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Islamic World News ( 23 Jan 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Treat Far-Right Extremists The Same As Islamists: UK Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC

New Age Islam News Bureau

24 January 2022

 

Convicted neo-Nazi Ben John was resentenced to two years in prison. (File/Lincolnshire Police)

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• Sri Lanka Forces Islamic School Textbooks To Be Withdrawn For Possibility Of Containing ‘Extremist Ideology’

• Uighurs In Turkey Call For Boycott Of Beijing Games

• I Would Be More Dangerous If Forced To Step Down, Pakistan PM Imran Khan Warns Opposition

• RSS Body Carries Out A Public Awareness Campaign In UP, Condemns Remarks Made At Uttarakhand ‘Dharam Sansad’

 

Europe

• UK Govt Orders Probe Into Muslim Ex-Minister, Nusrat Ghani’s Claims

• Mosque Targeted In Shooting Attack In Germany

• Kazakhstan holding hundreds for terrorism and disorder following mass unrest

• Former Labour Party head Corbyn slams UK for arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen war

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South Asia

• High Schools For Girls To Reopen In March, IEA Has No Issue With Girls’ Education:  Education Ministry

• IEA Issues Joint Statement After Meeting Non-Taliban Afghans In Oslo

• Taliban, US to discuss establishment of inclusive government

• We have right to suppress dissidents and imprison protestors: Mujahid

• Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Herat, Afghanistan

• Taliban say bombers target minivan in Afghanistan, 7 dead

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Southeast Asia

• More Islamic Studies classes only a problem for ‘some people’, says Idris

• HR minister: Pilot project to recruit 10,000 domestic helpers from Indonesia next month

• Kelantan PAS respects state Umno’s decision to sever political ties, says Ahmad Yakob

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Pakistan

• Religious tourism is likely to pick pace between India, Pakistan

• Pakistani YouTuber Gets One Year Jail Term For Justifying Lynching Of Sri Lankan Citizen

• Pak to hand over 20 Indian fishermen to India at Wagah

• After invoking UN norm, PM Imran clarifies call for Afghan help

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India

• Stung By Criticism Over Writing To Asad Owaisi, Sajjad Nomani Issues Clarification

• India ready to ship wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistan early February

• Fat Muslim weddings are draining away resources of community

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Arab World

• Arab Bloc Seeks ‘Terrorist’ Designation For Houthis

• UAE intercepts Houthi attack, Saudi Arabia reports two injured by fallen missile

• ISIS-Kurds battle after Syria prison attack kills over 120 in four days: Monitor

• Arab Coalition strikes in Yemen kill 40 Houthi ‘terrorists,’ destroy five vehicles

• UAE forces destroy Houthi launch site that targeted Abu Dhabi: Defence ministry

• Arab League to hold emergency meeting on Houthi attack on UAE

• Kurdish-led SDF conduct search for Daesh militants in Hasakah: Report

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Mideast

• Palestinian Prisoners Continue Boycott Of Israeli Military Courts For 3rd Consecutive Week

• Dozens of fanatic Jewish settlers defile al-Aqsa Mosque

• Iran’s Top Negotiator Meets EU’s Mora, Talks Underway in Vienna

• Iran Takes Back Voting Right in UN

• Turkish journalist arrested for insulting President Erdogan: Report

• Israeli minister slams settler violence as 'terrorism’

• 17 Palestinian journalists held in Israeli prisons: NGO

• Yemen to keep up counterstrikes’ until the end of invasion: Ansarullah official

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Africa

• Taraba Tackles Muslim Body, Alleges Council Inciting Religious Tension

• French military base in Mali attacked: media reports

• Sudan’s Hemedti visits Ethiopia for bilateral talks

• Burkina Faso’s President Kabore is held by mutinous soldiers

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North America

• Marie Newman, US Congresswoman, Urges End To Israel’s Palestinian Homes Demolition Policy

• American citizen in Afghanistan embraces Islam

• Nearly 3,000 Americans sign petition, demand end to Israel's ethnic cleansing in Negev

• US warplanes bomb Syrian city in purported bid to repel Daesh attack

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/far-right-extremists-islamists-uk-solicitor-general/d/126229

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Treat Far-Right Extremists The Same As Islamists: UK Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC

 

Convicted neo-Nazi Ben John was resentenced to two years in prison. (File/Lincolnshire Police)

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January 23, 2022

LONDON: The UK’s solicitor general has called for far-right and Islamist extremists to be punished equally, saying there should be “no hierarchy” when it comes to dealing with terrorists.

Alex Chalk QC was speaking after the Court of Appeal in London overturned an “unduly lenient” sentence handed down to a convicted neo-Nazi, Ben John, who as part of his punishment had been told to read novels by 18th-century writers, including Jane Austen, instead of extremist material. John was resentenced to two years in prison.

The solicitor general argued for the 22-year-old to receive a harsher sentence, telling the Independent: “Those who reach for terrorism to advance their warped worldview, whether that’s extreme right-wing terrorism or Islamist terrorism, or whether it’s anarchic terrorism, need to understand that the authorities will intervene and they should expect a robust penalty.”

UK police arrest twice as many people for suspected involvement in far-right activity as they do people of Asian ethnicity.

In December 2021, Dean Haydon, the UK’s senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, told the Independent the far-right makes up around 13 percent of live terror cases.

Since March 2017, authorities have stopped 12 far-right plots, in addition to 18 planned by Islamists.

John was part of an increasing number of cases where police intervene early before attacks or escalation can be planned. He was convicted of possessing a document containing instructions on how to make explosives.

The far-right extremist previously had been referred to the UK’s counter-extremist Prevent program twice, but was found to have white supremacist, antisemitic and satanic material, including propaganda from the neo-Nazi terrorist groups National Action and Atomwaffen Division.

Chalk told the Independent: “We thought that, given all the circumstances — the nature of the terrorism manual he was in possession of, plus the failure to respond to respond to efforts to de-radicalize him through Prevent — meant that a suspended sentence didn’t meet the justice of the case and was insufficient to protect the public.”

He added: “Possession of these materials is not a minor offense, it’s a serious offense and rightly so. The point is that if somebody harbors an extremist mindset then those materials, if ready to hand, can be the very tool they need to perpetrate the atrocity. That’s why it’s so serious — it’s that unholy alliance of the terrorist manual and the warped worldview that can lead to really significant and dangerous outcomes. That’s why we make no apology for taking a robust approach.”

At John’s first trial, he was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence, and Judge Timothy Spencer QC asked him: “Have you ever read Dickens? Austen? Well, start now. Start with ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ Shakespeare? Try ‘Twelfth Night.’ Dickens, start with ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and, if you have time, think about Hardy and think about Trollope.”

At the subsequent resentencing, Lord Justice Holroyde said the issue with the original sentence was not the instruction to read works of British literature in place of radicalizing material, but that the original suspended sentence was unlawful, and should have been custodial.

“It was certainly a very lenient sentence, but we are not persuaded that in the circumstances in this case, the length of the term of imprisonment was itself unduly lenient. It is because the term was unlawful that we conclude it was unduly lenient,” he said.

Nick Lowles, CEO of pressure group Hope Not Hate, welcomed the new sentence.

“While prison often fails to rehabilitate and isn’t always the answer, (Spencer’s) baffling suggestion that Ben John read classic literature reduced the serious offenses he committed to a parody. The far right represents the fastest-growing threat of violence in Britain today.”

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2010171/world

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Sri Lanka Forces Islamic School Textbooks To Be Withdrawn For Possibility Of Containing ‘Extremist Ideology’

 

File photograph: Sri Lankan soldiers at a Tamil school.

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23 January 2022

Sri Lanka’s controversial ‘One Country, One Law’ Task Force and a think-tank under the defence ministry have forced the withdrawal of an Islamic text book, reportedly over concerns that “they might contain ideas of extremist ideology”.

According to a report in the Sunday Times the textbooks for Grade 6 schoolchildren “contained some objectionable words”.

The withdrawal of the textbooks reportedly came on the recommendation of the task force, which came under criticism after the appointment of an extremist racist Sinhala monk with a history of incendiary statements and incitement to violence, as chairman.

The Institute of National Security Studies, a think tank that comes under Sri Lanka’s powerful Defence Ministry, reportedly also raised concerns.

“There is no need for significant changes to be made in those text books except for minor changes,” said Sri Lanka’s Educational Publications Department Commissioner General P.N. Illapperuma. “We will rectify them soon and distribute the amended books.”

Last week, Tamil poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem described the torture he faced at the hands of Sri Lanka’s security forces who arrested him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act over his Tamil poetry. “The officers said because I did not own the Buddhist books, that I am a terrorist,” he told The Morning.

Source: Tamil Guardian

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lanka-forces-islamic-school-textbooks-be-withdrawn-extremist-ideology

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Uighurs In Turkey Call For Boycott Of Beijing Games

 

People from China's Uyghur Muslim ethnic group protest outside the city's Turkish Olympic Committee building, calling for a boycott of next month's Winter Olympics in Beijing over China's treatment of the minority, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

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January 23, 2022

ISTANBUL: Dozens of people from China’s Uighur Muslim ethnic group protested in Istanbul today, calling for a boycott of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s treatment of the minority.

The protesters gathered outside the city’s Turkish Olympic Committee building, waving the blue-and-white flags of the independence movement of East Turkestan, a group Beijing says threatens the stability of its far western region of Xinjiang.

“China stop the genocide, China close the camps”, chanted the demonstrators, some holding up a banner reading “Stop Genocide Olympics”.

Chinese authorities have been accused of facilitating forced labour by detaining around a million Uighurs and other primarily Muslim minorities in camps since 2016.

China initially denied the camps existed but has since said they are vocational centres and are designed to combat extremism. It denies all accusations of abuse.

“China does not have the right to host the Olympics while committing all the torture, cruelty and genocide against Uighurs,” said headscarved Uighur housewife Munevver Ozuygur, who said she had relatives in camps in China.

The Beijing Olympics begin on Feb 4.

The US and many of its allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Games in protest at China’s rights record.

About 50,000 Uighurs – with whom Turks share ethnic, religious and linguistic connections – are believed to reside in Turkey, the largest Uighur Diaspora outside Central Asia.

Last month, 19 Uighurs filed a criminal complaint with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials, accusing them of committing genocide, torture, rape and crimes against humanity.

Uighurs living in Turkey have criticised Ankara’s approach to China. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this month he conveyed Turkey’s “views, expectations and sensitivities” over the Uighurs to his Chinese counterpart during talks in Beijing.

UN experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly from the Uighur and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in camps in Xinjiang. “The world, Turkic countries and Islamic countries need to wake up. China is committing genocide right now,” said protester Abdurrahman Taymaz.

“They are deceiving people. We want these Olympic Games to be boycotted as soon as possible.”

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2022/01/23/uighurs-in-turkey-call-for-boycott-of-beijing-games/?_

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I Would Be More Dangerous If Forced To Step Down, Pakistan PM Imran Khan Warns Opposition

 

File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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JANUARY 24, 2022

He accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief of evading cases of corruption by not responding to allegation charges

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on January 23 warned the Opposition parties that he would be more dangerous if they forced him to step down as he ruled out granting any concession to them.

Responding to a question about the planned long march by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on March 23 during live calls by the public, Mr. Khan said that the move would fail.

"If I take to the streets, then you (opposition parties) won't find any place to hide,” Mr. Khan said, adding that he would be more dangerous if forced to step down.

The PDM – an alliance of nearly a dozen opposition parties – was formed against the Pakistan Army's interference in politics and installing "puppet" Prime Minister Khan through a "manipulated" election.

PDM President and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl head Maulana Fazlur Rahman has announced that the opposition parties would launch a long march towards Islamabad on March 23 to rid the nation of the "incapable and illegitimate" government of Imran Khan.

Mr. Khan also slammed the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and refused to have any interaction with him.

"I get called out for not meeting Shehbaz as he is the Leader of the Opposition. (But) I see him as the nation's criminal," he said.

He accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief of evading cases of corruption by not responding to allegation charges.

Mr. Khan said that the entire Sharif family would end up fleeing to London where Nawaz Sharif and his two sons were already living.

To a question about the possible return of Nawaz Sharif, he said, "Please come back, we are waiting for you" but added: "He will not come back. He loves money." Sharif has been living in the U.K. in self-exile since November 2019. He had gone to London after the Lahore High Court granted him bail for four-weeks to get his treatment abroad. He was serving a seven-year term at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in a corruption case.

Mr. Khan said that former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf committed the "biggest sin" by granting NROs (National Reconciliation Ordinances) to the Opposition.

He said that the Opposition wanted to blackmail the government, but said that it would be a "betrayal" if he ever granted them any concession.

Mr. Khan said that his government will complete its current term and also win the next general elections.

Shortly after Mr. Khan's address, PML-N leader and daughter of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, took to Twitter and said that his warning that if removed from power he will become more dangerous are nothing but empty threats.

"(Khan) sounds like a person who is not only defeated but has also accepted his defeat. 4 years into the govt & he is still only whining. The ‘cartels’ you are complaining about are the MAFIAS on your right & left who have fleeced 220 million & who run your kitchen,” Ms. Maryam tweeted.

She was apparently referring to a recent damning report by the Election Commission which said that Mr. Khan's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has under-reported an amount of PKR 312 million over a four-year period, between FY 2009-10 and FY 2012-13. The year-wise details reveal that an amount in excess of PKR 145 million was under-reported in FY 2012-13 alone.

She said that the corruption cases the Imran Khan government has filed against Sharifs could not be proved.

"The cases you made against Sharifs and PML-N were false & fabricated and were bound to meet the fate they have met. Now that your reality has dawned on the world, do not blame the judiciary. You have only your vindictiveness & revengefulness to blame," she wrote.

"Every word that Imran Khan uttered today reeks of failure, dashed hopes and no faith in his or PTI’s future. This was inevitable, man," she said.

In his programme, Mr. Khan also said that the rising commodity prices in the country were robbing him of peaceful night slumber.

"It is the only issue that keeps me awake at night,” he said when asked by a caller about the skyrocketing inflation, but hastened to add that the rise in the prices was a global phenomenon and even the U.K. and EU were facing this issue.

He dwelt at length on the issue of prices and his efforts to fix the economic problems, including inflation, which his government had been trying to address through a raft of measures.

"My government also spent $8 billion on the welfare of the people to offset the impact of the coronavirus,” he said, but added that the money spent was little compared to rich countries and said that the U.S. spent $6,000 billion for the welfare of the people.

He said that apart from COVID-19, his government had to face the Afghan crisis as after the Taliban takeover, dollars started flowing out of Pakistan which had a negative impact on the rupee.

Mr. Khan defending his performance said that the net wealth had increased as the World Bank had estimated an increase of 5.37% in Pakistan's GDP. He said the increase was due to solid policies.

He said that the production of cars and motorcycles was at an all-time high and the corporate sector made big profits while the agriculture sector also did very well.

Source: The Hindu

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/i-would-be-more-dangerous-if-forced-to-step-down-pakistan-pm-imran-khan-warns-opposition/article38316969.ece

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RSS Body Carries Out A Public Awareness Campaign In UP, Condemns Remarks Made At Uttarakhand ‘Dharam Sansad’

 

RSS Body Carries Out A Public Awareness Campaign In UP, Condemns Remarks Made At Uttarakhand ‘Dharam Sansad’

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January 24, 2022

The RSS’ Muslim wing on Sunday carried out a public awareness campaign in three districts of Uttar Pradesh and held meetings with Muslim clerics and scholars to garner the community’s support for the BJP ahead of assembly polls.

The campaign was carried out by a 10-member team of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) in Amroha, Moradabad and Rampur districts of Uttar Pradesh, the RSS affiliate said in a statement.

The MRM team comprised its national convenor Md Akhtar, head of the outfit’s Madrasa cell Mazahar Khan and Uttarakhand Madrasa Board chairman Bilal Ur Rehman, it added.

“In all the three districts, we had long and intense discussions with the Maulana of Jama Masjid, Qazi and Muslim intellectuals like doctors, lawyers, and engineers on the problems that the members of the community are facing and their solution,” MRM’s national convenor and media in-charge Shahid Sayeed told PTI.

During the meetings, the MRM said in a statement, members of the Muslim community raised concerns over “growing animosity” in society, referring to the remarks made by some of the participants at a ‘Dharam Sansad’ in Uttarakhand recently.

“They felt that the kind of statements made at the Dharam Sansad were not right for any civilised society,” the MRM said.

“Md Akhtar clarified that neither the government nor the Sangh had anything to do with any such Dharam Sansad and also told them that the MRM does not support such people and it strongly condemns their remarks,” the outfit said.

The MRM team also apprised the community of various measures taken by the Narendra Modi government for the “welfare and empowerment” of Muslims, especially women.

They also heard their problems and assured them of addressing their grievances if the party retained power in the state.

In the meeting with Muslim intellectuals, the MRM said, serious discussions were held on the issues related to education, health, security and self-reliance of Muslim society, especially its women.

The community members were assured that the MRM will continue to hold a dialogue with them “even after the elections are over,” Sayeed said.

The RSS’ Muslim wing recently released a ‘Nivedan Patra’ (letter of request) and appealed to the minority community to vote for the BJP in the upcoming assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, saying Muslims are “most secure and happy” under the BJP rule whereas the Congress, SP and the BSP considered them just as vote bank.

Source: India Today

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rss-body-reaches-out-muslims-condemns-remarks-dharam-sansad-1903559-2022-01-24

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 Europe

 UK Govt Orders Probe Into Muslim Ex-Minister, Nusrat Ghani’s Claims

January 24, 2022

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an inquiry into claims by a Muslim former minister that she was sacked from his government because of her faith, a spokesperson said Monday.

The claims by Nusrat Ghani, a former junior transport minister, have stoked fresh controversy for Downing Street as Johnson awaits the findings of a different inquiry into “partygate” revelations.

“The prime minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP,” the spokesperson said.

Johnson had initially urged Ghani to file a formal complaint through the Conservative party. But she declined, arguing that the allegation centered on government rather than party work.

“The prime minister has now asked officials to establish the facts about what happened,” the spokesperson said, adding that Johnson “takes these claims very seriously.”

Ghani welcomed the new probe, which was announced after she held talks with Johnson on Sunday evening.

“As I said to the prime minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate,” she tweeted.

The inquiry must look into what she was told both by Downing Street aides and by a Conservative whip in parliament, the Tory MP added.

Ghani, 49, was sacked as a transport minister in 2020, and told the Sunday Times that a whip said her “Muslimness was raised as an issue” at one meeting in Downing Street.

She was also told her “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable,” she claimed.

Chief whip Mark Spencer, whose role is to keep MPs on board with the government’s agenda, took the unusual step of identifying himself as the person at the center of the claims, and strongly denied the allegations.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2010591/world

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Mosque targeted in shooting attack in Germany

JAN 24, 2022

Amosque in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt province was targeted in an attack by assault rifles, a report said early Monday.

Two individuals heard shots near the Islamic Cultural Center in Halle, according to a statement made by police, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

The police discovered three bullets on the ground.

Eyewitnesses noted that a 55-year-old person from a building across the mosque opened fire on the mosque from his home.

Police reportedly confiscated two weapons found in his home.

The police statement noted that the suspect did not have a criminal record and the investigation was still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany condemned the incident in a Twitter post.

“Thankfully nobody was injured. Police are still investigating and interrogating. Anti-Muslim hatred and racism are not just in words,” the statement read. The council continued by thanking police for catching the suspect and hoping that they shed further light on the incident.

The council also said the mosque had faced similar attacks in the past.

Germany has experienced a rise in racism and anti-Muslim hatred in recent years. Germany is home to 81 million people and hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent.

The Turkish community in Europe is concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries and has called on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.

Source: Daily Sabah

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/eu-affairs/mosque-targeted-in-shooting-attack-in-germany

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Kazakhstan holding hundreds for terrorism and disorder following mass unrest

22 January ,2022

Kazakhstan said Saturday it was holding more than 460 people on terrorism and disorder charges in the wake of mass unrest that saw Russian-led forces called in to restore calm.

The former Soviet republic has been roiled by clashes that escalated from peaceful protests against a car fuel price increase.

Authorities have blamed bandits and international terror cells, despite evidence of a struggle at the top of the authoritarian leadership.

Eldos Kilymzhanov, a representative of the state prosecutor, said Saturday that 464 suspects were facing charges related to terrorism and mass disorder.

A total of 970 suspects were in custody he said including on charges of theft, disorderly behavior and possession of weapons.

Kilymzhanov said 73 suspects had sustained bodily injuries and among them “29 people with gunshot wounds were hospitalized to city hospitals on our instructions.”

Although protests began in the country’s west where the price of a popular car fuel, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) spiked at the New Year, former capital Almaty -- a financial hub of 1.8 million people -- became the epicenter of the violence that followed.

The foreign ministry on Friday pushed back angrily against a European Parliament resolution that flagged violations of fundamental rights in the government’s handling of the crisis.

The ministry called the resolution from earlier in the week “not only biased but also based on prejudiced opinions and assumptions.”

Multiple former detainees have alleged torture in detention since they were released.

Over 2,000 troops from the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) completed a withdrawal from Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

The clashes that peaked in the firt week of January sparked speculation of a rift between President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, 68 and his long-ruling predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81. Prominent relatives of the former strongman were dismissed from corporate and government posts as Tokayev appeared to cement control over the situation.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/01/22/Kazakhstan-holding-hundreds-for-terrorism-and-disorder-following-mass-unrest

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Former Labour Party head Corbyn slams UK for arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen war

23 January 2022

Former leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom has condemned the British government for arms flows to the Saudi Arabia, after dozens of people lost their lives in a Saudi-led aerial raid on Yemen’s northwestern city of Sa’ada.

“Airstrikes in Yemen last night killed more than 60 people dead and caused a nationwide internet blackout,” Jeremy Corbyn, who was Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020, wrote in a post published on his Twitter page.

He added, “The UK government is complicit in these crimes through arming and training the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia must end now.”

“Arms sales to Saudi Arabia must end now,” Corbyn pointed out.

Palestinians slam Saudi bloodshed

On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians took to streets in the Gaza City to voice solidarity with the Yemeni nation and to denounce the bloody Saudi bombing of Sa’ada Central Prison in Yemen.

“The Yemen war is primarily aimed at serving the interests of the Zionist regime. All thinkers of the Muslim world must put an end to the onslaught as it yields benefits to enemies,” Yousef al-Hasayneh, a leader of the Islamic Jihad leader, told Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam television news network during the rally.

Furthermore, Maher Mazhar of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said Saudi Arabia spends billions of dollars to purchase US-built military equipment, which utilize Israeli technology.

“Such armaments are developed and manufactured in order to bring Muslim nations to their knees. The treacherous Arab regimes would batter used their weapons and munitions to confront the Israeli enemy and defend al-Qaqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause than to massacre innocent women, children and elderly people,” he stressed.

Nael Abu Edah, a senior member of the Palestinian Mujahideen Movement, also said, “Gazans have taken part en masse in the demonstration to express support for their Yemeni brethren in the face of the Saudi-led coalition, which is outrageously killing ordinary citizens by means of a devastating war and is advancing US-Israeli agendas.”

A correspondent for Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Sunday that the death toll from the Saudi airstrike against Sa’ada detention center has risen to 91, after two bodies were pulled out of the rubble.

UAE-backed mercenaries halt operations in northern Yemen

Meanwhile, the so-called Giants Brigades, Takfiri militants backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have suspended their operations in northern Yemen after the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces warned of more retaliatory strikes against the Persian Gulf country.

A UAE-backed militant in Shabwah province, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Middle East Eye online news outlet that the mercenaries have halted their operations in Yemen’s oil-producing Ma’rib province.

On January 10, dozens of UAE-sponsored militants were killed when Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched a missile strike against their position in the Yemeni province of Shabwah.

Informed sources, who preferred not to be named, told Yemen News Portal website that a massive explosion shook a military camp of the UAE-backed militants – better known by the nom de guerre the Giants – in the Nokhan area, which lies east of the provincial capital of Ataq.

According to the sources, the incident occurred when Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters launched a domestically-developed ballistic missile at the site, leaving dozens of the militants killed and injured.

“In the aftermath of the crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition of aggression against Yemeni people, we advise foreign companies in the Emirates to leave because they have invested in an unsafe country,” Yemen's Armed Forces spokesman Yahya Saree tweeted on Friday.

“The UAE would grow more insecure as long as its rulers continue their military aggression against Yemen.”

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/23/675339/Former-Labour-Party-head-Corbyn-slams-UK-for-arming-Saudi-Arabia-in-Yemen-war

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South Asia

 

High schools for girls to reopen in March, IEA has no issue with girls’ education:  Education Ministry

24 Jan 2022

Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan announced that high schools for girls are most likely to reopen in March across Afghanistan.

The educational year in Afghanistan starts in March which also marks the first month of the new solar year.

The Ministry said that the IEA is committed and optimistic to reopening schools for girls and that it is working in this regard seriously and tirelessly.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Education Aziz Ahmad Reyan said the reason behind not allowing girls to attend classes in high schools was creating a safe system for girls.

“IEA has no issue with girls’ education that is why we have paid the salaries of female teachers. We will hire more female teachers for girls.” Said Reyan.

The spokesman added that they are working on capacity building of female teachers and want to increase the number of these teachers so that only female teachers teach girls.

Meanwhile, the ministry also said that only elderly male teachers will be allowed to teach girls in case female teachers were not available in some areas.

Girls are only allowed to attend classes up to six since the Taliban gained power on August 15 last year.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/high-schools-for-girls-to-reopen-in-march-iea-has-no-issue-with-girls-educationnbsp-education-ministry-876875/

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IEA issues joint statement after meeting non-Taliban Afghans in Oslo

24 Jan 2022

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in a joint statement said that they met with a number of non-Taliban Afghan figures in Oslo and both agreed to be working together for the betterment of the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

The meeting was conducted in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Sunday, January 23, 2022.

As per the joint statement, both sides listened to takes of each other patiently, and they agreed to be working for the betterment of Afghanistan’s economic, political, and security situation as it is a shared country of all.

“Participants of the meeting agreed that solution for all the conflicts in Afghanistan is negotiations and reconciliation and that such meetings are in the favor of Afghanistan.” Reads the joint statement.

The meeting was arranged behind closed doors.

The names of the non-Taliban figures who met IEA’s delegation in Oslo are not disclosed yet.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/iea-issues-joint-statement-after-meeting-non-taliban-afghans-in-oslo-9877859687/

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Taliban, US to discuss establishment of inclusive government

23 Jan 2022

State Department of the United States has announced that special representative Thomas West will discuss the establishment of an all-inclusive government in Afghanistan with the 15-member delegation of the Taliban visiting Norway.

State Department in a statement released on Sunday, January 23, 2022, said that the meeting is supposed to take place on Monday, in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

The statement reads that forging an inclusive government in which all the people have a say will be dominating the agenda of Thomas West with the Taliban.

In the meantime, counterterrorism and the US security concerns from Afghanistan will also be discussed in the meeting.

Meanwhile, an official of the State Department has reiterated that inclusivity of Afghan government, addressing the ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis, security concerns, counterterrorism, human rights, and girls’ education will be part of the agenda between the US envoy and the Taliban.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-us-to-discuss-establishment-of-inclusive-government-876875/

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We have right to suppress dissidents and imprison protestors: Mujahid

23 Jan 2022

Deputy Minister of Culture and Information and spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Zabiullah Mujahid said that the Taliban have the right to suppress the dissidents of the system and arrest protestors.

Speaking with AFP, Zabiullah Mujahid said protestors and dissidents trigger chaos and that no one has the right to intrude on the tranquility of cities.

It comes after two women activists-Tamana Zaryab Paryani and Parwana Ibrahimkhel-were reportedly detained but the Taliban have denied the women being arrested.

UNAMA has expressed concern over the disappearance of the women and has asked the Taliban to disclose the whereabouts of the women.

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, a number of women took to the streets in the provincial capital of the northern Balkh province and protested against the detention of women activists across Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/we-have-right-to-suppress-dissidents-and-imprison-protestors-mujahid-877679/

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Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Herat, Afghanistan

January 24, 2022

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Saturday in the western Afghan city of Herat, it said in a post on Telegram on Sunday.

At least six people were killed when a blast ripped through a minivan in the city, officials said. Since the Taliban took over in August, a series of blasts and attacks, some claimed by Islamic State, have taken place across Afghanistan.

Source: India Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-attack-herat-afghanistan-1903541-2022-01-24

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Taliban say bombers target minivan in Afghanistan, 7 dead

Jan 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A bomb attached to a packed minivan exploded in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Saturday, killing at least seven civilians and wounding nine others, Taliban officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion, but the Islamic State has claimed credit for similar attacks on civilians and the country's new Taliban leaders elsewhere in the country since the group seized power on Aug. 15.

Saturday's bombing was the first such attack in Herat. Local Taliban official Naeemulhaq Haqqani said investigations were ongoing.

A Taliban intelligence official in western Herat told the Associated Press that the bomb was attached to the van's fuel tank. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to release the information to the public.

Herat Ambulance chief Ebrahim Mohammadi said the victims - three in critical condition - were transferred to the provincial hospital.

Since their return to power, the Taliban have imposed widespread restrictions, many of them directed at women.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Saturday called on the Taliban to find two women rights activists - Tamana Zaryab Paryani and Parawana Ibrahimkhel - who disappeared on Wednesday from Kabul.

"We urge Taliban to provide information on their whereabouts & to protect rights of all Afghans,'' UNAMA said in a tweet Saturday. Taliban have denied any involvement in their disappearance.

An eyewitness said that at least ten-armed people claiming to be Taliban intelligence members broke into an apartment Wednesday in Kabul and arrested Tamana Zaryab Paryani and her three sisters.

The women rights activist posted a video on social media shortly before they were taken away, showing them frightened, breathless and screaming for help. She said that Taliban were banging on her door.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-say-bombers-target-minivan-in-afghanistan-7-dead/articleshow/89070719.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

More Islamic Studies classes only a problem for ‘some people’, says Idris

January 22, 2022

SHAH ALAM: Complaints that more hours have been allocated for Islamic Studies lessons over core subjects are only the views of some, said religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad.

He said he found the complaint “strange” as the matter had never cropped up.

“However, it is normal in our large community (for some people to complain). Perhaps, it is because they don’t understand or do not want to understand,” he said at the opening of Madrasah Tahfiz OKU Ata ‘bin Abi Rabah here today.

He was commenting on a tweet by a Malaysian father who expressed shock to find out that his daughter’s school had allocated more hours for religious studies and other related classes than for Mathematics and Science classes combined.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/01/22/more-islamic-studies-classes-only-a-problem-for-some-people-says-idris/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=6ObEAO71JjRTPlSm1pnPzpx9QBUnKLzyS9Gm7p3.HV8-1643011811-0-gaNycGzNDL0

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HR minister: Pilot project to recruit 10,000 domestic helpers from Indonesia next month

Monday, 24 Jan 2022

JAKARTA, Jan 24 — Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement a pilot project on the recruitment of 10,000 domestic helpers from the neighbouring country as early as next month, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

The pilot project is expected to start a week after the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian domestic helpers is signed on Feb 7 and 8 in Bali.

“At today’s meeting, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel where the Indonesian and Malaysian governments share the same aspiration to champion the plight of immigrant workers and protect their rights.

“Malaysia in principle has agreed to introduce various measures to champion the plight of immigrant workers, especially from Indonesia,” he told reporters after the meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Ida Fauziyah, here.

Saravanan explained that the pilot project was significant to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the MoU, which will be monitored by a special committee comprising of representatives from both countries, and further improve any weaknesses that arise.

During the second meeting with Ida Fauziyah within a period of two months, Saravanan said Indonesia had also agreed to allow the entry of 10,000 Indonesian workers for the plantation sector.

According to a press statement issued after the meeting, the ministry explained that the permission marked the beginning of the recruitment of 32,000 foreign workers in the plantation sector through special exemption as decided by the Cabinet meeting on April 7, 2021.

Meanwhile, the main MoU on domestic helpers to be signed next month has been agreed upon by the two countries including key issues such as the One Maid One House policy, One Channel System and salary.

The One Maid One House policy will replace the proposed One Maid One Task concept where one maid can be employed to work in a household with not more than six people, while the One Channel System will be the sole channel for the entry of Indonesian domestic helpers into Malaysia, the statement read.

It added that issues regarding the cost structure of recruitment will be reviewed every six months to ensure that it is in line with current developments, taking into account, among others, airfares and quarantine costs.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/01/24/hr-minister-pilot-project-to-recruit-10000-domestic-helpers-from-indonesia/2037196

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Kelantan PAS respects state Umno’s decision to sever political ties, says Ahmad Yakob

23 Jan 2022

KOTA BARU, Jan 23 — Kelantan PAS says it respects the decision by the state Umno to sever ties between the two political parties effective yesterday.

Kelantan PAS commissioner Datuk Ahmad Yakob said his party could not do anything about it as the decision was made by Umno’s own internal leadership.

“We understand Umno’s intention to part political ways because Umno cannot accept Bersatu. And our stand is we still want to be with Bersatu, strengthen Muafakat Nasional (MN) and eventually empower Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Muafakat Nasional was a political partnership between Umno and PAS while PN is a coalition led by Bersatu. PAS has made it clear that it wants to work with both Umno and Bersatu.

“Islam places emphasis on unity and it is our wish to be with Umno until the 15th general election,” he said.

He told this to reporters after officiating the 20th anniversary celebration of Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Ismail Petra (KIAS) here today. Also present was Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

Yesterday, Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub was reported to have said that the state Umno had decided to sever ties with the state PAS with immediate effect.

He said the decision was made after a meeting between Kelantan Umno’s Political Bureau and Dewan Harian PAS Kelantan which failed to agree on the cooperation between the two parties in MN.

Commenting further, Ahmad, who is also the Kelantan Mentri Besar, said PAS had urged that the cooperation be continued since the relationship between both parties was good.

“But we have not given up hope and are prepared to sit with Umno again. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do now since the matter has already been decided.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/01/23/kelantan-pas-respects-state-umnos-decision-to-sever-political-ties-says-ahm/2037019

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Pakistan

 

Religious tourism is likely to pick pace between India, Pakistan

January 23, 2022

LAHORE: Religious tourism is likely to pick pace between the two archrival neighbours India and Pakistan. 

Following the arrival of Indian tourists in Pakistan earlier in January, Pakistani tourists will also fly to India on January 29 on a special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight for the first time in 75 years.

Earlier, pilgrims used to visit each other’s countries either by foot or via Samjhauta Express. According to Member National Assembly and Chairman Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar, an agreement was reached between the PIA and Air India for the promotion of religious tourism between the two neighbouring countries.

As per the pact, both airlines would operate special flights in this regard. A group of Pakistani tourists would depart from Lahore airport on January 29 and will return on February 1.

During the three-day visit, the group would visit the dargah of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer Sharif, Jaipur, Agra, Mithra, Haridwar and the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi.

Dr Ramesh said that the visit would cost $1,500 to each pilgrim and an additional $200 would also be charged if they want a separate room during their stay in Agra and Delhi.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/01/23/religious-tourism-is-likely-to-pick-pace-between-india-pakistan/

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Pakistani YouTuber gets one year jail term for justifying lynching of Sri Lankan citizen

Jan 22, 2022

LAHORE: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced a 27-year-old man to one year of imprisonment and imposed a fine for justifying the lynching of a Sri Lankan citizen in a video, which went viral on his YouTube channel.

On December 3 last year, a mob of over 800 men, including supporters of hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), attacked a garment factory in Sialkot district, some 100 km from Lahore, and lynched its general manager Priyantha Kumara, 47, and burned his body over allegations of blasphemy.

According to police, Muhammad Adnan of Sialkot had uploaded a video on his YouTube channel on the lynching incident in which he justified Kumara's killing and burning of his body.

"Adnan had advocated the killing of those committing blasphemy. On his YouTube channel, he made arguments in favour of the killing of Kumara. As the video went viral on social media, police lodged an FIR against him and presented a chargesheet against him in Gujranwala anti-terrorism court (ATC)," said Assistant Sub-Inspector Mubarak Ali, who is also a complainant of the case.

Pronouncing the verdict on Friday, ATC Gujranwala judge Natasha Naeem sentenced Adnan to one year jail term, besides imposing a fine of PKR 10,000 on him. The prosecution presented the video of Adnan in the court which he did not deny, Ali said.

Some 85 main suspects whose role has been identified through video footages and investigation in the brutal lynching of Kumara are detained on physical remand. They will be presented before the ATC on January 31.

After Kumara's murder, some 200 suspects were taken into custody. However, 115 of them were subsequently released after no evidence of their involvement in the incident was found.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti has also directed the Sialkot District Police Officer to complete chargesheet of the suspects and submit it to the ATC at the earliest so that the trial could begin and the culprits are brought to justice.

The local business community has handed over a donation of USD 100,000 to Kumara's wife and the factory owner says his salary of USD 1,650 is also given to his family every month.

However, surprisingly, neither the federal nor the Punjab government has announced any compensation package for the victim's family so far.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistani-youtuber-gets-one-year-jail-term-for-justifying-lynching-of-sri-lankan-citizen/articleshow/89059688.cms

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Pak to hand over 20 Indian fishermen to India at Wagah

Jan 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Twenty Indian fishermen arrested by Pakistan for allegedly entering into the country's territorial waters are set to be handed over to India through the Wagah border crossing on Monday, according to a senior jail official.

The fishermen, kept in Karachi's Landhi Jail, were released on Sunday on humanitarian grounds.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Azeem Thebo said that with the release of these 20 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture, there are now 568 Indian fishermen left in the jail, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The released fishermen, arrested for illegally entering into the Pakistani waters and fishing without permission, were escorted to Lahore by road by the Edhi Foundation.

A spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare organisation, said that the charity would bear their travelling cost to Lahore, where they would be handed over to Border Security Force.

The Edhi Foundation also paid Rs 5,000 to each fisherman as a goodwill gesture.

One of the fishermen, Bhavesh Bhika, who has served four years in the prison, said that the boat he was on had drifted towards the Pakistani waters at night.

“There is no boundary in the sea. We had no way of knowing that we had violated your border,” he said.

Pakistan and India regularly arrest rival fishermen for violating the maritime boundary which is poorly marked at some points.

According to the lists of prisoners exchanged by India and Pakistan at the start of this year, at least 628 Indian prisoners were held in Pakistan, including 51 civilians and 577 fishermen.

The Indian Government also shared the list of 355 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 282 civilians and 73 fishermen.

Fishermen from Pakistan and India usually end up in jails after they are arrested for fishing illegally in each other's territorial waters.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pak-to-hand-over-20-indian-fishermen-to-india-at-wagah/articleshow/89087048.cms

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After invoking UN norm, PM Imran clarifies call for Afghan help

January 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan revisited his call to help Afghanistan under the international doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), inviting the international community to fulfil its obligation to the Afghan people by providing humanitarian assistance to the country.

“One pillar of R2P is to help protect people from mass scale humanitarian crisis left in the wake of a prolonged conflict. Right now millions of Afghan people are in danger of starvation,” he tweeted.

This tweet was a follow-up to his earlier call for immediate humanitarian relief for Afghans, fulfilling the obligation under the “UN principle of R2P”.

The later tweet was perhaps necessitated by criticism on electronic and social media of the wording of his appeal, which seemed to negate Pakistan’s foreign policy stance regarding the status of Afghanistan and its government.

“R2P has nothing to do with the current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Please take to task who came up with this frivolous and dangerous interpretation of R2P,” former Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit tweeted in response to the prime minister.

According to the Global Centre for R2P, this is an international norm that “seeks to ensure that the international community never again fails to halt the mass atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

The concept emerged in response to “the failure of the international community to adequately respond to mass atrocities committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s”.

These preconditions were pointed out by analyst Mosharraf Zaidi, who tweeted: “Unless someone is arguing that one or more of these conditions is prevalent in Afghanistan, there is no R2P.”

It is worth noting that PM Khan has advocated the need for the international community to engage with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, saying this is the only way to ensure the protection of the people of the war-torn country.

Recalling Pakistan’s principled stance on the issue of R2P, legal expert Feisal Naqvi pointed out that Pakistan was opposed to the “constructivist concept of R2P because it is often wrongly used by stronger states to intervene. For example, India used R2P to justify its 1971 invasion of then East Pakistan,” he tweeted.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1671130/after-invoking-un-norm-pm-imran-clarifies-call-for-afghan-help

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India

 

Stung by criticism over writing to Asad Owaisi, Sajjad Nomani issues clarification

Syed Hurairah

23rd January 2022

Stung by harsh criticism over his open letter to Hyderabad parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi in which he discouraged his party from contesting many seats in Uttar Pradesh, All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Sajjad Nomani clarified on Sunday his position by praising Owaisi. Nonetheless, he stood by his suggestion that the Hyderabad-based party should not contest 100 seats in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Recently, Maulana Sajjad, in a private capacity, wrote to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen supremo, about the Uttar Pradesh elections. He cautioned Owaisi about the possibility of a division of votes and the importance of a united OBC community in Uttar Pradesh in combating what he said were fascist forces. He urged Owaisi to field candidates in constituencies where there were near-certain chances of them emerging victorious. He also suggested that Owaisi should enter into alliances with others on other seats.

In his second open letter, Maulana Sajjad sought to placate those who harshly criticised him. He reiterated his respect for Owaisi. He also said that his suggestion stems from the situation on the ground in Uttar Pradesh.

“Once again after having Allah as my witness, I say that the Muslim community of India badly needs a political leader like Owaisi. But it is my opinion that in the upcoming UP elections his candidates should be in constituencies where possibilities of emerging as winners are strong, and not contest 100 seats,” he wrote.

Maulana Sajjad thanked those who voiced support for his opinion as well as those who were critical of it.

Owaisi has not responded directly to Maulana’s first open letter. However, he did state that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s constitution states that it does not enter into politics. In a press conference in Uttar Pradesh, he said he had no comment when a journalist asked him a question on Maulana Sajjad’s letter.

Source: Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/stung-by-criticism-over-writing-to-asad-owaisi-sajjad-nomani-issues-clarification-2263221/

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India ready to ship wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistan early February

Jan 23, 2022

India and Pakistan have finally arrived at an agreement to transport 50,000 MT of Indian wheat to Afghanistan through the land route that passes through the Attari-Wagah border, ToI has learnt. The gigantic exercise involving thousands of trucks is expected to roll out early February.

India and Pakistan had been engaged in finalising the modalities for transporting wheat to drought-stricken Afghanistan for almost 2 months. The government is learnt to have conveyed to Pakistan that it will be ready to despatch the first consignment by the second week of next month.

India recently sent its third batch of assistance to Kabul, mostly life-saving medicines, by air. Its offer of delivering wheat to Afghanistan through the border with Pakistan though, despite unceasing hostility in ties with Islamabad, is still the most significant initiative in its outreach to the Taliban who returned in August last year to take control of the strategically important country.

Pakistan has rarely, if ever, allowed transit facilities for Indian aid to Afghanistan in the past several decades and in 2002 had rejected the same proposal by India when Afghanistan was faced with a similar humanitarian crisis.

The Taliban have not just welcomed India's proposal to ship wheat to Afghanistan via Pakistan at this "critical time" but had also sought an early approval from Pakistan PM Imran Khan. ToI had first reported on October 19 that India had contacted Pakistan for transporting 50,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan.

As per the understanding the 2 sides have reached, Afghan trucks operating under UN's World Food Programme (WFP) will ferry Indian wheat from the India-Pakisan border to Afghanistan via Pakistan's Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan. Pakistan had announced earlier this week that it had put all arrangements in place and was awaiting final confirmation from India for the despatch of the first consignment.

Official sources denied that there had been any delay by India while recalling that Pakistan had taken well over a month to approve the Indian government's proposal last year. India is still working to resolve logistical issues involved in transporting 50,000 MT of wheat to the border. The exercise has been further complicated by the upcoming elections in Punjab.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/india-ready-to-ship-wheat-to-afghanistan-via-pakistan-early-feb/articleshow/89065504.cms

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Fat Muslim weddings are draining away resources of community

22nd January 2022

Fat Muslim weddings and the accompanying regal fanfare are draining away resources of the community. Dinners at these weddings served in gorgeous halls of the exorbitantly priced super fancy marriage halls ( read palaces /castles), are but feasts for kings, dished unabashedly to thousands, who have more dinners than appetite.

After two seasons of Covid-19 caused draught, the wedding season is back with a vengeance, throwing the gauntlet to the pandemic. A see-saw battle is on between the defiant hosts, their equally defiant guests, and the resurging pandemic. The verdict- the pandemic has edged past the party-goers, as reports of the surge in numbers suggest, apparently the majority being the attendees to the wedding and other social gatherings.

The fortunate of the community showing little regard to the pleas of community elders, social workers, politicians, not the mainstream naqheebs and habeebs (captains and beloveds) and flaying’s by men of cloth, continue to show off their boorish tastes at weddings, betrothals, and related rituals. The money spent, sources in the business claim could be anywhere between Rs 3,500/ to 4000/ crore. The estimate could even go up to over Rs 5,000 crores. Only if the spenders show some concern for the existing condition of the community and channel a percentage to projects underway for the betterment, it would greatly ease the situation.

Muslim wedding rituals were once a simple faith-based contract between man and woman to be wife and husband, solemnly solemnized by a Qazi in the presence of two Gawha (witnesses) has become so costly and expensive that for many a families marriage of their wards, male or female, has become a financial nightmare. The malady has not spared the lower rungs of the community, following suit they bend over backward to keep up with their rich and well-to-do brothers in faith. And willingly succumb to miseries of becoming debtors to ruthless loan sharks, pawning and pledging whatever meager resources they have to pay for the show. The middle and upper-middle classes go for bank loans to be in the rat race and end up in huge debts. While many such marriages end up on the rocks. (press reports say ten to fifteen in every 1000 marriages are vulnerable to divorce).

There may be exceptions, but generally, the Muslim wedding season begins with the onset of the third month of the Muslim calendar and ends in the eighth month before the fasting month of Ramadan begins. The positive to all this expensive razzmatazz is the micro-economics, providing short relief for the lower cadres in the industry who work on daily wages from serving food to washing the leftovers.

Shariah, (Islamic canonical law) disapproves and discourages uncalled-for expenditure on the bride. Going by the template of the times of the Prophet, there is no space for dinners on the wedding night from the bride side, nor the practice of shipping expensive house furnishing as Dehaj (dowry) to the bridegroom house. Shariah enables the institution of marriage easy and affordable for the parents of the bride. Ignoring the book is delaying marriages for girls as many parents are unable to meet the demands of the bridegroom’s side. In the Arab Gulf societies, it is vice-versa as the shots are called from the brides’ side. Here it is the boys’ side that has to provide with the Dahej to the girl along with handsome jointure, giving youth reason to go for non-gulf wives.

Once upon a time marriages in Hyderabad, with the exception of a few of the rich nobility and aristocracy, were a simple affair done within a couple of hours. Held in homes and nearby open spaces under shamianas (tents). Except for the amplified Bollywood wedding songs played till late into the night to the angst of the neighbors.

A cup of tea with the famed Osmania biscuits and the post-Nikah ceremony, which would be over by evening, people close to the bride and bridegroom’s family would be furtively signaled to stay back for a special at-home. And food for about twenty or thirty people or more depending on status would be packed and handed over to the bridegroom’s entourage at the time of Vidai (ceremonial departure of the bride for her husband’s home).

That was all about affordable and normal marriage, performed free of any status burden. And as time went by, the tea and biscuit were improvised with a slab of ice cream. Then the ice cream also vanished, giving way to traditional biryani with a couple of side dishes and a sweet dish of either qhobanee or double ka meetha (Apricot and Bread pudding). And finally, to what it is today. Kingly feasts in imperial style, where event management companies, expensive orchestras, celebrity crooners, reputed professional photographers, designer outfits for bride and bridegroom costing lakhs for just a night’s wear, jasmine and mint leave garlands weighing kilos are the in things Rituals like Bridal shower, Mehendi, and dholki were added on adding to the costs. Incidentally, the famed Falaknuma Palace, the abode of the Nizam now leased out to a leading hotel chain, is the latest of the facilities available to whosoever can pay the price.

Source: Siasat Daily

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.siasat.com/fat-muslim-weddings-are-draining-away-resources-of-community-2262501/

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Arab World

 

Arab bloc seeks ‘terrorist’ designation for Houthis

January 24, 2022

CAIRO: The Arab League on Sunday said Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels should be labelled as a “terrorist” group after they attacked the United Arab Emirates.

On January 17 the Houthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck an oil facility and the airport in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, killing three people and wounding six.

It was the first deadly assault acknowledged by the UAE inside its borders and claimed by the Yemeni insurgents during a seven-year Saudi-led coalition campaign against the rebels.

The pan-Arab bloc, based in the Egyptian capital, said the Houthis should be designated “as a terrorist organisation” after the attack.

In a statement following an extraordinary meeting, it called the strikes “a flagrant violation of international law... and a real threat to vital civilian installations, energy supplies, and global economic stability,” as well as a threat to regional peace and security.

Former US president Donald Trump designated the Houthis as a terrorist movement but the administration of President Joe Biden removed the group in response to fears from aid groups responding to what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Biden’s administration has, however, sanctioned individual Houthi figures.

On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the Houthi strikes on the UAE, whose UN ambassador denounced “these terrorist attacks.” The UAE is a non-permanent member of the Council.

The Emirates have had a major role in the Saudi-led coalition defending the internationally-recognised government of Yemen against the Huthis. Although it announced a troop withdrawal from Yemen in 2019, the UAE has remained involved by supporting and training forces there.

On Saturday the coalition denied carrying out an air strike on a prison in Yemen’s rebel-held north that aid groups said killed at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1671148/arab-bloc-seeks-terrorist-designation-for-houthis

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UAE intercepts Houthi attack, Saudi Arabia reports two injured by fallen missile

January 24, 2022

The United Arab Emirates intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles targeting the Gulf country on Monday with no casualties, its defence ministry said, following a deadly attack a week earlier.

For more than six years, the Houthis have been battling a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE, repeatedly carrying out cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, and launching an unprecedented assault on the UAE on Jan 17.

“The remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi,” the ministry said, adding it was taking necessary protective measures against all attacks.

UAE newspaper The National cited residents reporting flashes in the sky over the capital around 4:30am.

Monday's attack was the second on UAE soil since last week's strike that hit a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi, killing three people, and causing a fire near its international airport.

Houthi-run Al Masirah television said the group would announce within hours the details of a “wide military operation” against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Explainer: What is the Yemen war?

Saudi state media early on Monday said the coalition intercepted a ballistic missile, with remnants damaging workshops and vehicles in the south of the kingdom. It said late on Sunday that a ballistic missile fell in the south, injuring two foreigners and causing damage in an industrial area.

The Yemen conflict is largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The United Nations, which along with the United States has struggled to engineer a ceasefire for Yemen, voiced concern over escalations and called for maximum restraint by both sides.

The Saudi-led coalition has ramped up air strikes on what it describes as Houthi targets in Yemen. At least 60 people were killed in a strike on a temporary detention centre in northern Saada province on Friday, and about 20 were killed in the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa in an operation on Tuesday.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 months after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government from Sanaa. The group says it is fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1671226/uae-intercepts-houthi-attack-saudi-arabia-reports-two-injured-by-fallen-missile

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ISIS-Kurds battle after Syria prison attack kills over 120 in four days: Monitor

23 January ,2022

At least 120 people have been killed in ongoing battles between US-backed Kurdish forces and ISIS fighters after an attack on a Syrian prison, a war monitor said Sunday, as clashes entered a fourth day.

“At least 77 IS members and 39 Kurdish fighters, including internal security forces, prison guards and counter-terrorism forces have been killed” in violence inside and outside the Kurdish-run Ghwayran jail in Hasakeh city since the start of the attack on Thursday, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/01/23/ISIS-Kurds-battle-after-Syria-prison-attack-kills-over-120-in-four-days-Monitor

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Arab Coalition strikes in Yemen kill 40 Houthi ‘terrorists,’ destroy five vehicles

22 January ,2022

Arab Coalition strikes in Marib against the Iran-backed Houthis have killed more than 40 “terrorists” and destroyed five military vehicles in the last 24 hours, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday.

It comes as a part of the coalition’s eight targeted strikes, during a time when tensions are rising with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Permanent members of the Arab League are expected to host an extraordinary meeting of the council upon the UAE’s request to discuss the recent attack in Abu Dhabi.

The Houthi militia attack backed by Iran has attracted global outcry, with statements condemning the attack from over a 114 international organizations and countries.

UAE’s Dr. Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic adviser to the country’s president, is among many of the local officials who are in conversation with global representatives to find a solution to the Iran-backed Houthi issue.

On Friday, Gargash said that the UAE has a “legal and moral right” to defend itself against terrorist acts by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia during a call with Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen.

The UAE official also met with the US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking on Saturday, where he reiterated the need for “appropriate international pressure” which may help reach a ceasefire agreement and aid in finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis have launched dozens of cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia throughout 2021.

In September 2021, the Houthis intensified their efforts to take Marib, a provincial capital which is the government’s last northern stronghold.

The Iran-backed militia frequently target civilian areas and energy facilities in the Kingdom with explosive-laden drones and ballistic missiles.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/01/22/Arab-Coalition-strikes-in-Yemen-kill-40-Houthi-terrorists-destroy-five-vehicles

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UAE forces destroy Houthi launch site that targeted Abu Dhabi: Defence ministry

24 January ,2022

United Arab Emirates forces have destroyed the launch site from which the Iran-backed Houthi militia fired two blocked missiles toward Abu Dhabi early Monday morning, according to the UAE Ministry of Defense.

An F-16 fighter jet struck the location in al-Jawf, in northern Yemen, at 4:10 a.m.

The two missiles were intercepted over the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and there were no reported casualties or injuries, the defense ministry revealed in an earlier statement.

The attempted attack came one week after Iran-backed Houthis targeted Abu Dhabi with two drones, causing three fatalities.

One Pakistani and two Indian nationals were killed, and six others were injured - ranging from light to medium - when the incident took place at 10 a.m. on Monday January 17, according to WAM and ADNOC.

It was a rare instance of attacks on UAE soil, often seen as a safe haven in a turbulent region.

The UAE intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 as part of the Arab Coalition with Saudi Arabia.

It scaled down its operations in 2019. The coalition made significant advances in early January, taking the Shabwa and Ain districts.

A UAE cargo ship, the Rwabee, was hijacked by Houthi forces on the night of January 1.

The vessel was on its way from Socotra Island in Yemen to the port of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, carrying equipment leased by a Saudi company used in a field hospital on the island, according to the Arab Coalition.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/01/24/UAE-forces-destroy-Houthi-launch-site-that-targeted-Abu-Dhabi-Defense-ministry

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Arab League to hold emergency meeting on Houthi attack on UAE

Diana Shalhub

22.01.2022

The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting at the level of permanent delegates on Sunday to discuss a recent attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The meeting will be held at the request of the UAE and other Arab countries, Ambassador Ahmed al-Bakr, the Kuwaiti delegate to the Cairo-based league, said in statements cited by the state news agency KUNA.

Al-Bakr, whose country is the current chair of the pan-Arab body, said the meeting will discuss this week's terrorist Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi.

On Monday, three people were killed in a Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, a member of a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels since 2015.

The UAE said it reserves the right to respond to the Houthi attack, saying it will not go unpunished.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/arab-league-to-hold-emergency-meeting-on-houthi-attack-on-uae/2482497

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Kurdish-led SDF conduct search for Daesh militants in Hasakah: Report

24 January 2022

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have reportedly searched for Daesh (ISIS) suspects in Syria’s northern city of Hasakah after members of the terrorist group took over a prison in the city to free their comrades.

Video showed the armed SDF personnel searching houses and stopping a suspected escaped inmate in the street on Sunday.

Video also showed warplanes flying over the prison from which the inmates were thought to have escaped.

At least 70 inmates were killed in the Daesh’s attack on the prison, which began on Thursday. The Daesh terrorists detonated a car bomb near the prison gates, helping dozens of inmates flee to the neighboring Ghwayran district of Hasakah, witnesses and officials said, Reuters reported.

The US-backed SDF initially said it had thwarted the breakout and arrested nearly 90 militants sheltering nearby, but later acknowledged that inmates had taken over parts of the facility.

It said on Sunday that 17 of its forces were killed in the deadliest rioting in detention centers holding thousands of suspected terrorists.

On Saturday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby claimed that the US-led occupation forces had carried out airstrikes in support of the SDF. However, the Daesh terrorists took full control of the prison after the SDF and US-led occupation forces failed to control the situation.

Arab tribal figures in touch with residents in the area said US-led troops had taken over positions around the prison and planes were seen flying overhead.

“The clashes are still going on inside the prison, its outskirts, surroundings of the al-Basel roundabout and the highway,” Syria’s official news agency SANA reported Saturday, quoting local sources who further noted that freed terrorists have been fortifying themselves in surrounding complexes.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since 2011, when the US and its Western and regional allies began their overt attempts to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

In recent years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with militants against Syria’s legitimate government, and bombing the positions of the Syrian army and anti-terror popular forces.

The US military has also stationed its forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria with the alleged aim of preventing the oilfields in the areas from falling into the hands of the Daesh terrorists.

The Takfiri terrorists have been active in the oil-rich provinces of Syria despite the heavy deployment of the US occupation forces.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/24/675391/US-backed-forces-conduct-searches-Daesh-terrorists-Hasakah

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Mideast

 

Palestinian prisoners continue boycott of Israeli military courts for 3rd consecutive week

23 January 2022

Palestinian inmates imprisoned under Israel’s so-called policy of administrative detention continue their boycott of the Israeli military courts for the 23rd consecutive day.

At least 500 Palestinian prisoners have been registering their protest against the controversial policy by refusing to show up for their military court hearings since the beginning of the year, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Sunday.

The boycott includes hearings for renewal of administrative detention orders as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at Israel’s so-called supreme court.

Palestinian detainees say their move is a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts "to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces."

Palestinian prisoners also maintain that Israel’s use of administrative detention has expanded in recent years and many women, children and elderly people have been incarcerated under the thorny policy.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are held under administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are among those detainees. The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as ‘secret’ evidence. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Palestinians and human rights groups say the detention violates the right to due process since evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted. Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Over 540 detainees, including women and minors, are under Israel’s administrative detention.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.

Palestinian prisoner in coma for 3rd week over medical negligence

In a separate development, a Palestinian commission for prisoners said Nasser Abu Hamid, a cancer patient held in Israeli jails, is in a coma for the third week due to acute pneumonia.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees' and Ex-Detainees' Affairs called on human rights and international organizations to urgently intervene and pressure the Israeli authorities to release the49-year old Palestinian prisoner, Wafa news agency reported. The commission further warned that Abu Hamid is facing an imminent risk of death as a result of his suffering from the consequences of a surgery he underwent last year.

On Saturday, Abu Hamid’s brother said the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has not allowed anyone, including family members, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or political figures to visit his critically ill brother in Israeli detention. 

Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the General Authority of Civil Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday that the Israeli regime had rejected a request he officially made to visit Abu Hamid to check on his health condition. He held the Tel Aviv regime fully responsible for the Palestinian inmate’s life while calling on international organizations to pressure Israel to release him.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/23/675349/Palestine-prisoners-boycott-Israel-military-courts-hearings-administrative-detention

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Dozens of fanatic Jewish settlers defile al-Aqsa Mosque

January 23, 2022

Dozens of Jewish settlers defiled the holy Aqsa Mosque Compound on Sunday morning under tight Israeli police protection.

Jerusalemite sources said that the settlers broke into the holy Islamic site from the Maghareba Gate and toured its courtyards and performed Talmudic rituals.

Israeli occupation police imposed movement restrictions on Palestinian citizens in the vicinity of the holy site especially at Bab el-Amud and scrutinized their IDs.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//dozens-of-fanatic-jewish-settlers-defile-al-aqsa-mosque_1221583.html

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Iran’s Top Negotiator Meets EU’s Mora, Talks Underway in Vienna

2022-January-23

Diplomatic efforts are underway in the Austrian capital Vienna to revive the 2015 agreement and ways to verify the removal of US sanction and guarantee its full commitment to the multilateral deal.

On Saturday, Baqeri Kani held talks with Mora while other delegates were also holding separate meetings.

Bilateral and multilateral expert-level talks were also held between Iran and the G4+1 countries with main focus on the removal of all sanctions the US imposed on Tehran following its pullout from the JCPOA.

Iran’s lead negotiator on Friday met separately with Mora and head of the Russian negotiating team Mikhail Ulyanov.

In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Ulyanov said he held a "very useful" meeting with Baqeri Kani and emphasized that Moscow’s "close coordination" with Tehran plays a key role in continuing and completing the negotiations in Vienna.

Senior representatives of the EU, the US and the G4+1 group of countries also discussed the latest situation pertaining to the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all US sanctions. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the deal with Iran.

In a tweet on Saturday, the senior Russian diplomat highlighted the significance of timing in the ongoing Vienna talks but emphasized that it should not be the “major factor which defines an outcome of the negotiations on the future of the JCPOA”.

Ulyanov said timing depends on participants of the Vienna talks, adding that the negotiators must expedite their work if deem necessary.

 “Under the circumstances timing is very important but it shouldn’t be the major factor which defines an outcome of the negotiations on the future of #JCPOA,” the Russian lead negotiator wrote.

“Under the circumstances timing is very important but it shouldn’t be the major factor which defines an outcome of the negotiations on the future of #JCPOA,” the Russian lead negotiator wrote.

Ulyanov said on Friday that Russia rejects “artificial deadlines” set by Western parties after their meeting with the US.

“The Western colleagues, as they do it publicly, underlined the need to finalize negotiations ASAP. Russia shares the sense of urgency but is against artificial deadlines,” he tweeted.

The Islamic Republic has also rejected the pessimistic assessment of the talks by the US and the European trio – namely France, Britain, and Germany – as a psychological ploy to win concessions.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed “fabricated deadlines” set by the US and its European allies.

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the US would better focus on its Plan A rather than threatening Iran with a Plan B.

Iran and the remaining participants to the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have been holding talks in the Austrian capital since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the US into full compliance.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14001103000297/Iran%E2%80%99s-Tp-Negiar-Mees-EU%E2%80%99s-Mra-Talks-Underway-in-Vienna

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Iran Takes Back Voting Right in UN

2022-January-23

Iran's arrears have been paid to the United Nations and as soon as Iran’s debt of its membership fee at the UN is collected in New York, Iran’s voting rights should naturally resume on Monday of the current week, Takht Ravanchi said.

Iran has paid its dues to the United Nations with the country's funds frozen in South Korea in a move to immediately restore its voting power, Seoul's finance ministry said Sunday.

Iran has more than US$7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks -- the Industrial Bank of Korea and Woori Bank -- due to US sanctions.

The US reimposed the sanctions on Iran in 2018 when then US President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 landmark nuclear agreement with Iran and five major world powers.

The South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance said $18 million, part of the delinquent fees, was paid to the UN on Friday, using the Tehran assets frozen in South Korea after consultations with related organizations, including the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the UN Secretariat.

Last Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly lashed out at the UN for suspension of the country's voting right, stressing that Tehran is not able to pay up its membership due to the US sanctions.

Khatibzadeh made the remarks after the Islamic Republic was denied the right to cast its vote on various matters at the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, due to the sanctions that prevent the country from paying up its membership dues for a second consecutive year.

"As a founding and active member of the world body, Iran considers itself duty-bound to fully and timely pay its membership fee at the UN and other international agencies and organizations," he noted.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14001103000321/Iran-Takes-Back-Ving-Righ-in-UN

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Turkish journalist arrested for insulting President Erdogan: Report

22 January ,2022

A Turkish court on Saturday ordered well-known journalist Sedef Kabas to be jailed pending trial on a charge of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, CNN Turk said, targeting her with a law under which tens of thousands have been prosecuted.

Police detained Kabas at around 2 a.m. (2300 GMT) and took her first to Istanbul’s main police station before transferring her to the city’s main courthouse, where a court subsequently ruled in favor of her formal arrest, the broadcaster said.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The alleged insult was in the form of a palace-related proverb that Kabas expressed both on an opposition television channel and on her Twitter account, drawing condemnation from government officials.

“The honor of the presidency’s office is the honor of our country... I condemn the vulgar insults made against our president and his office,” Fahrettin Altun, head of Turkey’s Communications Directorate, wrote on Twitter.

Merdan Yanardag, chief editor of the Tele 1 channel on which Kabas made the comment, sharply criticized her arrest.

“Her detention overnight at 2 a.m. because of a proverb is unacceptable,” he wrote on Twitter. “This stance is an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society.”

The law on insulting the president carries a jail sentence of between one and four years.

Last October, Europe’s top human rights court called on Turkey to change the legislation after ruling that a man’s detention under the law violated his freedom of expression.

Thousands have been charged and sentenced over the crime of insulting Erdogan in the seven years since he moved from being prime minister to president.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/01/22/Turkish-journalist-arrested-for-insulting-President-Erdogan-Report

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Israeli minister slams settler violence as 'terrorism’

Zain Khalil  

23.01.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Barlev on Sunday described settler attacks against Palestinians as "actions of a terror organization."

Barlev was referring to settler assaults on Friday against activists near the Burin village in the occupied West Bank, where 10 activists were injured, including four Israelis.

The violence was committed "by a terror group that acts together and harmed Israeli citizens who came to demonstrate in the area," Barlev told the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Israeli forces came late to the scene as "the terrorists were no longer there and have disappeared," Barlev said, in reference to the Israeli settlers who escaped from the area before the arrival of Israeli forces.

On December 27, Barlev was placed under heavy security protection after receiving threats from Jews as he stated.

In recent months, settlers across the occupied territories stepped up their attacks against Palestinians and their properties, which were committed under the watch of the Israeli forces.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-minister-slams-settler-violence-as-terrorism-/2483028

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17 Palestinian journalists held in Israeli prisons: NGO

Nour Abu Eisha 

22.01.2022

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Israel is holding 17 Palestinian journalists and media workers in prison, according to an Arab journalists rights group on Saturday.

In a statement, the Journalists' Support Committee said seven of those arrested have already been sentenced, five are still under Israel’s administrative detention policy, while five others are awaiting their verdicts.

The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to extend the detention of a prisoner without charge or trial.

The rights group warned against "the delay in issuing verdicts against the prisoners who have been detained for several years without charge”, describing the policy as “a blatant violation of international law and human rights.”

"The occupation practices organized state terrorism against the Palestinian media in an Israeli attempt to silence the Palestinian media and undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people," it said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/17-palestinian-journalists-held-in-israeli-prisons-ngo/2482516

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Yemen to keep up counterstrikes’ until the end of invasion: Ansarullah official

23 January 2022

A senior Yemeni official vows that the country will keep up its counteroffensives until its complete liberation from the scourge of a United States-backed and Saudi-led invasion and siege.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Yemeni popular resistance Houthi Ansarullah movement's Political Bureau, made the remarks on Sunday in an exclusive interview with Iran's al-Alam Arabic-language television network.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies have been attacking Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, since March 2015 in an unsuccessful bid to change its ruling structure in favor of its former Riyadh-aligned regime.

The war, and an ensuing siege that the aggressors have been employing, has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turned the entire Yemen into the scene of the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Yemeni forces that feature the Yemeni army and its allied fighters from the Popular Committees have, however, vowed not to lay down their arms until the expulsion of all foreign forces.

"Yemen's operations against the countries of the [invading] coalition will continue at the domestic and overseas levels until the coalition stops its attacks and ends the blockade," al-Bukhaiti said.

Invaders' systematic denial

The invading countries are trying to deflect the international public opinion from their atrocities through a number of methods, he noted.

"They first deny any responsibility for their crimes, but later admit their involvement only to say they are going to investigate the atrocities," said the official.

Al-Bukhaiti, meanwhile, rebuffed the invaders' claims that they are attacking the impoverished country to retaliate for the Yemeni forces' operations.

He said the aggressors took Yemen under heavy bombardment throughout the first three years of the war, during which the country did not have the deterrent power that it is using now to return the Saudi-led offensives.

"The invaders used to commit such crimes from the very first day of the invasion for three [consecutive] years," long before Yemen became able to retaliate the aggression with ballistic missiles and drones, the Ansarullah official said.

He also hailed that the counterattacks had managed to force the invaders to reduce the number of their military assaults.

'US, Zionists support aggressors'

"Those who support the invading countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE [in their crimes against the Yemeni people], are the United States and the Israeli regime, which are bereft of all human values," al-Bukhaiti said.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/23/675375/Yemen-warning-invaders-Saudi-Arabia-UAE

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Africa

 

Taraba tackles Muslim body, alleges council inciting religious tension

24 January 2022

The Taraba State Government, on Sunday, described as false allegation of marginalisation levelled against Governor Darius Ishaku by the Muslim Council in the state.

While lamenting the action of the council, the government described the allegation as a blatant attempt to cause religious and political tension in the state.

Addressing a press conference in Jalingo, the Commissioner for Information and Re-Orientation, Danjuma Adamu, said the action of the council amounted to giving the public false information that the governor did not like Muslims, thereby causing religious tension.

Adamu stated, “The Taraba State Government views the move as a deliberate attempt to disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed in the state, particularly the mutual respect among the adherents of the two dominant religions.

“The Muslim Council of Taraba State has free access to the governor. Just last December, the leadership of the council was in Takum, where their Chairman, Grand Khadi Abdulmunin, praised the governor for being fair to Muslims and Christians in the state.

“If they had issues with the governor, what stops them from raising the issues there? It is, therefore, surprising that the council would choose to embarrass the governor by calling a press conference instead of seeking an audience with him to discuss the issues.

“The allegation of marginalisation of Muslims in Taraba State is false, unfounded and an attempt to distract the administration and cause religious and political tension in the state, especially now that political activities are beginning to pick up.

“The Ishaku administration totally rejects this unpatriotic attempt and insists that at no time did the government exhibit bias against any group in the state, whether ethnic or religious, in appointments and in the provision of amenities.

Source: Punchng

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://punchng.com/taraba-tackles-muslim-body-alleges-council-inciting-religious-tension/

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French military base in Mali attacked: media reports

Fatma Esma Arslan 

23.01.2022

DAKAR, Senegal

A French military base in Mali was targeted by a rocket attack early Sunday, according to media reports.

The Gao military base in northern Mali was hit with rockets, France 24 reported.,

The Italian Ministry of Defense said that none of the 20 Italian soldiers on duty at the base were injured.

Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini is closely following the situation, it added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/french-military-base-in-mali-attacked-media-reports/2482763

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Sudan’s Hemedti visits Ethiopia for bilateral talks

Talal Ismail  

22.01.2022

KHARTOUM, Sudan

The deputy leader of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, began a two-day official visit to Ethiopia on Saturday for talks on bilateral relations.

The talks will focus on bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of strengthening them to serve the interests of the two sides, Hemedti’s office said in a statement.

Hemedti is the first top Sudanese official to visit Addis Ababa following the escalation of a border dispute between the two neighbors after the Sudanese army captured the contested Fashaga area in December 2020.

With a 1,600-km (994-mile) long shared border, Ethiopia and Sudan face issues regarding the Fashaga Triangle, a decades-long-disputed border without hard demarcation.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/sudan-s-hemedti-visits-ethiopia-for-bilateral-talks/2482447

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Burkina Faso’s President Kabore is held by mutinous soldiers

January 24, 2022

OUAGADOUGOU: Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is being held by mutinous soldiers, two of the soldiers told The Associated Press by phone early Monday. They did not say where Kabore is being held, but said he is in a safe place.

Gunshots were heard late Sunday night near the president’s residence and in the early hours of Monday a battle took place at the presidential palace while a helicopter flew overhead. The roads of the capital were empty Sunday night except for checkpoints heavily guarded by mutinous soldiers.

State news station RTB was heavily guarded on Monday morning.

Fighting began on Sunday when soldiers took control of the Lamizana Sangoule military barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou. Civilians drove into town in a show of support for the rebellion but were broken up by security forces firing tear gas. The mutiny came a day after a public demonstration calling for Kabore’s resignation, the latest in a series of anti-Kabore protests as anger has mounted over his government’s handling of the Islamic insurgency.

The government has not made any statements since Sunday when Minister of Defense Aime Barthelemy Simpore told state broadcaster RTB that a few barracks had been affected by unrest not only in Ouagadougou but in other cities, too. He denied, however, that the president had been detained by the mutineers, even though Kabore’s whereabouts was unknown.

“Well, it’s a few barracks. There are not too many,” Simpore said.

Kabore had been leading Burkina Faso since being elected in 2015 after a popular uprising ousted longtime strongman President Blaise Compaore who was in power for nearly three decades. Kabore was reelected in November 2020 for another five-year term, however, frustration has been growing at his inability to stem the spread of jihadist violence across the country. Attacks linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group are escalating, killing thousands and displacing more than an estimated 1.5 million people.

The military has suffered losses since the extremist violence began in 2016. In December more than 50 security forces were killed in the Sahel region and nine security forces were killed in the Center North region in November.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2010651/world

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North America

 

Marie Newman, US Congresswoman, Urges End To Israel’s Palestinian Homes Demolition Policy

22 January 2022

A US Congresswoman has condemned the Israeli practice of demolition of Palestinian-owned homes in the occupied East al-Quds neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, calling on Israeli authorities to quit the policy.

Democratic Representative Marie Newman made the appeal in a post on her Twitter account on Saturday, after Israeli forces tore down the property of a Palestinian man in Sheikh Jarrah earlier this week, displacing his entire family of over a dozen, mainly children, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.

Newman further noted that members of the Palestinian family became homeless after Israeli police forced them out of their home in the middle of the night, while pointing that Israeli forces have carried out more than 1,000 demolitions since 2016 in the same area.

On January 19, an Israeli mechanical digger, under the tight protection of Israeli soldiers, tore down the property of Mahmoud Salhiyeh in Sheikh Jarrah. The Israeli police cordoned off the area where the house was located during and after the demolition. Local sources said a large number of police forces stormed the house and arrested 20 activists and six individuals from the 18-member Salhiyeh family, including Mahmoud.

They assaulted the other members of the family, including his nine-year-old daughter and her aunt. The family said that the Israeli forces had cut off electricity from the house as they raided it, and started firing tear gas to block everyone’s vision.

The Israeli regime presses ahead with its settlement expansion and land-grab policy across the Palestinian territories despite international outcry. Many believe such a policy is aimed at forcing the Palestinians to leave their homeland by making it difficult for them to live there.

Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli police on Palestinians protesting the displacement of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes.

Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to force Palestinians from the area.

Most of the international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law and an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/22/675296/Palestine-home-demolition-policy-East-al-Quds-Sheikh-Jarrah-US-Congresswoman

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American citizen in Afghanistan embraces Islam

January 24, 2022

An American citizen in Afghanistan has converted to Islam at the hands of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the state news agency said on Sunday.

Cristopher, who has been now rechristened Muhammad Isa, said he has been living in the country for many years and embraced the faith because he was inspired by the morals of the Taliban.

Zabihullah Mujahid officially converted the American national by reciting the mandatory Shahada (prayer of initiation into the faith) and gave him the Muslim name Muhammad Isa as the latter repeated after him with teary eyes, said the state-run news outlet.

Source: Tribune Pakistan

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2340141/american-citizen-in-afghanistan-embraces-islam

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Nearly 3,000 Americans sign petition, demand end to Israel's ethnic cleansing in Negev

23 January 2022

Nearly 3,000 Americans have signed a petition, demanding an immediate end to Israel’s ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian citizens in the Negev (Naqab) desert.

The rocky desert of Negev, which makes up almost half of the historical Palestine, has been the scene of growing tensions since January 10, when diggers and bulldozers of the so-called Jewish National Fund (JNF) began flattening some Bedouin farming lands as part of a controversial tree planting program or afforestation. The much-condemned move triggered large protest rallies, which met with brutal crackdown and mass arrests by Israeli forces.

In a bid to raise awareness about the JNF’s provocative demolition campaign in the region and force the occupying regime to halt the move, Code Pink, a women's organization that supports Palestinian rights, launched a petition drive, calling on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge the so-called JNF to “cease and desist their ethnic cleaning activities” and “destructive actions” in the Negev region.

“Since 1948, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) has been planting trees to displace Palestinians from their lands. They are currently carrying out an afforestation project in the Negev/Naqab (Southern Israel) on land used by Bedouin communities for agriculture. They aim to drive the Bedouins from their lands,” the petition said.

It also provided a brief account on how the JNF was established in 1901 for the purpose of buying and developing land for Jewish settlement in Palestine.

The JNF “played a central role in the plans to expel Palestinians from their lands. They meticulously charted topography, roads, land, and water sources and profiled the entire Palestinian population by age, political affiliations, and hostility to the Zionist project. Known as the Village Files, these documents became a crucial military tool for Jewish militias, who in 1948 burned villages, carried out massacres, and drove around 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes and villages, making them refugees,” Code Pink added in its petition.

It also said that the Israeli regime has been working tirelessly to expel Palestinian Bedouin populations from Negev, south of occupied Palestine.

The community of Al-Araqeeb has been demolished over 100 times since it is situated in Bedouin agricultural areas, where the JNF is currently carrying out its afforestation/ethnic cleansing program.

“The JNF is now carrying out its afforestation/ethnic cleansing project” on “Bedouin agricultural lands,” the petition further read, adding, “Throughout January 2021, Palestinian Bedouins, about a third of them children, have been arrested protesting the JNF’s afforestation/ethnic cleansing project.”

Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to force Palestinians from the area.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/23/675354/Palestine-US-Israel-petition-Negev-Code-Pink-Bedouins-

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US warplanes bomb Syrian city in purported bid to repel Daesh attack

23 January 2022

US warplanes have bombed the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah in a purported bid to support US-backed Kurdish militants, so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to repel a major attack by alleged Daesh terrorists on a prison holding thousands of their companions.

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the illegal American airstrikes in Syria on Saturday to assist the unsuccessful attempt by the mercenary SDF militants to drive off the Daesh attack on the city’s Ghwayran prison amid reports that terrorists have taken over control of the compound.

“The clashes are still going on inside the prison, its outskirts, surroundings of the al-Basel roundabout and the highway,” Syria’s official news agency SANA reported Saturday, quoting local sources who further noted that freed terrorists have been fortifying themselves in surrounding complexes.

They also noted that SDF militants failed to protect the prison compound – the largest of several detention centers under their control in Hasakah – and surrounding facilities despite receiving aerial support from the US occupation forces.

“The battles are taking place on the edge of the prison,” SDF spokesman Siamand Ali claimed as quoted in an AP report on Saturday, adding that most of the prison is under their control apart from a small part that is held by “rioting prisoners.”

He further noted that fighting is also ongoing in the nearby Zohour neighborhood, where Daesh forces were holed up.

The report also cited Ali as saying that SDF forces and American warplanes targeted a technical academy building where dozens of "Daesh terrorists took positions,” adding that the US-backed militants are advancing slowly in order to protect the lives of civilians as Daesh gunmen are holed up in alleys and in residential homes in the area.

The clashes have also led to the fleeing of nearly 4,000 residents to areas of the city controlled by Syrian government forces, Hasakah Governor Ghassan Khalil said as cited in Syrian media outlets.

The Ghwayran prison holds about 5,000 suspected Daesh terrorists, including commanders and figures considered among the most dangerous, according to the AP report.

Syria calls for US withdrawal amid ‘war crimes’

The development came as the Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed on Saturday the actions that led to the displacement of thousands of Syrian civilians in Hasakah province, reiterating the country’s demand for the total withdrawal of US forces from northeastern Syria and Turkish forces from northwestern Syria.

“During the past few days, Daesh and QSD (SDF) gangs committed massacres against the civilians and massive destruction in the infrastructure in Hasakah province,” the ministry said in a statement.

It further described the acts committed by American occupation forces and the SDF as “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry also called on all international humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to thousands of Syrian civilians who were displaced in such harsh weather conditions.

It came after US warplanes completely destroyed the Technical Institute building in Hasakah city under the pretext of targeting the released prisoners.

Nearly 90 people have reportedly been killed so far, as fighting raged for the third day on Saturday.

The SDF further asserted earlier in the day that “fierce clashes” broke out in the neighborhoods north of Ghwayran, where it claimed to have killed more than 20 Daesh terrorists and seized explosive belts, weapons, and artillery.

According to SANA, people have been pushed by the SDF to leave their houses immediately. The SDF imposed a curfew on Ghwayran and al-Zohour neighborhoods on Friday, the news agency added.

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed terror campaign since 2011, when the US and its Western and regional allies began their overt attempts to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/01/23/675318/US-warplanes-airstrike-Syria-Hasakah-SDF-Daesh-attack

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