New Age Islam
Thu Dec 03 2020, 06:37 PM

Islamic World News ( 16 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Middle East is red with the blood of Christians

 

 Pakistani security officials gather at the explosion site near the police headquarters in Lahore on February 17, 2015. (AFP)

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Arab World

The Middle East is red with the blood of Christians

Over 27 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Baghdad

US Must Understand ISIS Religious Beliefs to Defeat It

Egypt’s Al-Azhar prohibits watching ISIS execution videos

Hezbollah chief admits his militia is fighting in Iraq

Egypt urges U.N. mandate for Libya coalition

ISIS 'Morality Police' Rules with Iron Fist

Hezbollah fighting Islamic State in Iraq: leader

Grand jury indicts North Carolina man in killings of three Muslims

Anti-ISIL campaign a key challenge for Sisi

Syrian army recaptures several villages north of Aleppo

UN envoy on Syria to brief Security Council on ‘freeze’ plan

ISIL head’s uncle nabbed in Iraq: Sources

 

Mideast

Imam Khamenei: Islam Urges Justice on Non-Muslims

Iran, Saudi Arabia can help battle terrorism: Deputy FM

Senior Iranian Cleric Urges West to Stop Supporting ISIL

Erdogan: ‘I’m alone, other leaders envy me’

Iran cleric slams ISIL killing of Egypt Christians

Israeli PM may have leaked US-Iran N-talks info

Last Yemen Jews eye exodus after Shiite militia’s takeover

 

India

Do you plan on making India a 'Hindu rashtra'? Muslim clerics asks RSS

India among 60 nations to attend White House summit on terrorNarendra Modi Says His Government Will Not Allow Religious Groups To Incite Hatred

 

North America

Being Muslim in America after the Chapel Hill shootings

Jewish-Muslim food war plays out on Manhattan streets

Obama, Concerned About Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Crimes,’ Downplays Jihad

Al-Qaeda chief wanted American to ram jet into Mubarak plane

Gordon Brown devises security plan for Pakistani schools

Vigils held in NY, Houston for killing Muslim students

Obama, Danish leader vow to fight terrorism

Rhode Island Muslim School Vandalized In Hate Crime

CAIR calls for hate crime probe of US Muslim school vandalism

 

Pakistan

Eight dead in attack on Lahore's Police Lines, TTP claims responsibility

Army will go to any extent for Karachi peace: COAS

Supreme Court’s attention drawn to desecration of Hindu temples

Vigilant school boys help foil terror bid

TTP financier killed in Swat operation

Pakistan claims killing mosque attack mastermind

Mamnoon urges African states to learn from Zarb-i-Azb

JI wants open ballot in Senate polls

 

Europe

ISIS Sets Sights on Europe in Latest Beheading Video

Britain lacks strategy to fight the Islamic state in Iraq

Islamic Group Wants To Name New Mosque In Moscow After Putin; Russian Muslims Complain About Too Few Places Of Worship

IEA says Middle East militancy poses ‘major challenge’ for oil

Europe rebuffs Netanyahu’s call for Jews to move to Israel

Danish intelligence knew gunman ‘at risk of radicalization’

New study provides unique insight in to Britain's Muslim Population

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesia moving 2 Aussies, 5 other foreigners for execution

Indonesian Muslim congress focuses on unity, pluralism

Growing European concerns about Muslim migrants

Lawmakers Call for KPK Chief Abraham to Step Down

 

Africa

South Sudan's warring forces 'recruiting children'

Libya air force chief says 50 killed in strikes

Central Africa leaders plan Boko Haram offensive

Police yet to identify African students’ attackers

A tough choice in Nigerian elections

 

South Asia

Afghan army launches major offensive against Taliban militants

China assumes leading role in Afghan reconciliation

Bomb hits vehicle in Afghan capital, wounds one: police

Khaleda, 13 others sued for Gulshan blast

‘BNP-Jamaat men’ torch 2 trucks in Moulvibazar

No end in sight to ‘slow-burn’ Bangladesh turmoil

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/the-middle-east-is-red-with-the-blood-of-christians/d/101565

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Arab World

 

The Middle East is red with the blood of Christians

17 Feb 2015

The beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by forces sympathetic to Islamic State over recent days is sadly not an isolated case. On the contrary, it is the latest of countless outrages perpetrated against Christians in or near the Church’s Biblical heartlands over many years.

The latest victims were migrant workers from Upper Egypt. The announcement by the authorities in Cairo of retaliatory bombing raids on terrorist training camps in Libya should not blind us to an inconvenient truth – that more than 600,000 Christians have left Egypt over the past 30 years under both Islamist and supposedly secular regimes. Many got out because their homes or churches or businesses had been firebombed.

Before travelling to Egypt to research my book Christianophobia, I interviewed immigrant Copts in Britain whose stories formed a pattern. One, a senior GP, explained how no Christian medical student at his university in Asyut, Upper Egypt, had been placed in the “Good”, “Very Good” or “Excellent” classes in their final exams. The injustice convinced him that he would never prosper in his own country, especially with the rise during the 1970s of the militant Gama Islamiya, whose members dominated some campuses. “They started attacking Christian students,” he told me, “barging into our rooms and tearing down pictures of the Virgin Mary and other religious materials. A fight ensued. I and other Christians were expelled from university accommodation, but the Muslims who caused trouble were allowed to remain.” My interviewee was fortunate in some respects. Other Christian students in the region were murdered.

This story reflects a broader reality: that acute hostility to Christians in the Middle East long predates the invasion of Iraq. After the assassination attempt on Nasser in 1954, many fundamentalists were rounded up and sent to prison. Egypt’s next leader, Anwar Sadat, faced with heavy challenges from the Left, indulged the Islamists and let many in from Saudi Arabia. He also called Egypt a Muslim country, even though 15 to 20 per cent of the population was then Christian. According to the charity Aid to the Church in Need, that figure has now fallen to around 5 per cent – still 4.2 million people – as a result of Christians leaving Egypt.

Many of those Islamists in Egypt who came from (or returned from) Saudi Arabia were converts to Wahhabism, the very hardline brand of Islam that has evolved on the peninsula over the past two centuries. A grim irony of the Charlie Hebdo murders and recent violence in Copenhagen is that Arab Christians endure far more vehement insults at the hands of Wahhabists than do Muslims from secular satirists in the West. This point is largely lost on the European media, but the hypocrisy is not ignored by Egyptian writers such as Alaa al-Aswany, author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building. Commenting on the drip-feed of anti-Christian poison on Wahhabist websites, he quotes from one called Guardians of the Faith: “Being a Muslim girl whose role models are the wives of the Prophet, who were required to wear the hijab, is better than being a Christian girl, whose role models are whores,” says one post. “Being a Muslim who fights to defend his honour and his faith is better than being a Christian who steals, rapes, and kills children,” says another.

Just as the background to the Holocaust included centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, it is easy to see how poison such as this is fuelling the steady eradication of Christians from other countries including Iraq. In 1990, there were between 1.2 and 1.4 million Christians there. Today, about 260,000 remain.

In the Iraqi city of Mosul, an exodus of Christians has occurred over the past year after Christian homes were marked with an “N” standing for “Naserenes”. Shortly after the Prince of Wales arrived in Jordan during his tour of the Middle East two weeks ago, he was introduced to a group of Iraqi Christian refugees. One told the Prince that they had been homeless for six months and didn’t want to return, “because it is impossible to live with the people who destroyed our homes and destroyed our church. . . When Da’ish [Islamic State] came . . . they deprived us of everything”.

It goes without saying that a huge proportion of Muslims in the region bear no ill will towards their Christian fellow citizens. Blood is being spilt by fanatics who hold that the more martial sections of the Koran apply to all situations, rather than – as mainstream interpretation would have it – to a particular historical moment when Muhammad’s earliest followers were in mortal danger. But although the culprits are a minority, discrimination against Christians and other minorities – as opposed to overt persecution – in Muslim-majority countries forms a further layer of injustice largely unacknowledged either by those societies themselves, or by Western governments frightened of ruffling feathers.

Turkey, notionally a beacon of prosperity and relatively liberal values in the Islamic world, is a particular offender. Every Turkish citizen must state their religious allegiance on their identity card. The word “Christian” will mean that the bearer is excluded from many forms of public service. Christian schools and other establishments are tightly controlled.

Turkey, the modern successor to the Ottoman Empire, is also important because it casts a sidelight on the political dimension of a problem often lazily blamed on “religion” alone. The anti-Ottoman rebellions by subject peoples – above all the Greeks in the 1820s and the Bulgarians half a century later – left a deep scar on Ottoman consciousness that remains a part of modern Turkey. The rebellions embedded two attitudes: a suspicion of non-Turks, and a belief that if you are Turkish, this automatically means that you are a Muslim. In Turkey, religion and ethnic identity became closely joined.

This point offers a key to the hounding of Christians in Turkey today – especially the persecution of converts with a Muslim background. Hardline readings of the Koran are interlaced with a nationalistic mentality that was born out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and which holds conversion to Christianity or Judaism to be synonymous with treason.

Sometimes, nationalistic forces have religious consequences. There were population exchanges between Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey, and Muslims in Greece in 1923 and again in the 1930s. During the Second World War, taxes on Christians in Turkey were raised; those who could not pay were sent to labour camps. With the worsening of relations between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus in the 1950s and 1960s, a further exodus of Greeks took place. The demographic evidence now speaks for itself. Christians formed 13 per cent of the Turkish population a century ago, but now only number about a fifth of 1 per cent – that is, around 150,000 out of a population of 72 million. The implications of these melancholy statistics are plain: Turkey, the Muslim country with the most modern and secular state in the Middle East, has become less diverse and less tolerant.

Historically Christian societies had a far-from spotless record on religious tolerance before the Second World War, but the horror of the Holocaust jolted many to become more tolerant and more self-critical.

In the light of the horrors now being committed against Christians, Muslim-majority countries should jettison their triumphalist baggage and permit freedom of belief, including the freedom to convert from, as well as to, Islam. And European leaders, so often tongue-tied by a self-lacerating fear of giving offence, should not hold back from drawing attention to the glaring double standard that is applied to Christians in many parts of the Middle East.

Rupert Shortt’s book 'Christianophobia: A Faith Under Atttack’ is published by Rider.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11416779/The-Middle-East-is-red-with-the-blood-of-Christians.html

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US Must Understand ISIS Religious Beliefs to Defeat It

16 Feb 2015

The Obama administration doesn't like to say the Islamic State (ISIS) or other terrorist groups are Muslims, but the March issue of The Atlantic lays out the case why it should.

In an article titled "What ISIS Really Wants,"  author Graeme Wood talks to ISIS sympathizers, including London imam Anjem Choudary and Australian preacher Musa Cerantonio, who explain in eloquent and learned terms over tea how the ISIS caliphate actually is a return to the original form of Islam practiced by its founder, Muhammad.

According to ISIS adherents, a caliphate — with control of land — is necessary to bringing about the end of days, and they intend to do their part. ISIS currently controls a large swath of northern Iraq and eastern Syria.

It believes a large battle with the enemies of the faith will take place in Syria and is trying to goad the United States, Turkey and other Western nations into the fight.

But in their strict interpretation of the Koran, not everyone who claims to be Muslim qualifies. Those who fail to pledge allegiance to ISIS leader and self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are apostate and subject to death.

Wood writes that ISIS is likely trying to lure America and Turkey, which it sees as an apostate Muslim nation, into the fight to fulfill an end-times prophecy of Muhammad that true Muslims will be suffer defeats in battle and eventually be backed into a corner in Jerusalem by the anti-Messiah.

At that point, Jesus, whom Islam considers the second-greatest prophet, will return and lead them in defeat of their enemies.

Understanding all this is important, Wood writes, because it shows that ISIS is not some ragtag group without any core ideology guiding their actions. But he doesn't favor sending American troops to fight them, as he says their own rules of existence will eventually cause them to self-implode.

ISIS does not believe in national borders, and therefore refuses to sign treaties with nations and will not represent any country it defeats in the United Nations. To do so would be to put another authority above that of God, they believe.

But that hurts their ability to grow, Wood argues.

In the end, what ISIS wants isn't being hidden. The group clearly states they are building a worldwide caliphate — or Islamic government — in which everyone will be converted, subjugated or killed.

"That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent," Wood writes. "It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model."

Some potential converts might be dissuaded through argument, and military action can abate some of ISIS' terror, he said, "But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time."

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/ISIS-radical-Islam-understand-beliefs/2015/02/16/id/625066/

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Over 27 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Baghdad

17 February 2015

At least 27 terrorists were killed in fierce clashes between the Iraqi army and ISIL Takfiri group in North of Baghdad, a military source said.

A senior army official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Iraqi troops gained the upper hand over the ISIL in Northern Baghdad, and managed to liberate the areas of al-Hawra, al-Buhairat and Tal-Tasa from the control of the terrorist group.

The source added that the troops succeeded in liberating the areas after heavy fighting with the terrorists in which more that 27 terrorists were killed and some 162 IEDs were defused.

The ISIL terrorists currently control areas of Iraq and Syria. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June 2014, seizing parts of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.

The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931128000275

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Egypt’s Al-Azhar prohibits watching ISIS execution videos

17 February 2015

Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic authority, said on Monday it prohibits Muslims from watching and sharing execution videos released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to avoid fulfilling the group’s evil aims, the semi-official Ahram Online reported.

The statements were made in the wake of a recently released video that shows 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians being killed by ISIS militants in Libya.

Al-Azhar called on media outlets to avoid publishing the "crimes of the terrorists" in order not serve the group’s "sinister aim" in spreading fear among Muslims and affect their morale.

It also said Muslims are prohibited from watching and spreading these videos, which are meant to promote Islamophobia, the website added.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/17/Egypt-s-Al-Azhar-prohibits-watching-sharing-ISIS-execution-videos.html

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Hezbollah chief admits his militia is fighting in Iraq

17 February 2015

Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah is fighting the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Iraq, its chief Hassan Nasrallah revealed for the first time Monday in a speech beamed to supporters in southern Beirut.

“We may not have spoken about Iraq before, but we have a limited presence because of the sensitive phase that Iraq is going through,” Nasrallah said in reference to ongoing clashes between Iraqi troops, several militias and Kurdish forces against the ISIS.

Hezbollah is already fighting in Syria, alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Nasrallah’s speech comes two days after his leading Lebanese opponent, Saad Hariri, called on Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria.

“I say to those who call on us to withdraw from Syria, let’s go together to Syria,” said Nasrallah.

“I say, come with us to Iraq, and to any place where we can fight this threat that is threatening our (Muslim) nation and our region,” he added.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/16/Hezbollah-fighting-is-in-Iraq-Nasrallah.html

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Egypt urges U.N. mandate for Libya coalition

17 February 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday urged the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution allowing for an international military intervention in troubled Libya, Agence France Presse reported.

“There is no other choice. Taking into account that the Libyan people must agree that we act to restore security and stability,” Sisi said in an interview with French radio Europe 1.

Sisi has repeatedly called for some kind of global intervention in Libya, which has been wracked by conflict since the overthrow of Dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

The European Union said Monday it saw no role for the bloc in any military intervention, but would discuss joint action with Washington and Egypt.

“What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh is taking power and infiltrating,” said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/17/Egyptian-FM-use-of-force-is-right-to-self-defense-.html

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ISIS 'Morality Police' Rules with Iron Fist

16 Feb 2015

Islamic State (ISIS)'s "morality police" is enforcing modest dress through a reign of terror, human rights organizations claim Monday.

The Al-Merced NGO reports that the city Albuhamal in the Deir al-Zor province of eastern Syria, the modesty squad attacked a woman because her eyes were too exposed to their liking. Two young men who tried to protect the woman were arrested as well.

In Mosul, a center for ISIS in Iraq, the city's morality police regularly beat women with iron rods who are not dressed modestly according to a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

Full report at:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191400#.VOPINvnF9nM

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Hezbollah fighting Islamic State in Iraq: leader

February 17th, 2015

BEIRUT – Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah is fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, its chief Hassan Nasrallah revealed for the first time Monday in a speech to supporters.

“We may not have spoken about Iraq before, but we have a limited presence because of the sensitive phase that Iraq is going through,” Nasrallah said, referring to ongoing clashes between Iraq’s army, militias and Kurdish forces against the jihadis.

Hezbollah is already fighting in Syria alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Nasrallah’s speech comes two days after his leading Lebanese opponent, former prime minister Saad Hariri, called on Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria.

“I say to those who call on us to withdraw from Syria, let’s go together to Syria,” said Nasrallah.

Full report at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/17/world/hezbollah-fighting-islamic-state-iraq-leader/#.VOMNqOaUd5s

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Grand jury indicts North Carolina man in killings of three Muslims

 February 17th, 2015

WASHINGTON – A grand jury indicted a North Carolina man on Monday for the shooting deaths of a newlywed Muslim couple and the wife’s sister last week, a court official said.

Craig Hicks, 46, of Chapel Hill, was charged by a grand jury with three counts of first-degree murder and one of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, said Angela Kelly, an assistant clerk of the Durham County Superior Court.

Deah Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University, were gunned down Feb. 10 in a condominium about 2 miles (3 km) from the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill.

Full report at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/17/world/crime-legal-world/grand-jury-indicts-north-carolina-man-killings-three-muslims/#.VOMNqOaUd5s

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Anti-ISIL campaign a key challenge for Sisi

16 Feb 2015

Since his rise into the political spotlight about 18 months ago, Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has presented himself domestically and abroad as a leader in the fight against political religious groups in the region.

The slaughter of 21 Coptic Egyptian workers by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya, and the retaliatory air strikes launched by Egypt's military, have expanded Sisi's regional war against such groups. The developments come just weeks after Egypt declared al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian faction Hamas, a "terrorist group".

Sisi frequently fails to differentiate between groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and more violent and hardline organisations, such as al-Qaeda and ISIL. Domestically, the Egyptian president launched a massive crackdown against the Brotherhood, Egypt's largest political opposition group, declaring it a "terrorist" organisation, arresting its leaders and banning its political party. A widening military campaign against ISIL affiliates in Sinai has killed hundreds of people, including civilians.  

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/analysis-anti-isil-campaign-key-challenge-sisi-150216094613046.html

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Syrian army recaptures several villages north of Aleppo

Feb 17, 2015

The Syrian army, backed by fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, has successfully wrested control of several villages north of Aleppo from foreign-backed militants.

A monitoring group said Tuesday that the Syrian military also blocked a main supply route leading into the northwestern city amid heavy clashes between the two sides.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in UK, said pro-government forces had blocked a road leading north from the city towards the Turkish border.

Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, once served as the country’s industrial powerhouse, but it has been split between government-held western part and the militant-held eastern portion since mid-2012.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397963/Syrian-army-gains-ground-in-Aleppo

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UN envoy on Syria to brief Security Council on ‘freeze’ plan

Feb 17, 2015

The United Nations (UN)’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is scheduled to attend a UN Security Council meeting to brief its members about his “freeze” plan aimed at ending the more than four years of conflict in the country.

De Mistura, who recently made a visit to Syria, will hold talks with the members of the council behind closed doors on Tuesday.

He is expected to explain the results of his meetings with Syrian officials in respect to the plan to freeze the clashes between government forces and foreign-backed militants in the northwestern city of Aleppo to allow more humanitarian aid access.

“Our hope is that Aleppo could be a signal of goodwill, a confidence-building measure which could and can facilitate the re-starting of a political process with a clear political horizon,” he said last month in Geneva.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397957/Envoy-to-brief-UN-on-Syria-freeze-plan

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ISIL head’s uncle nabbed in Iraq: Sources

Feb 16, 2015

Iraqi security forces have apprehended two senior ISIL commanders believed to be relatives of the terrorist group’s leader, Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraqi security sources say.

The arrests were made on Sunday following a security operation near the city of Samarra in Salaheddin Province, Iraq’s state-owned television cited an unnamed security source as saying.

“A group from the Regiment Special Assignments was able to arrest Baghdadi’s uncle, named Saleh Ibrahim Abdulmomen and niece’s husband Dhiya Nouri Sadoun,” the source from the southern Dhi Qar governorate’s police said

Last December, Lebanese Interior Ministry announced that the young daughter of Baghdadi along with her mother was held in the country.

On December 2, 2014, Lebanon’s security officials said they had detained the ISIL head’s wife and son at a border crossing with Syria. However, the Iraqi government later said she was not married to Baghdadi.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/16/397785/Iraq-detains-ISIL-heads-relatives

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Mideast

 

Imam Khamenei: Islam Urges Justice on Non-Muslims

February 17, 2015

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Islam has ordered Muslims to treat the followers of other religions with “fairness and justice.”

Imam Khamenei“What is seen in the world today is that powers and governments which claim to [advocate] fairness and justice do not observe any fairness and justice except within the bounds of their narrow, limited and cruel policies,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with representatives of religious minorities in Iran’s Parliament (Majlis).

The Leader pointed to the propaganda campaign against Muslims in Europe and the US and said, "What is at issue is not [the question] why the Muslims do not have the necessary freedom in most of these countries, but at issue is [the question] why the Muslims do not have any [sense of] physical safety."

Ayatollah Khamenei cited the Hollywood-made film, American Sniper, as an example and said it encourages Christian or non-Muslim youngsters to harass the Muslims as much as possible.

Islam does not accept this approach, the Leader said, adding, “Islam believes in fairness.”

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that Imam Ali, the first Imam of the Shias, has said a Muslim would not be blamed if they die of sadness over the harassment of a non-Muslim in a Muslim country. If a Muslim dies of this sadness, that person has died for the right cause, the Leader pointed out.

Full report at:

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=195963&cid=19&fromval=1&frid=19&seccatid=32&s1=1

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Iran, Saudi Arabia can help battle terrorism: Deputy FM

Feb 17, 2015

An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia have the necessary potential to help curtail terrorism. 

“We believe that Tehran and Riyadh have the necessary potential to help countries exposed to the threat of terrorism in the region,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, said Tuesday, IRNA reported.

The Iranian diplomat noted that Iran has taken steps to initiate consultations with Saudi Arabia as an important country, adding that the Islamic Republic is “optimistic” about the future of talks with the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Terrorism in Mideast

Amir-Abdollahian also described terrorism as the main threat facing the Middle East region.

He said certain foreign states seek to fuel regional tensions by causing tribal, ethnic and religious rifts, adding that “the existence of weak or ineffective countries" has exacerbated terrorism and extremism in the region.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397947/Iran-KSA-can-help-antiterror-fight

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Senior Iranian Cleric Urges West to Stop Supporting ISIL

17 February 2015

Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi slammed the beheading of 21 Coptic Egyptians by the ISIL terrorists in Libya, and called on the West to stop its support for the terrorist group.

In reaction to the brutal murder, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi hoped in a Monday message that the perpetrators of the killings would be arrested soon and "receive severe punishment".

He also called on the followers of all other divine religions to cooperate with each other to eradicate the "vicious group".

The senior Iranian cleric warned the West about the repercussions of exploiting terrorism and urged the Western countries to stop their support for the ISIL "barbaric and oppressive group because its adverse repercussions would affect all".

Earlier on Monday, The Iranian foreign ministry strongly deplored the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, who had gone to Libya in search of work, by the ISIL terrorist group.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931128001076

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Erdogan: ‘I’m alone, other leaders envy me’

17 February 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has for the first time confessed that he feels politically 'isolated' from the world and suggested that other leaders “envy him “for “speaking his mind,” local news reports said.

Speaking to a group of journalists after a tour of Latin America, Erdogan said being “outspoken” when it comes to discussing regional issues made him “a target for criticism,” the Turkish Cihan News agency reported Monday.

But that does not matter as far as Turkish people keep up their support, Erdogan implied.

“I don't care about being alone in the eyes of the world. What matters is how the people view me. We saw [how people see him] during the presidential election that people sided with me. And there's no isolation when you consider other countries' people as well.

“Maybe there is an isolation on the level of leaders, but it's nothing other than envy,” Erdogan said, in remarks published in several Turkish dailies on Sunday.

The Turkish president provided his relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama as an example of political isolation. He recalled how his relationship with Obama “was good in the beginning” but then things changed.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/02/17/Erodgan-speaks-on-Turkey-s-isolation-says-he-is-unconcerned-.html

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Iran cleric slams ISIL killing of Egypt Christians

Feb 17, 2015

A senior Iranian cleric has strongly condemned the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by the ISIL Takfiri militants in Libya, warning the West over the consequences of providing support for the terror group. 

In a Monday message issued in reaction to the brutal murder, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi expressed hope that the perpetrators of the killings would be soon arrested and “receive severe punishment.”

The Iranian cleric called on the followers of all other divine religions to cooperate with each other to root out the “vicious group”.

Makarem Shirazi further urged the Western countries to stop their support for the ISIL “barbaric and oppressive group because its adverse repercussions would affect all.”

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists on Sunday released a five-minute gruesome video showing the killing of the Egyptian Coptic Christians.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397910/Iran-cleric-raps-ISIL-Copts-killing

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Israeli PM may have leaked US-Iran N-talks info

February 17, 2015

WASHINGTON - US officials suspect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized leaking details of US nuclear negotiations with Iran to Israeli journalists, The Washington Post reported Monday.

In recent days, the Obama administration has moved to limit the exchange of information with Israel about the ongoing negotiations with Iran following suspicion that Netanyahu’s office had given the Israeli media “sensitive details” of the US position in the talks, Post’s columnist David Ignatius wrote.

“Concerns that Israeli officials had leaked key details about those negotiations, including that the US offered to let Iran enrich uranium with ‘6,500 or more centrifuges as part of a final deal,’ has prompted the US to limit the amount of sensitive information it exchanges with Israel about the Iran nuclear negotiations,” Ignatius added. US officials believe recent Israeli reports about the talks were “misleading” on the number and type of centrifuges Iran would operate under a long-term nuclear accord.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/17-Feb-2015/israeli-pm-may-have-leaked-us-iran-n-talks-info

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Last Yemen Jews eye exodus after Shiite militia’s takeover

16 February 2015

SANAA: A few worried families are all that remain of Yemen’s ancient Jewish community, and they too may soon flee after a Shiite militia seized power in the strife-torn country this month.

Harassment by the Houthi movement — whose motto is “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam” — caused Jews in recent years to largely quit the northern highlands they shared with Yemen’s Shiites for millennia.

But political feuds in which the Jews played no part escalated last September into an armed Houthi plunge into the capital Sanaa, the community’s main refuge from which some now contemplate a final exodus.

Around six Yemeni Jews from the same family arrived in Israel on Friday, members of the community told Reuters.

“Since last September, our movements have become very limited for fear of the security situation, and there are some members of the community who preferred to leave Yemen,” sighed chief rabbi Yahya Youssef, sitting in his apartment within a walled compound next to ministry of defense.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/705111

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India

 

Do you plan on making India a 'Hindu rashtra'? Muslim clerics asks RSS

Feb 17, 2015

Kanpur: A delegation of Muslim clerics led by the Sunni Ulema Council's General Secretary met RSS functionary Indresh and posed six questions to the Sangh including whether it has prepared a format to turn India into a Hindu 'rashtra', which he claimed left the saffron outfit irritated.

The Muslim delegation claimed that Indresh refused to answer their questions and instead said that a conference of Muslim organisations should be called where he would give the answers.

"We had a meeting with senior RSS functionary Indreshji last night during which we asked six questions, but he did not have any answer," Sunni Ulema Council General Secretary Haji Mohammed Salees told PTI on Wednesday.

He alleged that Indreshji, who is pracharak and looks after minority affairs in the organisation, got "irritated" with the questions.

"Our first question was whether RSS considers India a Hindu country. The second one was whether RSS has prepared a format to turn India into a Hindu 'rashtra'. The third one was whether this Hindu 'rashtra' will be according to Hindu religious texts or RSS has chalked out a new philosophy," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/plan-making-india-hindu-rashtra-muslim-clerics-asks-rss-2103887.html

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India among 60 nations to attend White House summit on terror

PTI | Feb 17, 2015

WASHINGTON: Over 60 countries including India will participate in a White House summit on "countering violent extremism" beginning today in the backdrop of alarming growth of ISIS and recent terrorists' attacks in France and Denmark, senior administration officials have said.

While the first two days of the three-day summit are primarily focused on domestic extremism given that there was substantial increase in home grown terrorism, the final day, Thursday would see full participation of more than 60 countries including several ministers to focus on foreign fighters among others.

India, which for the past several decades has been a victim of foreign supported terrorism and faces a challenge of domestic violent extremism that include Naxals and Maoists in particular, would be represented by R N Ravi, Chairman of the powerful Joint Intelligence Committee.

"It's a very full and very ambitious agenda to expand and deepen our global coalition to counter and prevent violent extremism," a senior administration official said yesterday.

The conference would highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalising, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the US and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks throughout the world.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-among-60-nations-to-attend-White-House-summit-on-terror/articleshow/46271968.cms

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North America

 

Obama, Concerned About Anti-Muslim ‘Hate Crimes,’ Downplays Jihad

02/16/2015

A string of Islam-related murders on three continents this weekend has exposed contradictions in President Barack Obama’s risky outreach toward Islamic advocates in the United States and abroad.

The weekend started Feb. 13 with a presidential statement condemning the murder of three U.S.-born Muslims in North Carolina.

“The brutal and outrageous murders” will be investigated by the FBI, and “no one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” said the statement, which was attributed to Obama.

The three were murdered, execution-style, by a progressive atheist.

“Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones… we are all one American family,” said the statement.

The statement was released as Obama told his supporters he was trying to shape the 2016 election.  ”I’ve only got two years left, but two years is a long time,” he said at San Francisco fundraiser Friday. “Two years is also the time in which we’re going to be setting the stage for the next presidential election and the next 10 years of American policy… so I intend to run through the tape and work really hard,” he said.

Full report at:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/02/16/obama-concerned-about-anti-muslim-hate-crimes-downplays-jihad/

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Jewish-Muslim food war plays out on Manhattan streets

17 February 2015

New York City’s street curbs are playing host to another style of Mideast conflict, between a halal food cart and a Kosher rival.

Running with the headline “Intifooda,” the New York Post this week reported that Jewish kosher-food purveyor Yisroel Mordowitz said he is being forced to move his food cart due to a “halal mafia.”

Egyptian competitors have, according to the newspaper, blocked him from taking a spot in the coveted Rockefeller Center area, squatting or placing products and umbrellas on the sidewalk.

“This guy is hungry — hungry for money,” said one Halal food vendor, Mohamed Mossad , according to the newspaper. “I have a family, too!” he added.

“He’s just coming to this particular spot, and he wants to grab it from me — and kill me, actually. Kill my business.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/02/17/Jewish-Muslim-food-war-plays-out-on-Manhattan-streets.html

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Being Muslim in America after the Chapel Hill shootings

February 16th, 2015

This Is What It’s Like to Be Muslim in America after the Chapel Hill Shootings

It’s only been a few days since Deah Barakt, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were killed, execution-style, in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by a neighbor, 46-year old Craig Stephen Hicks. The three victims were American Mulisms, and their killer, an avowed atheist. For many, the equation adds up to a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia. For others, Hicks was reacting to a “parking dispute” with the victims.

Full report at:

http://www.albawaba.com/blog_roundup/being-muslim-america-after-chapel-hill-shootings-657466

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Al-Qaeda chief wanted American to ram jet into Mubarak plane

16 February 2015

NEW YORK: In the terrorism trial of a man accused of being one of Al-Qaeda’s early leaders, an American described being asked in 1995 by Osama Bin Laden to kill Egypt’s president by ramming his plane with his own in midair.

“It took me by surprise,” Ihab Mohammad Ali testified recently in New York. “I responded, ‘Well, wouldn’t I be killing myself?’“

Ali, 52, said Bin Laden answered: “Well, then you would be a martyr.’“

The glimpse into the early days of Al-Qaeda when Bin Laden had a private jet and was barely known to law enforcement officials came amid the government’s presentation of evidence over the past three weeks against Khaled Al-Fawwaz, a man portrayed by prosecutors as a key player in the terror group when it was in its infancy.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/705121

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Gordon Brown devises security plan for Pakistani schools

 February 17th , 2015

United Nations Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown on Tuesday proposed a plan for school security in Pakistan including improved safety measures, said a report published on the BBC.

The former British premier held talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to make schools safer in the wake of the Peshawar school attack which left more than 150 students and faculty members dead.

Mr Brown stated that he wants to help schools "stand up to terrorist violence". His proposal was followed by an agreement with Premier Nawaz to improve the security situation of schools.

Read: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

The proposal included safety measures such as armed guards, metal detectors, security fences, emergency communication systems and more.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164179/gordon-brown-devises-security-plan-for-pakistani-schools

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Vigils held in NY, Houston for killing Muslim students

February 17, 2015

NEW YORK - Braving bitterly cold weather, hundreds of people, mostly Muslims,  gathered Sunday afternoon in New York for  a vigil honouring the three Muslim college students shot and killed by a white neighbour in North Carolina last week - a slaying that sparked unease and concern among Muslims across the country.

A similar demonstration was also held in Houston, Taxes,  near the city’s upscale shopping mall Galleria and continued late into the evening. Participants lit candles and quietly raised signs that bore messages including ‘Am I next?’ and ‘Muslims for Peace.’ In New York, activists held rally at CNN headquarters in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bias in news coverage after the killings of three young Muslims, before a midtown march to Fox News’ office in Rockefeller Centre.

 Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/17-Feb-2015/vigils-held-in-ny-houston-for-killing-muslim-students

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Obama, Danish leader vow to fight terrorism

17 February 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed solidarity Monday with Denmark after two shootings that shocked the Nordic nation, and vowed to confront anti-Semitism and assaults on freedom of expression together with Copenhagen, Agence France Presse reported.

During a telephone call, Obama and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt “agreed on the need to work together to confront attacks on freedom of expression as well as against anti-Semitic violence,” the White House said in a statement.

It said Obama offered his condolences for the victims and expressed “American solidarity with our Danish allies.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/02/17/Obama-Danish-leader-vow-mutual-efforts-to-confront-terror-.html

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Rhode Island Muslim School Vandalized In Hate Crime

FEBRUARY 16, 2015

A non-profit Muslim school in Rhode Island was vandalized with Islamophobic graffiti on Saturday, one day after holding a vigil for the three Muslim victims of the North Carolina shooting. The story garnered national interest after the Providence Journal posted a photo of the graffiti on Sunday.

The Islamic School of Rhode Island — which opened in 2003 as the first Muslim school in the state — had never been targeted by vandalization or serious threats before, the President of the school’s board of trustees told the Providence Journal.

However, the orange graffiti covering the school’s doors left little doubt about the intentions of the vandalizers. Among the slurs scrawled on the school’s entrance — including “pigs,” and expletives referring to “Allah” — one was quite clear: “Now this is a hate crime.”

“This apparently bias-motivated incident should be hould be investigated as a hate crime, with the strongest possible charges brought against the perpetrators once they are apprehended,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the director of communications at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a press release. “The recent spike in anti-Muslim hate rhetoric and bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions must be addressed by our nation’s leaders.”

Full report at:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/02/16/3623380/rhode-island-muslim-school-vandalized-islamophobic-graffiti/

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CAIR calls for hate crime probe of US Muslim school vandalism

Feb 16, 2015

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on American authorities to investigate a vandalism attack on a Muslim school in Rhode Island as a hate crime.

The United States’ largest Muslim advocacy group urged law enforcement authorities on Sunday to bring "the strongest possible charges” against “the perpetrators once they are apprehended."

Unknown assailants broke into the Islamic School of Rhode Island in West Warwick over the weekend and sprayed anti-Muslim, racial slurs on the walls of the institution.

According to West Warwick Police Captain Donald Archibald, the damage went "beyond normal vandalism" and that the perpetrator wrote "senseless, hateful comments."

"The recent spike in anti-Muslim hate rhetoric and bias-motivated attacks on American Muslims and their institutions must be addressed by our nation's leaders," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/16/397795/US-Muslim-school-vandalism-hate-crime

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Pakistan

 

Eight dead in attack on Lahore's Police Lines, TTP claims responsibility

 February 17th, 2015

LAHORE: At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in an apparent attack on Lahore's police headquarters on Tuesday, hospital sources told Dawn. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) later claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesperson for the Jamaatul Ahrar faction of the banned TTP, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told Dawn that the attack was carried out by the splinter group.

The blast took place near the main gate of Police Lines in Lahore's Qila Gujjar Singh area. According to preliminary reports, it took place in a vehicle parked in the area, however, there are some unverified reports that it was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Huge plumes of smoke were visible in the air in the heavily populated area which was quickly cordoned off by security personnel.

Several vehicles parked near the site of the blast caught fire and window panes in nearby buildings were also shattered.

A police Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) was among those killed in the attack while the wounded also included a policewoman, according to police sources.

Inspector General Punjab Police Mushtaq Sukhera told media representatives that the target of the attack was police lines but chances are that the bomber may have been searched on his way inside so he exploded himself prematurely.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164184/eight-dead-in-attack-on-lahores-police-lines-ttp-claims-responsibility

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Army will go to any extent for Karachi peace: COAS

 February 17th , 2015

KARACHI: Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif has praised Sindh Rangers for their operation against terrorists in Karachi and said the army will take whatever action is needed to achieve a sustainable peace in the city.

A couple of tweets by ISPR Director General Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa on the army chief’s Karachi visit said Gen Sharif had been updated by Rangers DG Maj Gen Bilal Akbar on targeted operations.

Know more: Failure in fight against militancy is not an option: Nawaz

“The COAS appreciated gains of operation by the Rangers, police and intelligence agencies,” said one of the tweets, adding that the army would go to any extent to support the operation to ensure peace in Karachi.

The tweets ended with “well done, keep it up” while referring to Gen Sharif’s response to the briefing.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164071/army-will-go-to-any-extent-for-karachi-peace-coas

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Supreme Court’s attention drawn to desecration of Hindu temples

Nasir Iqbal

February 17th , 2015

ISLAMABAD: The patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, brought to the Supreme Court’s notice on Monday repeated incidents of desecration of Hindu temples in the country.

At the last hearing on Feb 11, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk had asked Mr Vankwani to submit in writing alleged excesses aimed at defiling the places of worship of Hindus.

The court had taken up a matter relating to implementation of a set of guidelines handed down in a June 19, 2014 judgment on minority rights.

Also read: SC summons IG over attacks on Hindu temples in Sindh

On Monday, Mr Vankwani, a PML-N MNA from Tharparkar, submitted two applications, one requesting the court to take notice of desecration of temples and the other seeking an order for the government to submit details about measures being taken to protect the premises sacred to the minority communities.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164087/supreme-courts-attention-drawn-to-desecration-of-hindu-temples

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Vigilant school boys help foil terror bid

 February 17th, 2015

TAXILA: An improvised explosive device was found in a shopping bag near a school in Wah cantonment on Monday.

Students spotted a bag placed at a bus stop near their school at around 7:30am. They informed their teacher who contacted local administration and police.

Military officials arrived soon after and shifted the suspicious bag to a nearby ground. The bomb disposal squad personnel who were called from Rawalpindi reached the scene at around 10am and discovered explosives inside it which they managed to defuse.

“We were waiting for friends near the school when we spotted the suspicious bag which we reported to our teacher,” said Masood Ahmed, a ninth-grade student who spotted the bag.

A teacher, on the condition of anonymity, said since the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, students had become more vigilant.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164140/vigilant-school-boys-help-foil-terror-bid

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TTP financier killed in Swat operation

 February 17th , 2015

ISLAMABAD: Notorious militant and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) financier Bakhat Raj alias Asadullah was killed in an intelligence-led operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swat region on Tuesday.

A security official, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn that Bakhat Raj financed the group's terrorist activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Buner district and the port city of Karachi.

Security forces are carrying out intelligence-driven operations across Pakistan during which a number of important militants have been rounded up.

Last year in December, the Pakistan army decided to continue ‘intelligence-based operations’ (IBOs) against militant targets throughout the country to pre-empt terrorist attacks.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Corps Com­manders held at the General Headquarters under the chairmanship of Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164182/ttp-financier-killed-in-swat-operation

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Pakistan claims killing mosque attack mastermind

16 Feb 2015

The mastermind behind a suicide bombing at a mosque in Sindh which killed 61 Shia Muslims last month has been killed, a senior Pakistani official has told the AFP news agency.

The January 30 blast hit the mosque in the Shikarpur district of the southern province of Sindh as hundreds of worshippers attended Friday prayers.

"We have been chasing Usman Saifullah Kurd for a long time. We finally got him yesterday and he was killed in the exchange of fire," Akbar Hussain Durrani, home secretary of the southwestern province of Baluchistan where Kurd was killed, told AFP on Tuesday.

"Kurd was a key commander of the Sunni hardliner group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi [LeJ] and was involved in the Shikarpur attack and many other major attacks in Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, particularly against the Shia and Hazara communities," he added.

Durrani said security forces received a tip that Kurd was having lunch at a restaurant in the city of Quetta, Baluchistan's provincial capital, where the LeJ group is particularly active.

"Kurd and his accomplices fired at the forces when they entered the restaurant, and in retaliation was killed along with another accomplice," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/pakistan-claims-killing-mosque-attack-mastermind-150216064347957.html

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Mamnoon urges African states to learn from Zarb-i-Azb

Syed Irfan Raza

 February 17th , 2015

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has advised African states to learn from Zarb-i-Azb military operation to combat the rising threat of Daesh (Islamic State) and other terrorist organisations.

He also urged Asian and African countries to devise a joint strategy to deal with the menace of terrorism.

The president was talking to a delegation of the Karachi Council of Foreign Relations, accompanied by the ambassadors/high commissioners of some African countries, which had called on him on Monday at the presidency. The delegation included the ambassadors of Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria and Mauritania.

Also read: Zarb-i-Azb to be completed by year-end: minister

He said African countries could benefit from Pakistan’s experience of carrying out a large-scale military operation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The president referred to a recent act of barbarism by the IS in Libya and offered condolence for the 21 Egyptians who were beheaded.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164080/mamnoon-urges-african-states-to-learn-from-zarb-i-azb

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JI wants open ballot in Senate polls

 February 17th , 2015

LAHORE: JI emir Sirajul Haq has opposed secret ballot in Senate polls to make the electoral process transparent.

Talking to the media after inquiring after a party leader at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital here on Monday, he regretted various political parties preferred the wealthy while awarding Senate tickets.

Also a candidate for the Senate from KP, Mr Haq demanded transparent election arrangements and public ballot.

Also read: 184 candidates submit nomination papers for Senate elections: ECP

Referring to Baldia Town tragedy, he said the nation was looking towards the prime minister and the army chief for justice. He cautioned if the tragedy of the burning to death of 259 factory workers was politicised, no one would believe in the slogans for uprooting terrorism.

He said if the PPP accepted the MQM as ally in the Sindh government just for the sake of a few seats, it would mean the party was not serious in eliminating terrorism because “with terrorists sitting on its side, the government cannot wipe out the menace”.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164107/ji-wants-open-ballot-in-senate-polls

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Europe

 

ISIS Sets Sights on Europe in Latest Beheading Video

Feb. 16, 2015

Brutal killing of 21 seems an attempt to provoke retaliation

A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic Christians purportedly killed by ISIS militants in Libya reacts after hearing the news on Feb. 16, 2015 in the village of Al-Awar in Egypt's southern province of Minya.

The executioner speaks in English and points his knife toward the Mediterranean. “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission,” he says.

The video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) on Sunday showing the killings of 21 Egyptian Christian workers, appeared to be directed at the Christian world, the continent of Europe and gloried in its brutality.

It was filmed in Libya on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The video made no reference to the other powers in Libya’s civil war, in which both of the country’s rival governments claim to be combating ISIS.

Full report at:

http://time.com/3711022/isis-libya-copts/

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Britain lacks strategy to fight the Islamic state in Iraq

14th Feb 2015

ANTONIA FILMER

The House of Commons Defence Committee published their critical assessment of the situation in Iraq and the UK's response to Daesh (ISIS), on 5 February. The conclusion was that the UK was behind the curve in terms of intelligence, on-site expertise in analysis and military contribution. Chairman Rory Stewart, MP, said, "The nightmare of a jihadist state establishing across Syria and Iraq has been realised. Daesh controls territory equivalent to the size of UK... Yet the role the UK is playing in combating it is strikingly modest."

The Committee was shocked that the service chiefs were unable, or unwilling, to state UK's objectives or strategic plan for Iraq. They were shocked to understand that there were no experts with a profound comprehension of the local tribes and the politics of Iraqi or Shia militia. It was discovered that UK has so far conducted only 6% of air-strikes against Daesh and only three military personnel were employed outside of the Kurdish regions of Iraq, compared to 400 Australian, 300 Spanish, 280 Italians and 3,100 Americans.

Prime Minister David Cameron has openly stated his resolve to use everything in his power to defeat the ISIS. Despite playing a major role in Iraq earlier, Britain ceased to sponsor Iraqi officer-training at Sandhurst in 2009 and closed the British Consular General in Basra in 2011. By 2014, Iraq did not feature highly in the priority scale for UK intelligence, with no defence section in Kurdistan, no Department for International Development (DFID) office in Iraq, and with the British embassy in Bagdad being staffed by three juniors.

Full report at:

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/news/britain-lacks-strategy-to-fight-the-islamic-state-in-iraq

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Islamic Group Wants To Name New Mosque In Moscow After Putin; Russian Muslims Complain About Too Few Places Of Worship

February 16 2015

By  Cristina Silva

A Muslim group has sought permission to build a new mosque in Moscow and name it after Russian President Vladimir Putin. The United Islamic Congress of Russia has filed the request with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a frequent critic of Muslim immigrants, according to media reports.

Sobyanin has said the "excessive" number of Muslim newcomers to Moscow was "harmful" and that no new building permits for mosques would be granted. “It has turned out that the praying Muslims are not at all Russian citizens and they are not Moscow residents. They are labor migrants. There are only 10 percent of Moscow residents among them and building mosques for everyone who wants it – I think this will be over the top,” Sobyanin said in an interview with Moscow's Echo radio in 2013.

He continued: “Muscovites now get irritated by people who speak a different language, have different manners, with aggressive behavior. This is not purely ethnic, but this is connected with some ethnic traits."

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.com/islamic-group-wants-name-new-mosque-moscow-after-putin-russian-muslims-complain-about-1817880

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IEA says Middle East militancy poses ‘major challenge’ for oil

17 February 2015

The rise of ISIS Iraq and Syria presents a major challenge for the investment necessary to prevent an oil shortage in the next decade, the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) top economist said on Tuesday.

While the IEA has sounded warnings that Middle East crude production will need to rise in the 2020s to meet predicted demand, Chief Economist Fatih Birol said there remain "myopic" views about the need for investment at a time when the fall in oil prices means energy companies are slashing new drilling.

U.S. oil output from shale formations, while expected to rise in the short term even with the cutbacks in drilling and investment, will not be enough to meet demand. The traditional Middle East producers will need to meet the expected rise in consumption, Birol said, with Iraq expected to contribute about 50 percent of the additional oil needed.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/energy/2015/02/17/IEA-says-Middle-East-militancy-poses-major-challenge-for-oil.html

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Europe rebuffs Netanyahu’s call for Jews to move to Israel

17 February 2015

COPENHAGEN: Danish Jews on Monday turned down an offer by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to emigrate to Israel following a deadly weekend attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen.

“We’re very grateful for Netanyahu’s concern but having said that, we are Danish — we’re Danish Jews but we’re Danish — and it won’t be terror that makes us go to Israel,” said a spokesman for the Jewish Community in Denmark, Jeppe Juhl.

“So we understand his concern for our well-being, and we value his concern but we are Danish and we’re staying in Denmark. If we move to Israel it’s for other reasons,” he told AFP.

Netanyahu on Sunday urged European Jews to move to Israel after a Jewish man was killed outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue in one of two attacks in the city at the weekend.

“Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” Netanyahu said in a statement, repeating a similar call after attacks by jihadis in Paris last month that killed 17 people including four Jews.

Germany said Monday it wants Jews to stay and promised to ensure their security following the Danish attack.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/705591

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Danish intelligence knew gunman ‘at risk of radicalization’

17 February 2015

The suspected gunman in two fatal shootings in Copenhagen was flagged up by prison authorities as being at risk of becoming radicalised, the Danish intelligence agency said Tuesday.

The Prison and Probation Service reported in September that the 22-year-old was at “risk of radicalisation”, while he was serving time for a stabbing, the Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said in a statement.

However, it added: “PET had, against the background of the alert from the Prison and Probation Service no reason to believe that the now deceased 22-year-old offender was planning attacks.”

The suspected gunman, identified by the media as Omar El-Hussein, a Danish-born man of Palestinian origin, was killed in a shootout with police on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/02/17/Danish-intelligence-knew-gunman-at-risk-of-radicalization-.html

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New study provides unique insight in to Britain's Muslim Population

Feb 17, 20

It’s been called a landmark report – and the most comprehensive study on Britain’s Muslim population.

Looking at data from the 2001 and 2011 census – that asked Britons their religion for the very first time.

These figures tell a story that provides unique insight in to Britain’s Muslim population.

They are a growing community. There were 1 and a half million British Muslims in 2001. And 2.7 million in 2011. But, while that has been used by the right wing to scaremonger about a “Muslim takeover” that is simply not true. Muslims still only make up only 4.8% of the UK population

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397885/New-study-provides-unique-insight-in-to-Britains-Muslim-Population

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia moving 2 Aussies, 5 other foreigners for execution

February 17 2015

Eight convicted drug smugglers, including seven foreigners, will be transferred to an Indonesian prison island this week for imminent execution despite international appeals for clemency, an official said Monday.

Among the eight are Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, the ringleaders of a group of nine Australians arrested in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms (18.3 pounds) of heroin to Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The seven other members of the group — dubbed the "Bali Nine" by Australian media — have received prison sentences ranging from 20 years to life.

In addition to Chan and Sukumaran, five men from France, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia, and a woman from the Philippines, will face a firing squad after being moved to Nusa Kambangan prison, Attorney General's Office spokesman Tony Spontana said, without giving exact dates. Six other drug smugglers, including five foreigners, were executed in January at the same prison, located off Indonesia's main island of Java.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has rejected appeals by Australia's government for clemency for Chan and Sukumaran, and vowed not to grant mercy to any other drug offenders because Indonesia is suffering a "drug emergency."

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/17/indonesia-moving-2-aussies-5-other-foreigners-execution.html

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Indonesian Muslim congress focuses on unity, pluralism

February 17, 2015

The importance of religious unity and tolerance toward members of other faiths or different sects highlighted the sixth Indonesian Muslims Congress (KUII) in Yogyakarta last week.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) organised the three-day meeting on Islam's place within and outside the archipelago. It wrapped up February 11th and featured speeches by leading Muslim clerics and scholars, as well as top officials from the new national government .

Islam's existence in Indonesia has served as a world model for harmonious society because of how Muslims here can live and work with people of other faiths in relative peace, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said at the February 9th opening.

"We always feel proud as the largest Muslim country. Consequently, we should be able to co-exist with the other [faiths] better than other nations do," Kalla said.

Two days later at the congress, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reiterated that message, saying Indonesia has shown tolerance and mutual respect is strong and that the nation always takes the middle ground.

Full report at:

http://khabarsoutheastasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/features/2015/02/17/feature-02

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Growing European concerns about Muslim migrants

February 17 2015

For the last couple of months, weekly anti-Muslim demonstrations have been taking place in several German cities. Led by Pegida, the acronym for its German name of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe, the protests began in Dresden and have spread to other cities.

These marches have attracted counter-protests that often outnumber the anti-Muslim demonstrators. Oddly, only 0.5 per cent of Dresden’s population is Muslim. And although a demo in Leipzig drew 25,000 marchers, the numbers have fallen since. One reason is that the leader of the movement, Lutz Bachmann, was revealed to be a closet neo-Nazi when a photograph of him with a Hitler moustache and haircut surfaced.

Even though many German Muslims are of Turkish origin who mostly speak German and are fairly well integrated, it is the new wave of asylum seekers from Syria who have caused alarm.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/17/growing-european-concerns-about-muslim-migrants.html

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Lawmakers Call for KPK Chief Abraham to Step Down

 Feb 17, 2015

Jakarta. The House of Representatives deputy speaker has called on Abraham Samad, chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, to resign.

Fadli Zon said Abraham — who was named a suspect by South Sulawesi Police on Tuesday for allegedly forging state documents and by the National Police on accusation of meddling in a legal case  — should stop work immediately.

“The KPK law states that a commissioner should resign temporarily if he’s named suspect in a case,” Faldi said. “The president then should issue a decree and take the next step.”

Fadli argued that Abraham’s status would disturb the work of Indonesia’s anti-graft agency.

Abraham has been named suspect for allegedly helping Feriyani Lim obtain a passport illegally at the immigration office in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in 2007.

A spokesman for the KPK said the agency respected the legal process and would assist Abraham with legal aid.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/lawmakers-call-kpk-chief-abraham-step/

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Africa

 

South Sudan's warring forces 'recruiting children'

16 Feb 2015

South Sudan government and rebel forces are both recruiting children as young as 13 to fight in the country's civil war, a rights group has said in a report rejected by the government.

The government is "actively recruiting" teenagers, often by force, while rebels are also using child soldiers in the 14-month long conflict, said Human Rights Watch (HRW).

"Despite renewed promises by both government and opposition forces that they will stop using child soldiers, both sides continue to recruit and use children in combat," said HRW's Africa director Daniel Bekele.

Minister for Information Michael Makuei dismissed the report, saying there were plenty of men still able to fight.

"How can we recruit child soldiers at a time when we have sufficient manpower?" he told the AFP news agency. "We have no child soldiers."

But HRW say that government forces are taking children, in some cases, such as in the northern war-damaged town of Malakal, "from right outside the United Nations compound".

Malakal, in oil-rich Upper Nile State, has changed hands six times since the war started in December 2013, and 21,000 civilians have sought shelter and safety behind the UN's barbed-wire fences.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/south-sudan-warring-forces-recruiting-children-150216092513508.html

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Libya air force chief says 50 killed in strikes

February 17, 2015

Libya’s air force chief said Monday that at least 50 people had been killed in air strikes by Egyptian and Libyan warplanes launched after jihadists beheaded a group of Egyptian Christians.

There was no way to independently confirm the claim made by Libyan air force chief Saqr al-Jaroushi to Egyptian television.

Jaroushi told the private CBC Extra broadcaster that Egyptian and Libyan warplanes had struck Islamic State group targets in the country including bases and weapons depots.

‘Egypt has the right to defend its children and has struck in Derna.

The number of those killed is at least 50,’ he told CBC Extra in response to a question on the number of militants killed.

Egypt’s military earlier said it had launched the strikes in Libya in response to a video released by the jihadists showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Copts.

Jaroushi said there is a ‘high level of coordination’ between Libyan and Egyptian forces, especially regarding intelligence.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/17-Feb-2015/libya-air-force-chief-says-50-killed-in-strikes

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Central Africa leaders plan Boko Haram offensive

17 Feb 2015

Leaders from Central Africa have met in Cameroon to finalise plans for a military offensive against Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

Representatives of 10 nations met in the capital Yaounde on Monday under the aegis of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and committed to spend $86m to fight Boko Haram.

They also urged the international community to provide more support to counter the armed group.

Nigeria-based Boko Haram has widened its attacks into neighbouring nations, notably Cameroon and Chad, in a conflict estimated to have claimed 13,000 lives since 2009.

"This session is historic because we must use it to respond to the barbaric actions of the terrorist group Boko Haram," Hamid Alami, secretary-general of ECCAS, said on Monday.

"This terrorist group has the military and human resources of a conventional army, but uses asymmetric methods, making the fight more complex and costly for Cameroon and Chad."

The aim of Monday's discussion was to come up with "an agreed solution" on the fight against the group, a source close to the Cameroonian government told the AFP news agency.

Nigeria absent

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/central-africa-leaders-plan-boko-haram-offensive-150217051646361.html

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Police yet to identify African students’ attackers

VATSALA SHRANG

4th Oct 2014

Delhi police is yet to identify and arrest any of the attackers involved in the beating up of three African students, who allegedly molested a girl. Sources said that the Delhi police could have had them in custody. But thanks to a shoddy probe the attackers were let off. The police neither scanned the CCTV footage nor recorded the African students' statements. The Embassies of Gabon and Burkina Faso, West African countries where the students came from, have already written to the Ministry of External Affairs demanding a probe. The incident took place at the Rajiv Chowk Metro station a week ago.

An investigating officer from the railway unit of the Delhi police said that the incident took place when some youths were making fun of Mapaga (22), Yohan (22) , both from Gabon, and Guira (20) from Burkina Faso and taking their photographs in their camera phones. When they objected, the rowdy crowd started alleging that they were drunk and passing lewd remarks at a woman commuting on the same train.

Full report at:

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/news/police-yet-to-identify-african-students-attackers

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A tough choice in Nigerian elections

16 Feb 2015

Lagos, Nigeria - Oluwaseyi Adepoju is a political man but he won't be voting in Nigeria's elections, now slated for March 28 after being postponed.

There's simply no good choice to be made, he said. And even if there were, he lost faith in his country's political system long ago.

Leaning forward, he pointed to a scar on his forehead. "You see this? This was from the last election."

He was working for the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos state during the presidential vote in 2011, which was seen - by local standards - as relatively free and fair.

There, he was exposed first hand to the corruption of power-hungry party men, who one-by-one came to him with "envelopes" in the hope of persuading Adepoju to doctor the figures.

But he couldn't be bought.

The repayment was a beating by thugs, who attacked him on the street as votes were being counted.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/02/tough-choice-nigerian-elections-150215134322835.html

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South Asia

 

Afghan army launches major offensive against Taliban militants

Feb 17, 2015

Afghan military forces have launched a major offensive against Taliban militants in the southern province of Helmand, which is considered the militants’ stronghold.

The Tuesday operation, code-named “Zolfiqar,” was the Afghan troops’ first major offensive after US-led forces ended their combat mission in the war-torn country in December last year.

“This is a totally Afghan-planned and Afghan-led operation. It will continue until success is achieved,” said General Abdul Khaliq, the commander of the operation.

At least 76 militants were killed on the first day of the operation in four districts of Helmand, Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry said.

“This is not the first and will not be the last operation against the Taliban and their allies,” Defense Ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri said.

The operation started a day after six policemen were killed in the Maiwand district of Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan. They were lured by the Taliban militants into an abandoned building, where the militants set off a bomb, and were then fired on by the militants.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/17/397965/Afghan-army-begins-antiTaliban-raid

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China assumes leading role in Afghan reconciliation

17 February 2015

China is set to make history by helping prevent neighbouring Afghanistan from sliding into complete chaos after Western forces ended their combat mission in the mountainous nation.

A year after economic and security interests prompted China to assume a lead role in Afghanistan's peace process, Beijing appears to be on the cusp of bringing the Kabul government and its Taliban enemies to the negotiating table.

Recently, a Chinese foreign minister publically offered to mediate in the stalled Afghan peace negotiations.

"We will support the Afghan government in realising reconciliation with various political factions, including the Taliban," Wang Yi told journalists. "China is ready to play a constructive role and will provide the necessary facilitation at any time if required by various parties in Afghanistan."

In a significant symbolic step, Wang made these comments during a visit to Pakistan last week.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164186/china-assumes-leading-role-in-afghan-reconciliation

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Bomb hits vehicle in Afghan capital, wounds one: police

 February 17th , 2015

KABUL: A bomb attached to a vehicle wounded one person in Kabul early on Tuesday, police said, breaking a recent lull in attacks in the Afghan capital.

Kabul had been rocked by a string of bombings by insurgents late last year in the run-up to the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops from Afghanistan after 13 years of war.

Read: Taliban claim victory after British withdrawal from Afghanistan

A suspected magnetic bomb attached to a 4-wheel-drive vehicle exploded in the east of the city, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said.

One person was wounded in the blast, Rahimi said, but he did not give any details about the person's identity.

The blast was powerful enough to send a plume of dark smoke into the sky over Kabul.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164172/bomb-hits-vehicle-in-afghan-capital-wounds-one-police

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Khaleda, 13 others sued for Gulshan blast

 February 17, 2015

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 13 other BNP leaders and activists have been sued for yesterday’s crude bomb attack on a procession led by the shipping minister at Gulshan 2 in Dhaka.

A labour leader, Ismail Hossain Bachchu, filed the case with Gulshan Police Station last night accusing Khaleda of masterminding the attack, Khalid Morshed, a sub-inspector of Gulshan Police Station, told The Daily Star.

Mohila Dal General Secretary Shirin Sultana, Khaleda's Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan, BNP chief’s Special Assistant Shimul Biswas have also been made accused in the case, the SI said.

At least eight people were hurt in a crude bomb blast when a procession, led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, was marching towards Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office yesterday to lay siege to it.

The bomb went off at the tail of the procession around 12:20pm yesterday. Shajahan led over 1,000 people towards Khaleda's office protesting the ongoing blockade and hartals.

http://www.thedailystar.net/khaleda-13-others-sued-for-gulshan-blast-65276

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‘BNP-Jamaat men’ torch 2 trucks in Moulvibazar

 February 17th , 2015

Activists of BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami allegedly torched two trucks in Moulvibazar Sadar upazila today, on the third day of the 72-hour countrywide hartal (shutdown).

They set ablaze the vehicles in Kamalpur Bazar area around 6:05am, but none was hurt during the sabotage, said Abdus Salek, officer-in-charge of Moulvibazar Sadar Police Station.

Police are yet to arrest anyone in this connection as the BNP and Jamaat men fled the scene soon after the incident, the OC said.

On information, a firefighting unit rushed to the spot and doused the flame. A case was filed in this regard.

In Dhaka, police picked up at least 16 BNP, Jamaat and Shibir men from different parts of Dhaka on charges of plotting subversive activities in 24 hours till 9:00am today, according to a text message sent by Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

But no incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the country till filing the report around 11:30am.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/bnp-jamaat-men-torch-2-trucks-in-moulvibazar-65264

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No end in sight to ‘slow-burn’ Bangladesh turmoil

February 17, 2015

CHRISTIAN OTTON - Twelve-year-old Rakib Mia was on his way to scavenge for his family when a petrol bomb exploded on the floor of his bus in Bangladesh, turning him into a human fireball.

“What did he do to anyone?”, said his mother Rashida Khatun after watching her son wheeled off for surgery at Dhaka’s main hospital, overflowing with victims of a lethal standoff between government and opposition.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/17-Feb-2015/no-end-in-sight-to-slow-burn-bangladesh-turmoil

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/the-middle-east-is-red-with-the-blood-of-christians/d/101565

 

 

 

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