India and its “battle hardened” military is capable of responding to any aggression.

“We are not worried about India at all,” he said, speaking at the 9th International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi. He said it is better if India showed restraint and solved the Kashmir issue to prevent escalation of tension.

“India should show restraint and instead solve the issue of Kashmir as that would be better for them,” he said.

Aman said that Pakistan does not want war but cannot ignore this kind of pressure. “We are well capable of responding in the face of any aggression,” he asserted.

He said Pakistan had “readied all of its (battle) plans following threats from India” after the Uri terror attack.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/india-will-not-forget-generations-pak-launches-surgical-strikes-gen-raheel-1072627/

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Fulfil promises to Muslims: Ram Naik

Omar Rashid

NOVEMBER 25, 2016

U.P. governor directs SP based on memorandum presented by a delegation of Muslim leaders and social workers

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, in a letter to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, has asked the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the State to fulfil the promises it had made to the Muslim community prior to the 2012 Assembly elections.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Fulfil-promises-to-Muslims-Ram-Naik/article16699123.ece

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PIL seeking Darul Qazas’ closure junked

Nov 25, 2016

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to declare all Darul Qazas — courts operating under the Muslim personal law — illegal and their closure.

The PIL had also sought cancellation of the All India Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) registration because these Darul Qazas are running under its supervision; however, the court did not allow the petition.

The division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M.S. Sonak was hearing a PIL filed by Nazir Noor Ali and a few other petitions were also clubbed with it which were filed challenging the Darul Qazas’ practice of hearing various matters, especially matrimonial and inheritance issues and giving verdict on them.

The contention of the petitioner was that Darul Qazas are running like parallel courts which are illegal and unconstitutional.

Senior counsel Yusuf Muchala and advocate Sagir Khan on behalf of AIMPLB had produced 2014 Supreme Court order passed in Vishvalochan Madan v/s Union of India’s matter saying this order has already covered all the issues raised in the PIL and other petitions. Accepting their contention the bench said as per the apex court order, verdicts of Darul Qazas are not binding on individual and hence the high court refused to entertain the petition.

According to the bench the Supreme Court order has covered everything from fatwas to matrimonial issues and it has clarified that it is not binding on individuals and hence, if the petitioners have any issue they should take other remedies available in the law.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/251116/pil-seeking-darul-qazas-closure-junked.html

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Army jawan, two terrorists killed in ongoing encounter in Kashmir’s Bandipora: Reports

November 25, 2016

An army jawan and two terrorists were killed in an encounter between security forces and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district, news agency ANI reported.  The gunfight is reportedly not over. A combing operation has been launched to neutralise any militants hiding in the area. An official statement from the Army on the details of the gunfight is awaited.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-bandipora-encounter-army-terrorists-4394070/

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Militants attack police station in Kashmir

Nov 24, 2016

SRINAGAR: Militants attacked a police station in Jammu & Kashmir's Kupwara district on Thursday evening. Firing exchanges between security forces and the assailants were still on at the spot, said police.

"Militants attacked the Kralgund police station in Handwara tehsil of Kupwara late Thursday evening," a senior police officer told IANS.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/srinagar/Militants-attack-police-station-in-Kashmir/articleshow/55606367.cms

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India lodges strong protest with Pakistan against repeated ceasefire violations

Nov 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: India has lodged strong protest with Pakistan against repeated ceasefire violations and deliberate targeting of villages along the Line of Control (LoC) by the Pakistan Army, and deplored continued attempts to infiltrate armed terrorists to target Indian posts and patrols.

Divulging details at his weekly media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday said the MEA called in Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah last evening and issued a demarche, the fourth one this month, on the continued violation of ceasefire from the other side of the LoC.

"The Government of India stated that despite calls for restraints, Pakistani forces committed 27 ceasefire violations between November 16 and 21 by resorting to calibre escalation and employing artillery and 120mm heavy mortars against Indian posts. These violent acts constitute a clear violation of the ceasefire Agreement of 2003.

"The government conveyed that it strongly deplores the passive support of the Pakistan Army to armed terrorists who targetted an Indian patrol near the LoC in Machhal sector and killed three Indian soldiers, including inhuman mutilation of the body of one of them."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-lodges-strong-protest-with-Pakistan-against-repeated-ceasefire-violations/articleshow/55602597.cms

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Africa

 

Isis Expands Into The Sahel, Africa’s Migration Hub

11/24/16

Standing in front of tens of fighters clad in headscarves and sunglasses and carrying AK-47s in an unknown location, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi reads in Arabic from a scrap of paper in a video posted online in late October. After more than a minute of Sahrawi talking, the video cuts to a shot of multiple gloved hands held in the middle of a circle in a gesture of solidarity. The speaker recites a pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported leader of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), who is described in Arabic as “Commander of the Faithful” and the “Caliph of the Muslims.” The others respond in an affirmative chorus, offering Baghdadi their service and loyalty.

The location of the video is unknown, but based on Sahrawi’s previous movements, it is likely to have been shot in Mali or Burkina Faso, two countries in Africa’s Sahel region: a vast arid belt stretching from across the continent from Senegal in the west to Eritrea in the east.

While the video was not particularly remarkable, what was more surprising is what came after. On October 30, ISIS’s semi-official media channel, Amaq, posted a statement online, saying that it had received a pledge of allegiance from “Katibat al-Mourabitoun” under Sahrawi’s leadership. The acknowledgement makes Sahrawi’s the first recognized ISIS splinter group in the Sahel, a region awash with al-Qaeda affiliates and a key transit point for migrants dreaming of reaching Europe—conditions that could make the region an ideal recruiting ground for ISIS.

Sahrawi has been a major player in the region’s recent violent history. He was born in Algeria according to jihadi policy group the Counter Extremism Project, though his surname suggests ties to Western Sahara —a contested region inhabited by the Sahrawi people, which is at the center of a wrangle between Morocco and the indigenous, Algerian-backed Polisario Front.

He has had stints in multiple jihadi groups in the Sahel region. When the conflict in northern Mali broke out in 2012 —in which a multiplicity of Islamist and ethnic Tuareg groups seized power of the country’s vast northern region—Sahrawi was thought to occupy a prominent role in the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (known by its French acronym, MUJAO), a splinter of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Following French intervention in Mali in 2013, which routed the Islamists and restored nominal government control throughout the country, MUJAO reportedly merged with the Masked Men Brigade, another AQIM-linked group led by veteran Algerian jihadi Mokhtar Belmokhtar. The resultant group was known as Al-Mourabitoun, or ‘The Sentinels’.

Sahrawi’s defining moment came in May 2015. In an audio message released to Mauritanian news site Al-Akhbar, Sahrawi called on “all jihadi groups” to give their allegiance to Baghdadi, in order to “unite the voice of the Muslims” and “defend against the enemies of Islam.” Coming from such a senior figure, the statement was interpreted as a pledge of Al-Mourabitoun’s affiliation to ISIS. This was affirmed in a second audio message released days later, in which Sahrawi declared he was the “emir” or leader of Al-Mourabitoun; that the group had no ties to AQIM; and that he had decided to pledge allegiance to ISIS based on “various religious recommendations.”

The pledge provoked an angry response from Belmokhtar, who issued a statement saying that Sahrawi’s pledge was invalid since it had not been approved by the group’s shura council—its decision-making body—and reaffirming his allegiance to al-Qaeda’s global leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Belmokhtar’s Al-Mourabitoun reportedly clashed with Sahrawi’s group—which called itself the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS)—and planned the assassination of its leader, according to the Long War Journal.

Following the dispute, Sahrawi went quiet for more than a year. Presumably, he and his followers separated from the wider Al-Mourabitoun group and formed their own militia, but without any recognition from ISIS’s headquarters in Syria. It wasn’t until September that ISGS claimed its first attack : an assault on the Markoye customs post in Burkina Faso, close to the borders with both Mali and Niger, that left one customs official and one civilian dead. The group has since been linked with at least two further attacks: one in northern Burkina Faso, near the Malian border, in which three soldiers were killed overnight on October 12; and an attempted jailbreak on October 17 at the Koutoukalé prison in southwestern Niger, a high-security facility thought to hold militants from Nigerian militant group Boko Haram and AQIM, which was repelled by security forces.

Sahrawi’s official acceptance from ISIS means that all future attacks perpetrated will be linked to the group based in Syria and Iraq, according to Ryan Cummings, director of African security analysts Signal Risk. “Attacks orchestrated by Sahrawi will be claimed by ISIS via Amaq as an extension of the group’s operations in the Sahara,” he says.

But Cummings notes that ISIS has not gone so far as to declare a wilayat —or province—in the Sahel, as they have done, for example, in Nigeria, following Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance to Baghdadi in 2015.

Full report at:

http://www.newsweek.com/isis-expands-its-brand-sahel-africas-migration-hub-524447

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Boko Haram jihadists kill five in Nigeria, say villagers

November 25, 2016

Boko Haram jihadists have raided three villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing five people and setting fire to several homes and fields, residents have said. Armed members of the extremist group on Wednesday sped into the villages of Huyum, Sabongarin Huyum and Wasada on motorbike, killing five villagers and looting their property before setting fire to their homes and farms, witnesses said.

“The armed men arrived at 4 pm and for four hours they held us all hostage,” Huyum resident Bala Jonah said.

“They killed five people and burnt down our houses and farmland, just when we were about to harvest our crops,” he added.

Hundreds of people living in the three villages fled for the relative safety of the town of Askira, located some 10 kilometres away.

A local official from the village of Wasada confirmed the toll.

“There is no doubt the attacks were the work of Boko Haram. We have lost five men, our homes and our food,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

News of the attack has been slow to emerge because of the destroyed telecommunications infrastructure in northeast Nigeria, and restricted access.

The villages that the jihadists raided were located near Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls two years ago.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/boko-haram-jihadists-kill-five-in-nigeria-say-villagers-4393845/

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Somalia: Allied forces recapture a key town from Al Shabaab

24.11.2016

GOFGADUD, Somalia- Southwest State forces, backed by the Ethiopian troops serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have retaken control of Gofgadud village from Al Shabaab militants, Garowe Online reports.

State officials said, the allied troops have engaged in a deadly battle with the militant group Al Shabaab around Goofgaduud village located 30 km north of Baydabo town, before seizing the town.

A local resident, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said at least 4 Southwest state soldiers, including a senior commander and ten militants were killed during the fighting, a town that witnessed recurrent fighting between the two sides.

"Al Shabaab briefly took control of Goofgaduud for hours but were driven out by the Ethiopian troops backed by the Somali soldiers,” resident told GO over the phone.

On Wednesday, Radio Andalus, a pro-Al Shabaab media outlet in Somalia, said the militants had recaptured the village in a heavy fighting that killed 8 pro-government soldiers, among them top commanders.

Full report at:

http://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-allied-forces-recapture-a-key-town-from-al-shabaab

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Al Shabaab terror alert issued in Coast after leaked intelligence report

Nov. 24, 2016

A terror alert was issued at the Coast on Thursday after a leaked intelligence report showed al Shabaab militants could be planning an attack.

The report seen by the Star warns of possible attacks in Kilifi, Tana River and Kitui counties but does not give details.

It says four terror suspects arrived in Malindi on November 7 and were using a Toyota Prado to coordinate the attacks.

They are Shamid Ahmed, leader Abdula Alhdi and Aisha Alhadi, and two identified only as Mohammed and Rashid.

The suspects are believed to have sneaked into the country from Somalia after undergoing paramilitary training.

Anti-terror detectives linked them to Jaysh Ayman, a faction of the Somali-based terror group that operates in Boni Forest, Lamu county.

Police have circulated the suspects' details and their vehicle's registration number to all security agents.

Malindi police boss Matawa Mchangi said they were analysing the intelligence report for preventative action to be taken.

“We have heightened security in Kilifi ahead of the festive season. We cannot discuss details of a leaked intelligence report at this stage but we urge residents to be extra-vigilant,” he said.

Also read: Four terror suspects arrested in Malindis

Police recently arrested eight terror suspects operating in Malindi town and Boni Forest.

The Anti-Terror Police Unit said a terror cell has been recruiting Malindi residents to join al Shabaab and Islamic state. The unit and several others are now on higher alert.

America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting the government with investigations into local ISIS links.

Full report at:

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/11/24/al-shabaab-terror-alert-issued-in-coast-after-leaked-intelligence_c1461629

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Why Muslims should lead peaceful nation campaign

25 November 2016

A call from the pulpit has challenged Muslims across the country to be the vanguard of creating a peaceful society, and shuns all forms of violence and disruptive engagements.

A recent Friday sermon published by the Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fathi Society of Nigeria indicated that Islam a religion of peace and its practitioners are peace builders, hence all Muslims should partake effectively in the quest to building a united and peaceful nation.

The sermon, reads in part: “The relationship between religion and peace in general, is quite controversial. Some scholars, such as Asghar Ali, argue that Islam as a religion is all peace and does not allow for violence. On a wider scale, Engineer generally rejects drawing any integral relationship between any religion, including Islam, and violence. Rather, he sees violence as a social phenomenon that takes place as a result of certain negative conditions in specific societies where religion may be manipulated as a result.

“More generally, other scholars, such as Scott Appleby, argued that although violence may not be integral to religion, religion retains a capacity for violence. This capacity, according to Appleby, results from the ambivalent nature of most of the sacred texts, which, as a result, allows for manipulating their interpretations in a way that can be used to legitimize violence.

“What a religion teaches can, therefore, be different from how its followers hold it to be in practice, due to the influence of “self-justifying groups” such as religious or political institutions or cultural traits. As a result, one cannot easily label a specific religion as either violence-prone or as a catalyst for peace. Rather, most religious interpretations have a capacity for both violence and peace,” it stated.

Full report at:

http://guardian.ng/features/why-muslims-should-lead-peaceful-nation-campaign/

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Two Nigerian Soldiers Dead, Four Injured In Boko Haram Attack

NOV 24, 2016

Two Nigerian soldiers were killed and another four got wounded when Boko Haram militants attacked a community in Askira Uba local government area of Borno State on Wednesday, two local sources told SaharaReporters.

One source disclosed that the Islamist militants stormed the remote village of Huyim village about 2 p.m. yesterday.

The besieged community is located some 18 miles away from Uba town, the local government headquarters. "They looted and carted away foodstuff and then burned down the whole village," said the source.

Full report at:

http://saharareporters.com/2016/11/24/two-nigerian-soldiers-dead-four-injured-boko-haram-attack

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British government defends its role in Libya campaign

25 November 2016

The British government on Friday rejected criticism of its intervention in Libya, arguing its involvement saved civilian lives and claiming ISIS has been weakened in the country. The government’s comments follow a September report in which the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee published a damning assessment of the 2011 intervention alongside France.

The report said London’s strategy was based on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence,” accusing the government of selectively taking the threats of dictator Muammar Qaddafi at face value.

Also read: Qaddafi’s surviving cousin: France, US killed late Libyan leader

But in its response the government argued its actions “undoubtedly” saved civilian lives in Libya. “Qaddafi was unpredictable and had the means and motivation to carry out his threats. His actions could not be ignored, and required decisive and collective international action,” the government said in its written response.

Qaddafi was ousted and killed during the uprising and Britain was criticized by the Foreign Affairs Committee for expanding its mission to protect civilians to a policy of regime change, a charge rejected by the government.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/British-government-defends-its-role-in-Libya-campaign.html

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Europe

 

Europe faces threats of 2008 Mumbai-style terror attacks

Nov 25, 2016

Geneva: European nations are vulnerable to the 2008 Mumbai-style terror attacks by Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), whose tentacles were found spread in the continent by security agencies, especially after last year's deadly Paris terror attacks at multiple locations that claimed 130 lives.

Eight years ago, 10 terrorists of the Pakistan-based LeT attacked multiple public places in Mumbai from November 26-28, 2008, killing more than 160 civilians, many of them foreigners. Except for the death of some European tourists, the general notion in Europe was that the shocking terror incident had taken place far from their home shores, with close to no threat of such attacks being replicated in the West.

However, the situation has changed after eight years, say European security experts. With the Paris terror attacks of November 13, 2015, when terrorists struck at six different places in the city killing 130 persons, the European security agencies were faced with the reality of Mumbai-style attacks in their own backyard.

In Europe, security agencies in countries like France, Austria and Italy are increasingly unearthing the presence of LeT members - the same group that carried out the Mumbai attacks. LeT's international footprints have grown and the terror group, whose presence in the West was earlier largely noticed for fund collection, logistics, transit and recruitment purposes, today has managed to infiltrate its members into Europe, many in the garb of asylum seekers, says experts.

One such example is the arrest, in April 2016, of Pakistani national Muhammad Ghani Usman, an LeT operative and a bomb maker, who as per security agencies landed in the Greek island of Leros in October 2015 on the same boat as the two suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks of November 2015. As per details divulged by the Greek police, all three were carrying Syrian passports.

Usman, along with the two Paris bombers, despite being initially arrested by the Greek police on suspicion, were released and managed to move to their respective destinations. Usman would have probably remained undetected and continued his operations in the safety of a refugee shelter in Austria, if he did not come to adverse notice, along with two other asylum seekers, after the Paris attacks.

He and the other two persons, arrested in Austria, were found to have spoken to some of the Paris bombers over phone. Security agencies fear that Usman was planning more attacks in Europe, along with other team members, who had also entered Europe posing as asylum seekers.

Many European nations are realising the potential threat to their national security from the rising number of Pakistanis, recruited by terrorist groups based in Pakistan and then illegally sent to Europe, say experts.

Groups like LeT and its front organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which carry out their activities unhindered in Pakistan, instruct Muslim youth in extremist ideology to carry out jihad against the West, says experts, adding that these youth are then illegally pushed into different countries to take forward the objectives of the group to radicalise European Muslims and use them for terror attacks.

In 2015, the Italian police arrested more than 18 foreign nationals, many of whom were Pakistanis, on the charge of involvement in jihadi activities in the country. Some of those arrested were also found to be linked to LeT.

It is also learnt that the Greek government, which has been grappling with large inflow of refugees from countries like Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, has recently sent a strong message to the Pakistani government, warning if it failed to take back all illegal Pakistani nationals residing in Greece, it could be faced with the prospect of being declared an "exporter of terrorism".

Such a warning coming from Greece, currently enjoying close ties with Pakistan's all-weather friend China, is reflective of the heightened concerns of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

Till now, there have been at least 12 terrorist attacks in Europe in 2016. The attacks with the highest casualties were the March 22 suicide attacks at the Brussels airport and subway killing of 32 people, and the Bastille Day attack in Nice in July, with no less than 84 deaths.

Investigations have revealed links between those who carried out attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Security experts feel that there is an urgent need for the European Union members to respond to this threat jointly by de-radicalisation programmes, enhancing security cooperation and intelligence sharing. Further, EU members need to quickly put together a common policy on dealing with illegal immigration from countries like Pakistan, where with the tacit support of the government, extremist ideology is being promoted and freely disseminated by radical Islamic and terror groups.

http://www.asianage.com/world/europe/251116/europe-faces-threats-of-2008-mumbai-style-terror-attacks.html

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Terror gang was set to hit Paris on Dec 1: source

November 24, 2016,

PARIS: A jihadist terror ring was planning to attack Paris on December 1 and had researched sites including a Christmas market and Disneyland outside the capital as potential targets, a police source said Thursday.

Seven suspects were arrested in police raids last weekend in the eastern city of Strasbourg and Marseille in the south following an eight-month investigation by security services, although two were later released.

The source said investigators found the suspects had made internet searches on sites including the Christmas market on the prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue, the Disneyland Paris theme park, cafe terraces in the northeast of the capital, the Paris criminal police headquarters and a metro station.

Five of the suspects have had their custody extended under legislation covering investigations into an imminent terror attack.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2016/terror-gang-was-set-to-hit-paris-on-dec-1-source

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Russia censures US call for ban on Syria-bound fuel tankers

Nov 24, 2016

Russia has blasted the US for urging other countries to deny port access to Russian oil tankers heading to Syria to deliver fuel to Moscow’s jets, which are on anti-terror mission in the Arab country.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov on Thursday denounced the US call as an attempt to hamper Moscow’s attempts to “fight international terrorism in Syria.”

The remarks came one day after US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that regional countries should bar Syria-bound Russian tanker ships from their ports as fuel will be used in Russia's anti-terror air raids.

“While the decision to allow a port call is a national determination, we believe that states in the region should not support any Russian tanker ship carrying fuel to be used in ongoing airstrikes… in Syria,” Toner said.

Elsewhere in his comments, Konashenkov said that Washington’s call intended to “conceal the failures of the US policy” in Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/24/495005/Russia-Syria-US

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Refugees clash with police, set fire to Bulgaria’s largest camp

Nov 25, 2016

Some 2,000 asylum seekers have set Bulgaria’s largest refugee camp on fire and clashed with police after the facility was sealed off over reports of a disease outbreak.

The Bulgarian Interior Ministry said police fired water cannon and rubber bullets to quell a riot by refugees angered at being confined to their refugee camp in the town of Harmanli near the Turkish border.

“We used a water cannon, blanks and rubber bullets as well as physical force,” Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Georgi Kostov told reporters.

The camp is home to 3,000 people, mostly Afghans.

Refugees threw rocks and other objects at police, leaving several officers injured.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov visited the camp in the early hours of Friday. He said later that two dozen police officers and two refugees had been injured during the violent clashes.

Borissov also said that the fierce clashes prompted arrests. “Around 300 migrants, six of them considered a threat to national security, have been arrested,” the prime minister said.

The clashes reportedly broke out after authorities sealed off the camp and prevented people from leaving the premises due to reports of a disease outbreak.

However, the state refugee agency said there was no medical reason to quarantine the camp. Police said they were negotiating with the camp’s inhabitants.

The camp was also the scene of another protest in October when several hundred refugees demanded that they be allowed to continue their journey toward West Europe.

Nearly 13,000 refugees are still stranded in Bulgaria, the European Union (EU)’s poorest country.

Last year, over a million refugees entered Europe through Turkey and Greece and then made their way through the Balkans to Germany and other northern member states of the European Union.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/25/495057/Bulgaria-Boyko-Borissov-Georgi-Kostov-Harmanli-BNR

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Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam not put on terrorist list due to West’s position — diplomat

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Having refused to add Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam to the list of terrorist organizations, the United States, the United Kingdom and France have once again demonstrated their selective approach to the problem, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

She reminded that Russia has recently came up with an initiative "to extend the United Nations Security Council anti-terrorist sanction regime to the groups Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam acting in Syria." But "despite information materials provided by the Russian side, which convincingly proved Ahrar al-Sham’s and Jaysh al-Islam’s links with the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra, which is on the corresponding sanction list - and this is a reason for blacklisting - the United States, the United Kingdom and France blocked this initiative on November 21," she noted.

Full report at:

http://tass.com/politics/914402

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan’s Sindh passes bill to prevent forced conversions

Nov 24, 2016

Sindh on Thursday became the first Pakistani province to pass a law to prevent forced religious conversions, a move that will benefit Hindus and other religious minorities.

The provincial assembly unanimously passed the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) bill that had been tabled by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) legislator Nand Kumar Goklani a year ago.

The bill recommends a five-year prison term for perpetrators and facilitators of forced religious conversions, the Pakistani media reported. Forcibly converting a minor too is a punishable offense under the bill.

The bill had earlier been referred to the standing committee for minority and human rights for feedback. It was passed after the panel sent it back to the assembly.

“Forced conversion is an abhorrent and violent offence and an issue that has become prevalent across Sindh (that) must be eliminated by recognising the importance of tolerance, peace and respect for all religions and persons, irrespective of their religion,” the bill stated.

The bill focusses on recognising the right to freedom of religion for all people, the right to freedom of choice for marriage. According to it, no person can change his or her religion before attaining the age of maturity or 18 years. Adults will be given 21 days to consider their decision to convert.

Defining punishments for forced conversions, the bill stated that any person who forcibly converts another person can be sent to prison for five years to life. They will also have to pay a fine to the victims.

Anyone who performs or facilitates a marriage with the knowledge that either one or both parties are victims of forced conversion can be punished with a three-year prison term or a fine.

The bill stated that victims or any person authorised by a victim or an informer can submit a petition regarding forced conversions to a local court. “The court shall fix the first date of hearing, which shall not exceed seven days from the date of the receipt of the petition by the court,” the bill said, adding any case of forced conversion should be disposed of by the court in 90 days.

Sindh is home to a majority of Pakistan’s Hindus. Hindu leaders have repeatedly complained about the forced conversion and marriages of young women and girls of the community.

Nand Kumar Goklani, the legislator who tabled the bill, said, “Every other day, reports pouring in suggest that minor girls belonging to non-Muslim communities are forced to change their religions…This bill aims to end this inhumane practice.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-s-sindh-passes-bill-to-prevent-forced-conversions/story-IMXRusF2jzy3I7fXGAgbBP.html

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Miscreants blow up govt-run school for boys in Mohmand Agency

ALI AKBAR

Nov 24, 2016

A government-run primary school for boys in Mohmand Agency's Koz Chamarkand area in Safi Tehsil was blown up by unidentified miscreants early Friday. No loss of life was reported.

The miscreants planted explosives at the school, which razed the building when they were detonated.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1298563/miscreants-blow-up-govt-run-school-for-boys-in-mohmand-agency

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Ex Army Chief Calls For Negotiations with Taliban

November 25, 2016

Islamabad - Ex Army Chief Mirza Aslam Baig Thursday said that negotiations must be held with Taliban to reach a conclusion regarding current situation in Afghanistan.

United States and its allies have met the defeat in Afghanistan; however, they are reluctant to accept the reality.

Air University’s faculty ‘Humanities’ arranged a lecture of former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to discuss the impacts of post Soviet invasion in Pakistan under the banner of ‘Pakistan’s Security Dynamics Post Soviet Invasion’.

The lecture was attended by hundreds of students and members of the faculty to get insight and historic knowledge of events occurred after the fall of Soviet Union.

Former COAS, who was the witness of key events since 1980 told the students that Soviet Union accepted defeat before Afghan Mujahideen and asked for the safe passage to leave their land.

However, he said, America then decided not to transfer the power to Afghan Mujahideen and abandoned Afghan people which ultimately led to a civil war there.

“That civil war gave more damage to Afghanistan than it was given in Soviet war,” he said.

According former COAS the Afghan Taliban were the junior commanders of Afghan Mujahideen who fought the war, and later on they consumed the power and established their government in almost 90 per cent land of Afghanistan till the US launched a ‘crusade’ against ‘Islamic world’ in 2001.

He said, 1973 constitution was made under the national purpose which proposed democracy and implementation of Islamic laws in the country but the part of Islamic Law never remained a priority.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/25-Nov-2016/baig-calls-for-negotiations-with-taliban

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Government incentives boost Islamic banks

November 24, 2016

Pakistan's Islamic banks are introducing new products and adjusting policies to take advantage of government incentives designed to boost growth in the industry. Shariah-compliant banks in the country, the world's second most populous Muslim nation, held 11.4 percent of total banking assets in June, barely changed from a year ago. That is well below levels of around 25 percent seen in Gulf Arab states.

To help change this, the government introduced a 2 percent tax rebate for shariah-compliant manufacturing firms in July to encourage them to eliminate interest-bearing debt from their balance sheets. The central bank has exempted Islamic banks from using interest-based benchmarks for some financing products.

Abdullah Ghaffar, head of investment banking at Al Baraka Bank Pakistan, a unit of Bahrain's Al Baraka Banking Group , said he detected signs of an increase in demand for both short- and long-term Islamic financing.

The bank has launched shariah-compliant products to finance purchases of tractors by customers and structured short-term sukuk for a white-label electronic equipment manufacturer in Lahore.

"The customer opted for sukuk - slightly more expensive to float - over quick-to-market commercial paper," Ghaffar said.

Last month, Islamic lender Meezan Bank approved a new financing structure for use in the airline industry; it uses plane tickets as an asset to back Islamic deals in cases where fixed assets are not available.

Islamic banks are also adjusting internal policies which limit financing to manufacturing companies and the use of long- term maturities, said Syed Abubakr, sharia board member of Emaan Islamic Banking, a unit of Silk Bank.

There is some demand for new products from conventional banks planning to convert their operations into fully-fledged Islamic banks, including Faysal Bank and Summit Bank , Abubakr added.

These banks have large portfolios of conventional credit card and personal loan facilities, but shariah-compliant equivalents are needed to retain customers, he said.

Such moves could help Islamic banks continue to grow at double-digit rates; the sector's assets grew 16.8 percent year-on-year in June, a slowdown from 37.3 percent growth recorded in the year to June 2015.

Full report at:

http://www.brecorder.com/money-a-banking/198/106189/

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PTI concerned over Qatari royal family’s visit to Pakistan

SYED IRFAN RAZA

Nov 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: In the backdrop of Panamagate and a letter of a Qatari prince in support of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s stance in the Supreme Court, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) raised concerns on Thursday over the current visit of Qatari royal family’s delegation to Pakistan.

The concern was raised at a meeting of the PTI, presided over by party chairman Imran Khan at his residence in Banigala.

The meeting discussed different issues including the visit of the Qatari delegation and tabling of the 24th constitution amendment bill in the National Assembly by the government which the PTI believed was an attempt to protect Prime Minister Sharif and his family in the Panama scam case.

Giving details of the meeting, PTI Information Secre­tary Naeemul Haq said that the government had kept the objectives and reasons of the Qatari delegation’s visit to Pakistan secret at a time when a Qatari prince had sent a rescue letter that was presented before the Supreme Court by the prime minister’s legal team in the Panama leaks case.

“The meeting demanded that the government unveil reasons of the visit of the Qatari delegation,” the PTI leader said.

“If Qatari princes are here for hunting, then another question arises as to who gave them the licence to kill innocent birds,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1298497/pti-concerned-over-qatari-royal-familys-visit-to-pakistan

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JUI-F to hold Peghame Islam conference

November 25, 2016

SADIQABAD - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam is going to hold a historic conference titled “Pegham-e-Islam” in Rahim Yar Khan district on December 15.

“The conference aims delivering true message of Islam and unveiling the conspiracies being hatched against Islam.”

JUI-F district amir Allama Abdul Rauf informed while addressing a meeting with local JUI-F leaders at Jamia Rahimia here the other day.

He said that the conference will prove a milestone in securing the rights of madrasas and making the way clear for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah in the country. He said that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will apprise the public of some important party decisions at the conference. He will also announce a strategy for the uplift of South Punjab.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Nov-2016/jui-f-to-hold-peghame-islam-conference

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Mideast

 

Yemen: Coalition raids kill seven Houthi militias

25 November 2016

A raid launched by the coalition forces targeting the rebels’ military bases in the Serwah region in the west of the Marib province region has killed seven Houthi militias and those belonging to Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Witnesses confirmed that the raid targeted a military force of seven rebels in the north, burning down their vehicle and killing them all.

Earlier, as many as 23 others were killed in Taiz by the raids conducted by the coalition and the clashes that erupted on the fronts there. According to al-Hadath sources, the rebels are asking the citizens of Rawd region in west Taiz to evacuate their houses.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/Yemen-Dozens-of-militias-killed-by-coalition-forces.html

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Turkey PM warns Europe: Cutting off ties would bring ‘flood’ of migrants

24 November 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday warned Europe that without Ankara’s help it could be “flooded” by waves of migrants and said cutting off talks with the bloc would be far more damaging to Europe than Turkey.

“We are one of the factors protecting Europe. If refugees go through, they will flood into Europe and take it over, and Turkey prevents this,” Yildirim said in comments broadcast live on television.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/25/Turkey-PM-warns-Europe-Cutting-off-ties-would-bring-flood-of-migrants.html

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Two killed in bomb attack in southern Turkey

Nov 24, 2016

ISTANBUL: A car bomb exploded in the car park of the governor’s office in the southern Turkish city of Adana on Thursday killing two people and wounding 33, officials said, in the latest attack to rock Turkey this year.

The explosion sparked a fire, with a cloud of dark smoke spewing into the sky, and caused damage to the governorate itself, state-run Anadolu news agency said, describing the blast as a “terror attack”.

The attack is believed to have been carried out by a woman, Adana governor Mahmut Demirtas was quoted as saying by Anadolu, without providing further details.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, said two people were killed and 33 wounded, including one in critical condition.

Speaking to reporters after inspecting the site, Albayrak condemned the attack and said: “We have no fear from anything other than Allah.” As has been the case with previous attacks, Turkish authorities immediately slapped a broadcast ban on footage from the scene.

With a population of almost two million, Adana is one of Turkey’s largest cities, located around 100 kilometres from the Syrian border.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1298492/two-killed-in-bomb-attack-in-southern-turkey

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Blast kills two at governor’s office in Turkey

November 25, 2016

ISTANBUL: An explosion killed two people and wounded more than 30 outside the governor’s office in the southern Turkish city of Adana on Thursday, weeks after the United States warned of attacks by what it called extremist groups.

Video footage showed a vehicle ablaze in the car park outside the building and thick black smoke rising into the sky in the city, 40 km (25 miles) from Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Windows were blown out and parts of the facade of the building, roughly six floors high, were torn off.

The state-run Anadolu agency quoted provincial governor Mahmut Demirtas as saying two people were killed. Anadolu said the blast, which occurred shortly after 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), came from a vehicle in front of the building.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Tayyip Erdogan, who was in Adana for a conference at a separate location, said 33 people had been wounded in the blast.

Adana is about 10 miles (16 km) from Incirlik Air Base, which the US military uses to launch attacks against Islamic State militants in Syria. Families of US military personnel were ordered to leave Adana and some other parts of Turkey in March over security concerns.

“Damned terror continues to target our people. We will fight with this terror to the end in the name of humanity,” Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik wrote on Twitter, saying he had spoken to the Adana governor.

The US embassy in Turkey condemned what it described as an “outrageous terrorist attack” and said it stood with Turkey, a NATO ally and member of the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Labour Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said Kurdish PKK militants may have been responsible and that 21 people were wounded, five of them seriously.

“It looks like they (the PKK) were probably behind it this morning yet again, as this looks like their one of their actions,” he told broadcaster CNN Turk.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The privately-owned Dogan news agency said police had shot the driver of a light commercial vehicle which tried to flee despite being ordered to stop by a police team which suspected it was linked to the bombing.

It said an ambulance was sent for the wounded driver along with a bomb disposal expert to inspect the vehicle.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Nov-2016/blast-kills-two-at-governor-s-office-in-turkey

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Turkish army blames Syria regime for deadly strike

November 25, 2016

ANKARA : The Turkish army blamed the Syrian regime for an air strike on Thursday in northern Syria that killed three soldiers, the first time it has accused Damascus of killing its soldiers since launching its three-month military incursion.

The incident came on the first anniversary of the shooting down of a Russian military jet over the Syrian border by the Turkish air force. That led to a seven-month crisis in relations between Turkey and Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that has provided military support to Damascus.

The army said the strike took place at 3:30 am (0030 GMT) without indicating where in Syria, although local media said it took place in the Al Bab region.

“In the air strike assessed to have been by Syrian regime forces, three of our heroic soldiers were killed and 10 soldiers wounded, one seriously,” the armed forces said in a statement on its website.

Turkish media reported earlier that the attack was by Islamic State (IS) militants.

The prime ministry slapped a broadcasting ban on coverage of the strike an hour after the military’s statement, Turkey’s broadcast watchdog said on its website.

The injured soldiers were taken to hospitals in Turkey’s southeastern cities of Kilis and Gaziantep close to the Syrian border, the official news agency Anadolu said.

The Turkish military launched an operation - dubbed “Euphrates Shield” - with tanks and air power in August to support Syrian opposition fighters seeking to retake territory from IS in northern Syria.

The Ankara-backed rebels comprise several brigades rather than one organised force, according to experts.

Hundreds of Turkish soldiers are taking part in the operation, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week was pushing forward with its aim of taking Al Bab from IS.

“We reached Al Bab right now and besieged it from the west,” the president said in a speech on Tuesday.

The operation has also targeted Syrian Kurdish militia, whom Turkey views as linked to its outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has staged an insurgency in Turkey since 1984.

The PKK is proscribed as a terror group by Washington and Brussels but not by the United Nations.

“That won’t do. After that (Al Bab), we will go towards Manbij” to remove elements from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Forces (YPG) militia, Erdogan said.

Kurdish-led forces recaptured Manbij from IS in August but Ankara has called for them to leave what Turkey emphasises is an Arab majority town.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Nov-2016/turkish-army-blames-syria-regime-for-deadly-strike

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UN, GCC concern over ‘missing’ Iranian N-device

24 November 2016

Gulf countries are following up with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the potential negative effects of a missing nuclear device at the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr. They are specially keen to know what impact it could have on water pollution in the region, a Gulf official has confirmed.

Dr Adnan Al-Tamimi, Chairman of the GCC Emergency Management Center, expressed his concern over the loss of the radioactive device that was used for industrial purposes. According to reports, the car that was carrying it was stolen and then it was found without it.

Tamimi told al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that the estimates indicate that the radioactive device loses half of its strength 74 days after its activity is suspended. However, this requires caution if the intent behind the incident is to smuggle the device.

Tamimi added that what “raises their concerns is the low safety and security levels in the Iranian Bushehr reactor and the absence of the overall transparency in Iran’s nuclear program.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/24/IAEA-help-sought-over-missing-Iran-nuclear-device.html

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Turkish Army Launches Heavy Attacks on Syrian Army in Lattakia

Nov 24, 2016

Witnessing a massive disorganized escape of tens of terrorists towards their country's borders, the Turkish army forces deployed near the border with Lattakia province conducted a heavy shelling and rocket fire attack on the Syrian army positions in Navarah, Borj al-Hayat, Ain Issa and Heights 616.

The Syrian armed forces had made a major advance in Jabal al-Rae'i, Navarah and Borj al-Hayat but they were forced to retreat after facing the Turkish army's fierce artillery attacks. Minutes later, the terrorists returned again to the regions which had earlier been liberated by the army, battlefield reports said on Thursday.

A large number of terrorist snipers were deployed in the region to prevent any possible renewed attack by the army.

Meantime, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists and the Turkish-affiliated forces as well as Ankara's fighter jets and artillery units blocked the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) passage between Afrin and Kobani in Aleppo province and launched similar heavy attacks on their positions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950904000212

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North America

 

Boy, 5, assaulted by teacher in US for ‘being Muslim’

November 24, 2016

A 5-year-old Muslim kindergarten student was allegedly assaulted by a woman teacher who grabbed him by the neck and began choking him, the latest in a series of hate incidents reported in the US following Donald Trump’s win. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil rights group, has called for an investigation into what it said were assaults by a female teacher on the Muslim kindergarten student at a Charlotte-

Mecklenburg elementary school in North Carolina.

The assaults at the David Cox Road Elementary School in north Charlotte started at the beginning of the school year, according to CAIR, but the latest incident occurred last week, the Charlotte Observer reported.

“During the first two months of the school year, (the Muslim student) was subjected to relentless bullying and harassment not only by his classmates, but by (the teacher),” Maha Sayed, a civil rights lawyer for the organisation, wrote to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. For example, the teacher routinely singled out the student from his classmates and made him carry a heavy backpack throughout the day, Sayed wrote.

“The backpack contained a large textbook and headphones, which caused (the student) to develop significant back pain,” the letter alleged. The teacher “would also treat (the student) harshly and reportedly called him ‘bad Muslim boy’ on multiple occasions,” it said.

On November 16, according to the letter, the teacher “reportedly approached (the student)…grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. (Another teacher) then separated the two and began consoling (the student) who was crying and extremely shaken.”

The teacher who reportedly discriminated against the student was named by the New York Daily News as Alma Simpson. The group wants the student transferred “to a safe kindergarten classroom free from discrimination and

retaliatory actions.”

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of all students,” CMS spokeswoman Renee McCoy was quoted as saying. “CMS takes these allegations seriously and is currently investigating,” McCoy said. The reporting of the alleged discrimination comes amid a notable spike in hate-crime incidents against the minority community following Trump’s election. Many Muslim women have posted on social media describing ‘hijab grab’ attacks on them.

Also, ahead of the polls, a 7-year-old Pakistani-origin boy was allegedly beaten up by five classmates on a school bus in the US for being a Muslim.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/us-muslims-boy-assaulted-donald-trump-david-cox-road-elementary-school-4393044/

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US man gets 20-yr prison for IS-linked attack plot

November 25, 2016

OHIO : A southwest Ohio man who admitted to having plotted to execute a US military base employee and then attack a local police station in support of Islamic State was sentenced on Wednesday to 20 years in prison, the US Department of Justice said.

Munir Abdulkader, 22, from the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, had pleaded guilty on March 24 to attempted murder of a government employee, attempted material support of a foreign terrorist organization and illegal firearm possession.  US District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati imposed the prison term, and ordered that Abdulkader remain under supervision for life. Prosecutors had sought a 25-year prison term. A federal public defender representing Abdulkader did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Abdulkader, who became a US citizen in 2006 and had been a student at Xavier University, had begun by July 2014 expressing support for the Islamic State on Twitter, including a desire for martyrdom, according to prosecutors.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Nov-2016/us-man-gets-20-yr-prison-for-is-linked-attack-plot

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Trump administration will hopefully separate terrorists from moderates – Syrian opposition rep to RT

25 Nov, 2016

Donald Trump should surround himself with “realist” advisers, who understand the necessity of Russia-US cooperation in battling radical Islamists before any “political transition” attempts in Syria, one member of the secular opposition, Randa Kassis, told RT.

Donald Trump Jr. accepted the invitation from the founder of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs (CPFA) Fabien Baussart during his father’s electoral campaign. He attended the private high-profile dinner party in “a really narrow circle, some 30 people,” according to Baussart’s wife and one of the prominent figures in the Syrian secular opposition, Randa Kassis, who provided RT with exclusive commentary.

“I talked to Trump Jr. about Syria at the dinner party, we exchanged ideas on the political solution and achieving an agreement between the Americans and Russians. It looked like Mr. Trump Jr. is pragmatic enough and understands the complexity of the Syrian crisis. It’s definitely a good thing that he understands we cannot have a political solution without an agreement with Russia,” Kassis told RT.

At least some people in the new US administration aim at battling radical Islam and terrorism, according to Kassis.

“We don’t know all the people, who will form the new American administration, but I have hopes, since I see several ones among them who, just like us, oppose Islamism, radicalism, who want to see radical Islam terminated.”

The untangling of the Syrian crisis, however, is not all about “fighting terrorism,” but also requires “peaceful political process.”

“We should not only battle terrorism, but start a real political process and achieve an agreement between Russians and Americans, to end this bloodshed.”

Secular Syrian immigrants, opposing Bashar Assad’s government, want “cooperation between the Russians and Americans” in order to “exterminate radical Islamists,” before launching the desired political processes. Donald Trump Jr. is well aware of the true nature of the various jihadist rebel groups, operating in Syria, according to Ms. Kassis.

“They are head-chopping, throat-slitting extremists, who are accused of war crimes. But I’d call that crimes against humanity, since they exterminate certain minorities, living in villages and towns. He [Donald Trump Jr.] understands that.”

Randa Kassis said that the Obama administration proved to be very untrustworthy and expressed hopes that the situation would change under the new administration. She said the US will manage to separate “moderate” rebels from “not-so-moderate,” and, specifically, will be able to actually fulfill the possible future agreements.

“Unfortunately, we’re well aware of the fact, that Americans with Mr. Kerry and Obama’s administration have always engaged in double-dealing. Even when Kerry agreed to separate the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition from extremist rebels … he did absolutely nothing upon his return to the US,” Kassis told RT.

“We’re looking forward to continue the work, continue the dialog with the Americans to achieve Russia-US agreement, to define who’s ‘moderate,’ and who’s not that ‘moderate.’ It should be noted, that there’re plenty of Islamists in Syria, especially in the northern part of the country, who are really far from being ‘moderate’ and are truly radical Islamists.”

READ MORE: Russia hopes Trump will stop US from ‘illegally’ applying its laws around the world – diplomat

Kassis said that last six years have shown traditional “Assad must go” rhetoric to be completely unrealistic. The secular immigrant opposition realizes now, that some sort of an “alternative” must be readied beforehand.

Full report at:

https://www.rt.com/usa/368116-trump-us-russia-syria/

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