New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 12:40 PM

Islamic World News ( 15 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Turkey Urges US That Harbouring Gülen Is a Hostile Act after Coup Attempt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

 

194 Killed In Quashed Gülenist Coup Attempt: Military

Hundreds of Judges Removed from Duty over Military Coup

Pro-Pakistan Slogans Raised In Patna, In Protest to Support Zakir Naik and Asaduddin Owaisi

Nice Terror Attack, France: Truck Driving Killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Was Not A Muslim His Wife’s Family Says

After Nice Attack, Obama Vows to Defeat ‘Vile’ Islamic State

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Mideast

Turkey Urges US That Harbouring Gülen Is a Hostile Act after Coup Attempt

194 Killed In Quashed Gülenist Coup Attempt: Military

Hundreds of Judges Removed from Duty over Military Coup

Turkish Air Force Head Taken Hostage during Wedding

World leaders line up to express solidarity to FM of Turkey

July 15 to mark fest for our democracy, says Turkish PM

Turkey demands return of eight plotter soldiers who landed on Greece

2,839 detained over coup attempt

Int’l community, Washington, Moscow stand in strong solidarity with Republic of Turkey

Opposition parties reject the military coup attempt

Coup attempters detained after taking Doğan journalists hostage

Yeni Şafak newspaper’s photographer loses his life

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India

Pro-Pakistan Slogans Raised In Patna, In Protest to Support Zakir Naik and Asaduddin Owaisi

Sedition Case against Owaisi for Legal Help Remarks

NIA to File Chargesheet against 5 ‘Islamic State Sympathisers’

Kerala MLA Claims Threat from Islamic Fundamentalists

Rourkela tense over WhatsApp message

Pak has no locus standi in India’s internal affairs: MEA

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Europe

Nice Terror Attack, France: Truck Driving Killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Was Not A Muslim His Wife’s Family Says

Time to Recognize the Truth behind Europe's Endless Terror

Nice Massacre: Irish Muslims condemn attack and call for reflection

Islamic State claims responsibility for nice truck attack

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North America

After Nice Attack, Obama Vows to Defeat ‘Vile’ Islamic State

Barack Obama Slams Suggestion of Muslim Test in Wake of Nice Attack

US mosque vandalized hours after nice attack

Rauner: America ‘at war with Islamic terrorists’

Admiral cites concern of Islamic radicalization in Latin America

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Arab World

People Explode ISIL's Largest Flag Tower in Salahuddin Province

Al-Shishani's Death to Deteriorate ISIL's Vulnerable Situations in Syria, Iraq

Turkey Closes Key Border Crossing Along Syria's Idlib

Senior ISIL Commanders Killed in Syrian Army Attacks East of Homs

Syrian Army Gains Full Fire-Control over Al-Lairamoun-Castillo Road in Northern Aleppo

Army to Deploy New Radar System in North-eastern Iran to Detect Tiny Flying Objects

Saudi Military Base Hit Hard by Yemenis' Ballistic Missile in Najran Province

Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Kinsibba at Lattakia Border with Turkey

Spokesman Underlines Iran's Support for Elected Turkish Gov't

Terrorists in Syria Pray for Erdogan

ISIL Fails to Hit Oil Pipelines East of Hama

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Pakistan

'Mumbai-Style' Terror Bid Targeting Islamabad Foiled, Says IGP

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif Declares Burhan Wani as ‘Martyr’; To Observe Black Day on July 19

Govt changes date of observing 'black day' against Indian atrocities in Kashmir

No headway in water dispute talks with India

NAB gives a clean chit to Dar in Rs130bn case

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Africa

Libyan Forces Battling Islamic State in Sirte Suffer Losses In Push To Advance

Muslim Youths destroy Catholic Church in Niger

Christians Told to 'Buckle Up' After Preacher Hacked to Death

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South Asia

Major Operation to Kick Off Against ISIS in East Of Afghanistan: Ghani

3 policemen feared dead, wounded in Kabul explosion

Fire incident reported in key diplomatic area of Kabul city

A look into Bangladesh's troubles

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Southeast Asia

Leading Malaysian university sacks lecturer for showing slideshow portraying Hindus as

'unclean and dirty'

Indonesia's Six Largest Ethnic Groups

IS and the future of Malaysia

Malaysia ‘high’ terrorism threat: UK travel advisory

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/turkey-urges-us-that-harbouring-gülen-is-a-hostile-act-after-coup-attempt/d/107986

 

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Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

July 16, 2016

Any country that would harbor Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the parallel state that is regarded as the mastermind of July 15’s coup attempt would not be Turkey’s friend, the Turkish prime minister has said, obviously urging the United States where the self-exile religious leader lives since late 1990s.

“I do not see any country that would stand behind this man, this leader of the terrorist gang especially after last night. The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey. It would even be a hostile act against Turkey,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters at a press conference on July 16 as the coup attempt has been foiled earlier in the day.

Yıldırım indirectly criticized the U.S. for not understanding the concerns Turkey had expressed about Gülen, saying “This caused us to pay a big price.”

Prime Minister recalled that Turkey has already delivered its request of extradition for Gülen.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-urges-us-that-harboring-gulen-is-a-hostile-act-after-coup-attempt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101688&NewsCatID=510

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194 Killed In Quashed Gülenist Coup Attempt: Military

July 16, 2016

A bloody coup attempt by a large number of soldiers, including high-ranking generals was quashed by the security forces on July 16 as hundreds of thousands of civilians hit the streets across the country against the rebel soldiers in a night that put a black mark on Turkish democracy.

Only Chief of General Gen. Staff Hulusi Akar was saved among the top commanders held hostage by the Gülenist coup attempters, as whereabouts of others remained unknown, said deputy Chief of Staff Ümit Dündar on July 16.

The air force’s command, the gendarmerie command and some units from the armored forces took part in the coup attempt, he said, adding that it was quashed.

As coup attempters lost almost all key governmental, military and private buildings they occupied as of July 16, Turkey’s top soldier Gen. Hulusi kar, who was taken hostage by the coup attempters at the General Staff headquarters in Ankara with other leading commanders, was freed at the Akıncılar Air Base through an operation.

However, six of a group of around 5,000 civilians, who tried to enter the base in a reaction to the coup, were killed by the rebel soldiers.

Akıncılar was apparently was the base that plotters used as one of their centers to command.

Turkish security forces have completed an operation against the coup plotters at the headquarters of the military general staff, broadcaster CNN Turk reported on July 16.

Erdoğan’s hotel bombed

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also a target of the coup attempters as a number of helicopters bombed a hotel where he was accommodating in the egean resort town of Marmaris only less than two hours after the president left the place for coming to Istanbul to address a large public meeting at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport.

Police and soldiers clashed at the hotel and at least one police officer was killed there.

A Turkish F-16 jet controlled by coup-attempters also dropped bombs on a spot near the Presidential Palace in Ankara early on July 16, leaving five people dead, according to broadcaster CNNTürk.

Erdoğan told the broadcaster in a phone interview that a "minority group" in the military has attempted a coup.

President calls on citizens to streets

Erdoğan said the parallel state, referring to the followers of the U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gülen, has promoted the attempt.

"We will not leave the ground to them," he said, vowing to end the "occupation" by the group, called on nation to unite at squares and airports.

He repeated his call when he arrived at the Istanbul Airport, which was also initially held by plotter tanks before being liberated.

“Turkish Airlines began its operations. There is a small distress in Ankara,” Erdoğan told a large crowd gathered at the airport.

“There is no leaving here until this situation goes back to normal. I will not leave, too,” he said.

Imams at all mosques across Istanbul called for prayers late at night – which is not a regular prayer – and also called on locals to hit the streets to defend its nation.

PM: Situation largely controlled

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in the early hours of July 16 that there were a group of rebels that took control of some helicopters and aircrafts and stroke randomly over Ankara and Istanbul as the country is underway a military coup attempt since the late hours of July 15.

Yıldırım told CNN Türk that there were “rebel units” in air bases in Ankara and Balıkesir and they were “conducting random air strikes and making great damage” in Ankara and Istanbul.

He said that he had given orders to the commander of air defense to “do what is necessary” regarding the choppers and jets.

Yıldırım added that there was an attack on the Turkish parliament but the situation there was under control and parliamentarians from all four parties were in the parliament. 

"I thank the leaders of the opposition parties. They have protected the democracy. They have stood with our government by showing a clear stance against the coup attempt," he said.

Situation largely under control after Turkey coup attempt by a group of soldiers, Yıldırım said.

Government had appointed 1st Army Commander Gen. Dündar early July 16 during the absence of Gen. Akar.

The unrest started when a group of soldiers closed the two bridges over the Boshporus that link Asia to Europe late on July 15.

Coup-attempting soldiers who shot artillery on civilians and police water cannon from a tank on the Bosphorus Bridge surrendered early on July 16. A total of 50 soldiers surrendered, CNNTürk reported.

Two civilians, advertisement sector businessman Erol Olçak and his son were killed in a fire at the Bosphorus Bridge.

Three civilians were wounded in the artillery shooting.

16 killed 250 detained at gendarmerie headquarter

Turkey’s police chief Celalettin Lekesiz has announced that 16 rebel soldiers were killed at the Gendarmerie General Command, which was taken back from the coup attempters.

“They were trying to command and control the gendarmerie forces across 81 provinces across Turkey,” said Lekesiz.

The operation there was still ongoing at the headquarters in Beştepe, where the presidential palace is also located, but it was about to finish, he said.

“16 of them are killed and nearly 250 of them are detained,” he added.

The plotters killed 17 policemen in an attack on the Gölbaşı Special Forces Department headquarters in the Turkish capital of Ankara, according to the Istanbul governor.

Two employees were killed at the Turkish satellite operator TÜRKSTAT in the same district.

The state-run broadcaster, TRT, which was taken over by the coup plotters, was retaken by the security forces.

The plotters, who named themselves the “Peace in the Country Council,” had forced a TRT speaker to read a declaration, claiming to take the power in the country.

Other media companies also saw attacks and raids as pro-government newspaper.

Journalist killed

Yenişafak announced that its photographer Mustafa Canbaz was shot dead in the head.

A group of soldiers entered the Doğan Media Center, which hosts Hürriyet newspaper, Hürriyet Daily News, broadcaster CNNTürk and other Doğan media companies, in Istanbul early on Junly 16, taking several journalists and other staff in the building hostage for some time. They were detained later.

Bombs hit parliament, PM’s office

The coup attempters hit by bomb Turkish parliament while lawmakers were holding a session. The lawmakers then moved to the shelter of the building.

The office of the prime minister was destroyed heavily.

State-run Anadolu Agency said warplanes and helicopters fired two times on Ankara police center.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the attempters will not succeed.

"Over our dead bodies," he said, thanking all political parties and broadcasters for supporting democracy.

He called on soldiers not to obey the coup attempters, adding that this was not ordered by the chief generals.

Turkey’s First Army Commander Dündar said he contacted with the Istanbul governor from the first minute of the uprising. Turkish Navy Chief Bülent Bostanoğlu said “As the commander staff, we openly reject this attempt.General Staff Special Forces commander Gen. Zekai Aksakallı said "the bandits will not succeed.

A group of civilians attempted to enter the state-run TRT during the occupation by the attempters, but the group inside fired at the group, wounding one person.

A military helicopter was shooting fire at the TRT building.

The so-called Peace in the Country Council said in the live declaration that it would trial at "fair courts" all those "have betrayed the country.”

The so-called council also declared a curfew. However, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said this was a "pirate statement," saying that it was not linked to the military commanders.

Broadcaster NTV said a Turkish F-16 fighter jet downed a helicopter operated by the coup plotters.

A CNNTürk reporter said a helicopter fired on the General Staff headquarters in Ankara.

The Istanbul head of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) said on broadcaster CNNTürk on the phone that a group of soldiers were trying to take them out of the building.

Fethullah Gülen, meanwhile, denied being behind the attempted coup in Turkey, saying that he condemned it "in the strongest terms."

"As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations," Gülen said in a brief statement just before midnight on July 15.

hurriyetdailynews.com/194-killed-in-quashed-gulenist-coup-attempt-military.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101669&NewsCatID=341

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Hundreds of Judges Removed from Duty over Military Coup

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of judges have reportedly been removed from duty in Turkey following the military coup attempt.

Turkish authorities removed 2,745 judges from duty after the Turkish army attempted a coup on Friday night.

Broadcaster NTV, citing a decision by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, announced that 2,745 judges had been removed in total.

The Anadolu news agency reported that five members of Turkey's high judiciary board Hysk had also been removed.

Turkey faces the challenge of picking up the pieces after the government came under siege by a faction of military forces who sought to end the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan citing the leader's drift away from the country's long-held secularist values.

The death toll has risen to 256 people following the military coup attempt in Turkey with some 1,440 wounded, according to the source.

The number of arrested military personnel has also risen to 2,900 people, a senior Turkish official said, adding that the majority of the arrested servicemen are junior officers.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950426001200

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Pro-Pakistan Slogans Raised In Patna, In Protest to Support Zakir Naik and Asaduddin Owaisi

July 16, 2016

In an unprecedented act, pro-Pakistan slogans were raised in Patna on Friday afternoon by supporters of a political front. Several people under the banner of Popular Front of India carried out a protest march against the Central government. The protest march was carried to support controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

PROTESTERS SUPPORT ZAKIR NAIK, OWAISI

The protest march which was carried out after prior permission from the local administration slammed the Central government for unnecessarily troubling and cracking down on Zakir Naik and Owaisi.

The march had started from Patna's Science College and while the march was going on, few people present raised pro-Pakistan slogans. The protestors were demanding that the Bihar government should intervence in the matter and speak to the Centre on Zakir Naik's issue. The protestors alleged that the crack down in Naik and Owaisi was a concerted effort to silence the voice of Muslims leaders in the country.

"We are not going to tolerate this. The Centre is unnecessarily cracking down on Zakir Naik and troubling him", said a protestor.

POLICE INITIATES PROBE

After the video of the pro-Pakistan slogans were aired by electronic media channels, the state police has flung into action. Police headquarters in Patna has begun probe into the matter of how slogans in support of Pakistan were raised at the march. The Bihar police is also coordinating with the central intelligence agencies to probe the case. Bihar DGP, P.K Thakur confirmed that the police was scanning the video of the rally.

"We have initiated a probe in the matter. We are also monitoring the video footage if the rally where pro-Pakistan slogans were raised", said Bihar DGP.

The DGP has assured that if it comes to light that anti-nation slogans and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised, action will be taken.

In a late night move, Patna police has identified the person who raised pro-Pakistan slogans as Taufiq, a worker of the Popular Front of India. Police have arrested Taufiq in the case. The police in the meantime has sent the video footage for forensic investigation.

The controversial Islamic preacher is alleged to have brain washed through his hateful speeches at least of the terrorist who carried out attack at a restaurant in Dhaka earlier this month in which more than 20 people were killed.

indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pro-pakistan-slogans-raised-in-patna-one-arrested-after-police-orders-probe/1/716225.html

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Nice terror attack, France: Truck driving killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was not a Muslim his wife’s family says

JULY 16, 2016

The Aamaq news agency cited a “security source” as saying the attacker “carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State”.

But there is no evidence IS was involved in planning the July 14 attack. Bouhlel killed 84 people when he drove a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice.

Police raided Bouhlel’s home and have held his estranged wife for questioning. He has been described as a petty criminal, a violent depressive and was a loner who showed no outward sign of being a devout Muslim.

Police found two automatic weapons, ammunition, a mobile phone and documents in the truck, as well as fake weapons at his home.

Bouhlel had a criminal record, including a history of threats and violence.

news.com.au/world/europe/nice-terror-attack-france-truck-driving-killer-mohamed-lahouaiej-bouhlel-was-not-a-muslim-his-wifes-family-says/news-story/84a107bf2de7c41d2138100c158e7c2b

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After Nice Attack, Obama Vows to Defeat ‘Vile’ Islamic State

July 15, 2016

Tragedy overshadowed what President Barack Obama had planned Friday as a pleasant reception for the Washington diplomatic corps at the White House. As he has had to do many other times recently, he began his remarks at the event by addressing another mass attack.

"We come here with heavier hearts than normal," he said. "Overnight in Nice, we witnessed another attack, an appalling attack on freedom and the peace that we cherish. Today, our hearts are with the people of France and all the innocent men and women and so many children who were hurt or killed in this sickening attack."

Obama welcomed French Ambassador Gerard Araud and said he had spoken with French President Francois Hollande earlier in the day.

“We pledge to stand with our French friends, and we defend our nations against this scourge of terrorism and violence. This is a threat to all of us,” Obama said.

Pledge of victory

The president referenced recent attacks alleged to have been inspired by Islamic State terrorists in Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, noting that many of the victims were Muslims. He said the anti-terrorist coalition of 66 countries would not relent and would destroy what he called the “vile” Islamic State group. He said the coalition would win the fight by staying true to its values of pluralism, the rule of law, diversity and freedoms of religion, speech and assembly.

Obama said in this world of 7 billion people, the hatred and violence of a few was no match for the love and decency of so many.

Without mentioning anyone by name, the president rejected any suggestion of testing Muslims in America for their beliefs, calling this “repugnant” and “un-American."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, July 6, 2016. On Thursday, he called for testing all U.S. Muslims and deporting those who "believe in sharia law."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, July 6, 2016. On Thursday, he called for testing all U.S. Muslims and deporting those who "believe in sharia law."

After the Nice attacks Thursday evening, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News, "Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia law, they should be deported.”

Gingrich was said to be one of the leading candidates to become Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's running mate, but on Friday, Trump tweeted that he had chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence for the position.

Candidates react

Trump reacted swiftly to the Nice attacks, tweeting, "Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse."

His likely Democratic opponent for the White House, Hillary Clinton, also reacted to the attacks on Twitter: "Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France."

At Friday’s White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest said French investigators had concluded that Thursday night’s truck attack was a terrorist attack. Earnest said Obama had pledged not only to stand with the French, but also to provide them with whatever assistance they required.

Asked about what could be done to stop the quickening pace of terrorist attacks, he said the U.S. already had increased its sharing of intelligence with France and other European countries. Earnest said there needed to be more sharing of intelligence, though, among European allies.

Asked whether the president was worried that something similar could happen in the United States, Earnest said officials were very concerned about the possibility of lone wolf attacks, saying that even one single person can wreak terrible carnage

voanews.com/content/after-nice-attack-obama-vows-defeat-vile-islamic-state/3420394.html

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Mideast

Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

July 16, 2016

Any country that would harbor Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the parallel state that is regarded as the mastermind of July 15’s coup attempt would not be Turkey’s friend, the Turkish prime minister has said, obviously urging the United States where the self-exile religious leader lives since late 1990s.

“I do not see any country that would stand behind this man, this leader of the terrorist gang especially after last night. The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey. It would even be a hostile act against Turkey,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters at a press conference on July 16 as the coup attempt has been foiled earlier in the day.

Yıldırım indirectly criticized the U.S. for not understanding the concerns Turkey had expressed about Gülen, saying “This caused us to pay a big price.”

Prime Minister recalled that Turkey has already delivered its request of extradition for Gülen.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-urges-us-that-harboring-gulen-is-a-hostile-act-after-coup-attempt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101688&NewsCatID=510

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194 Killed In Quashed Gülenist Coup Attempt: Military

July 16, 2016

A bloody coup attempt by a large number of soldiers, including high-ranking generals was quashed by the security forces on July 16 as hundreds of thousands of civilians hit the streets across the country against the rebel soldiers in a night that put a black mark on Turkish democracy.

Only Chief of General Gen. Staff Hulusi Akar was saved among the top commanders held hostage by the Gülenist coup attempters, as whereabouts of others remained unknown, said deputy Chief of Staff Ümit Dündar on July 16.

The air force’s command, the gendarmerie command and some units from the armored forces took part in the coup attempt, he said, adding that it was quashed.

As coup attempters lost almost all key governmental, military and private buildings they occupied as of July 16, Turkey’s top soldier Gen. Hulusi kar, who was taken hostage by the coup attempters at the General Staff headquarters in Ankara with other leading commanders, was freed at the Akıncılar Air Base through an operation.

However, six of a group of around 5,000 civilians, who tried to enter the base in a reaction to the coup, were killed by the rebel soldiers.

Akıncılar was apparently was the base that plotters used as one of their centers to command.

Turkish security forces have completed an operation against the coup plotters at the headquarters of the military general staff, broadcaster CNN Turk reported on July 16.

Erdoğan’s hotel bombed

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also a target of the coup attempters as a number of helicopters bombed a hotel where he was accommodating in the egean resort town of Marmaris only less than two hours after the president left the place for coming to Istanbul to address a large public meeting at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport.

Police and soldiers clashed at the hotel and at least one police officer was killed there.

A Turkish F-16 jet controlled by coup-attempters also dropped bombs on a spot near the Presidential Palace in Ankara early on July 16, leaving five people dead, according to broadcaster CNNTürk.

Erdoğan told the broadcaster in a phone interview that a "minority group" in the military has attempted a coup.

President calls on citizens to streets

Erdoğan said the parallel state, referring to the followers of the U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gülen, has promoted the attempt.

"We will not leave the ground to them," he said, vowing to end the "occupation" by the group, called on nation to unite at squares and airports.

He repeated his call when he arrived at the Istanbul Airport, which was also initially held by plotter tanks before being liberated.

“Turkish Airlines began its operations. There is a small distress in Ankara,” Erdoğan told a large crowd gathered at the airport.

“There is no leaving here until this situation goes back to normal. I will not leave, too,” he said.

Imams at all mosques across Istanbul called for prayers late at night – which is not a regular prayer – and also called on locals to hit the streets to defend its nation.

PM: Situation largely controlled

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in the early hours of July 16 that there were a group of rebels that took control of some helicopters and aircrafts and stroke randomly over Ankara and Istanbul as the country is underway a military coup attempt since the late hours of July 15.

Yıldırım told CNN Türk that there were “rebel units” in air bases in Ankara and Balıkesir and they were “conducting random air strikes and making great damage” in Ankara and Istanbul.

He said that he had given orders to the commander of air defense to “do what is necessary” regarding the choppers and jets.

Yıldırım added that there was an attack on the Turkish parliament but the situation there was under control and parliamentarians from all four parties were in the parliament. 

"I thank the leaders of the opposition parties. They have protected the democracy. They have stood with our government by showing a clear stance against the coup attempt," he said.

Situation largely under control after Turkey coup attempt by a group of soldiers, Yıldırım said.

Government had appointed 1st Army Commander Gen. Dündar early July 16 during the absence of Gen. Akar.

The unrest started when a group of soldiers closed the two bridges over the Boshporus that link Asia to Europe late on July 15.

Coup-attempting soldiers who shot artillery on civilians and police water cannon from a tank on the Bosphorus Bridge surrendered early on July 16. A total of 50 soldiers surrendered, CNNTürk reported.

Two civilians, advertisement sector businessman Erol Olçak and his son were killed in a fire at the Bosphorus Bridge.

Three civilians were wounded in the artillery shooting.

16 killed 250 detained at gendarmerie headquarter

Turkey’s police chief Celalettin Lekesiz has announced that 16 rebel soldiers were killed at the Gendarmerie General Command, which was taken back from the coup attempters.

“They were trying to command and control the gendarmerie forces across 81 provinces across Turkey,” said Lekesiz.

The operation there was still ongoing at the headquarters in Beştepe, where the presidential palace is also located, but it was about to finish, he said.

“16 of them are killed and nearly 250 of them are detained,” he added.

The plotters killed 17 policemen in an attack on the Gölbaşı Special Forces Department headquarters in the Turkish capital of Ankara, according to the Istanbul governor.

Two employees were killed at the Turkish satellite operator TÜRKSTAT in the same district.

The state-run broadcaster, TRT, which was taken over by the coup plotters, was retaken by the security forces.

The plotters, who named themselves the “Peace in the Country Council,” had forced a TRT speaker to read a declaration, claiming to take the power in the country.

Other media companies also saw attacks and raids as pro-government newspaper.

Journalist killed

Yenişafak announced that its photographer Mustafa Canbaz was shot dead in the head.

A group of soldiers entered the Doğan Media Center, which hosts Hürriyet newspaper, Hürriyet Daily News, broadcaster CNNTürk and other Doğan media companies, in Istanbul early on Junly 16, taking several journalists and other staff in the building hostage for some time. They were detained later.

Bombs hit parliament, PM’s office

The coup attempters hit by bomb Turkish parliament while lawmakers were holding a session. The lawmakers then moved to the shelter of the building.

The office of the prime minister was destroyed heavily.

State-run Anadolu Agency said warplanes and helicopters fired two times on Ankara police center.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the attempters will not succeed.

"Over our dead bodies," he said, thanking all political parties and broadcasters for supporting democracy.

He called on soldiers not to obey the coup attempters, adding that this was not ordered by the chief generals.

Turkey’s First Army Commander Dündar said he contacted with the Istanbul governor from the first minute of the uprising. Turkish Navy Chief Bülent Bostanoğlu said “As the commander staff, we openly reject this attempt.General Staff Special Forces commander Gen. Zekai Aksakallı said "the bandits will not succeed.

A group of civilians attempted to enter the state-run TRT during the occupation by the attempters, but the group inside fired at the group, wounding one person.

A military helicopter was shooting fire at the TRT building.

The so-called Peace in the Country Council said in the live declaration that it would trial at "fair courts" all those "have betrayed the country.”

The so-called council also declared a curfew. However, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said this was a "pirate statement," saying that it was not linked to the military commanders.

Broadcaster NTV said a Turkish F-16 fighter jet downed a helicopter operated by the coup plotters.

A CNNTürk reporter said a helicopter fired on the General Staff headquarters in Ankara.

The Istanbul head of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) said on broadcaster CNNTürk on the phone that a group of soldiers were trying to take them out of the building.

Fethullah Gülen, meanwhile, denied being behind the attempted coup in Turkey, saying that he condemned it "in the strongest terms."

"As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations," Gülen said in a brief statement just before midnight on July 15.

hurriyetdailynews.com/194-killed-in-quashed-gulenist-coup-attempt-military.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101669&NewsCatID=341

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Hundreds of Judges Removed from Duty over Military Coup

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of judges have reportedly been removed from duty in Turkey following the military coup attempt.

Turkish authorities removed 2,745 judges from duty after the Turkish army attempted a coup on Friday night.

Broadcaster NTV, citing a decision by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, announced that 2,745 judges had been removed in total.

The Anadolu news agency reported that five members of Turkey's high judiciary board Hysk had also been removed.

Turkey faces the challenge of picking up the pieces after the government came under siege by a faction of military forces who sought to end the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan citing the leader's drift away from the country's long-held secularist values.

The death toll has risen to 256 people following the military coup attempt in Turkey with some 1,440 wounded, according to the source.

The number of arrested military personnel has also risen to 2,900 people, a senior Turkish official said, adding that the majority of the arrested servicemen are junior officers.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950426001200

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Turkish Air Force head taken hostage during wedding

July 16, 2016

Turkey’s commander of air forces was taken hostage while attending a wedding on July 15, by soldiers that have engaged a failed coup attempt.

General Abidin Ünal, the commander of Air Force was attending the wedding of the daughter of General Mehmet Şanver, the commander of Eskişehir Combatant Air Unit, on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

General Ünal and top cadres of the air force were present at the wedding organized at Moda Sea Club at the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

During the wedding, five helicopters landed to the garden while opening fire, according to daily Hürriyet.

Soldiers got off the helicopters and took Ünal, Şahver as well as other commanders as hostage.

Efforts are underway to get reach the commanders.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Fleet Commander Veysel Kösele was abducted to a navy ship but then reached Gölcük, a navy headquarter and he was safe.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-air-force-head-taken-hostage-during-wedding.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101687&NewsCatID=341

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World leaders line up to express solidarity to FM of Turkey

July 16, 2016

Scores of foreign affairs ministers from the four corners of the world have queued up to express solidarity to Turkey as they called their counterpart.

“Upon the uprising carried out yesterday [July 15] against the elected government in our country, numerous Ministers of Foreign Affairs have called our Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and debriefed about the situation,” Turkish diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News on July 16.

“They have verbalized their support to the democratic process and the elected government in Turkey, they have emphasized that they have been in solidarity with Turkey,” the same sources, speaking under customary condition of anonymity, said.

According to what the same sources said, here are the names of foreign ministers who have so far made telephone conversations with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu since the evening of July 15: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry; the EU’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg; Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjørn Jagland; U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson; Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Sertaç Aziz; Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias; Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani; Bulgaristan’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov; Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki; Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin; Morocco’s Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar; Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif; Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikail Janelidze; Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov; Azerbaijan’s Minister of Emergency Situations of Kamaladdin Heydarov; Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo; Albania’s Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati; Malta’s Foreign Minister George Vella; Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki; Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto; and Italy’s Foreign Affairs and International Paolo Gentiloni.

The sources said Çavuşoğlu has been continuing holding contacts with his counterparts.

hurriyetdailynews.com/world-leaders-line-up-to-express-solidarity-to-fm-of-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101693&NewsCatID=341

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July 15 to mark fest for our democracy, says Turkish PM

July 16, 2016

The Turkish Parliament will discuss over a number of new measures to prevent future attempts to stage a military coup in Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, as legal procedures have already been launched to heavily punish plotters. Yıldırım said July 15 will be marked as the democracy fest for Turkey as the coup attempt was foiled thanks to the prudence of the Turkish people.

With the normalization of life in the country as the police and government-loyal military elements prevented the coup, Yıldırım held a press conference at his office along with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar who was saved from the hands of plotters after hours of captivity.

One critical question raised to Yıldırım was whether the government would consider re-installing capital punishment for those military personnel on charges of treason.

“As you know the death penalty had been removed from our legal system. We will discuss with other political party leaders on what further measures we should take to prevent such future attempts,” Yıldırım said, without directly responding to the content of the question. Political party leaders and lawmakers will meet at the Parliament at 3.00 p.m. in a special session.

The coup attempt on July 15 was a black stain on Turkish democracy, Yıldırım said, but could be turned into the fest of democracy thanks to the Turkish people’s loyalty to democracy and its freedoms. “Our people gave the best response to this terror gang. July 15 has now turned into the fest of our democracy,” he said, praising the citizens who stood in front of tanks in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country. “We could therefore get rid of a very big trouble,” Yıldırım said, praising those civilians and security personnel who have lost their lives while opposing the plotters.

More inglorious than the PKK

Political parties, non-governmental organizations, media and all other institutions who have expressed their support with the government against plotters played a crucial role in faltering the attempt, the prime minister stressed.

“Those who have committed terror by using the state’s weapons, tanks, warplanes, ammunition against the Turkish people were much more inglorious than the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party),” Yıldırım said.  

161 persons were killed and 1,440 wounded during the clashes, the prime minister said, adding 2,836 soldiers have been arrested, including high-ranking officers.

The prime minister said the first phase against plotters have been ended and it is time to pass to the second phase in which plotters will undergo prosecution to get necessary punishment, the prime minister stated.

Force commanders on duty

One vague issue was whether land and gendarmerie forces could also be saved from the plotters, Yıldırım said “Everything is under the control. They will soon on their duty.” The prime minister also informed that the secretary-general of the presidency was in his way to home.

hurriyetdailynews.com/july-15-to-mark-fest-for-our-democracy-says-turkish-pm-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101691&NewsCatID=338

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Turkey demands return of eight plotter soldiers who landed on Greece

July 16, 2016

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuoşğlu has said Ankara has demanded return of eight coup attempter soldiers , who landed on Alexandroupolis in Greece.

"We demanded the urgent return of eight traitor soldiers who escaped to Greece on a helicopter,” he said.

The minister said Greek authorities said they were ready to cooperate.

The Black Hawk helicopter landed after sending a distress signal to authorities at the airport in  Alexandroupolis in the country's north. Seven of those on board were in military uniform and all are believed to have been involved in the coup bid, ERT TV said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-demands-return-of-eight-plotter-soldiers-who-landed-on-greece.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101689&NewsCatID=510

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2,839 detained over coup attempt

July 16, 2016

A total of 2,839 soldiers have been detained over the charges of coup attempt, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said July 16 in a press briefing.

There are high-ranking officers among the detained.

Broadcaster CNNTürk said four of them were generals and 29 of them were colonels.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ had informed that state prosecutors in all 81 provinces have already launched investigations on the coup attempt, saying “Detentions are mostly taken place in Ankara and Istanbul but there are other detentions in many other places of Turkey.”

In the meantime, Brigadier General Ekrem Çağlar, chief of the staff operations of the 3rd Army has also been detained, the Agency reported.

hurriyetdailynews.com/2839-detained-over-coup-attempt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101682&NewsCatID=341

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Int’l community, Washington, Moscow stand in strong solidarity with Republic of Turkey

July 16, 2016

World powers and the international community have extended messages of strong solidarity with the people of Turkey in the face of the threat that the country’s democratic institutions and the constitutional order have been facing.

NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg said in a written statement “I have just spoken to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. I am following events in Turkey closely and with concern. I call for calm and restraint, and full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and its constitution. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally.”

Another message of solidarity to the people of Turkey on the situation in the country came from Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjørn Jagland, in the form of an emailed statement.

“Any attempt to overthrow the democratically elected leaders in Turkey is unacceptable in a member state of the Council of Europe, which defends democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said Jagland of the CoE, an intergovernmental organization defending human rights and comprising of 47 nations, including EU states, Turkey and Russia.

Elsewhere, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey while Kremlin expressed its grave concerns over the recent developments.

“The President spoke tonight by phone with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the events in Turkey. The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed,” read the readout issued by the White House early July 16.

In a phone call to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Kerry emphasized “absolute support for Turkey’s civilian government and democratic institutions”. The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey.

Russia's foreign ministry warned July 16 that the coup attempt in Turkey increases the threat to stability in the region.

"Moscow is most concerned at the latest events in Turkey," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The flare-up of the domestic political situation against the backdrop of the existing terrorist threats in this country and the armed conflict in the region brings a heightened risk to international and regional stability."   

Russia called on Turkey's "authorities and people to resolve the problems that have arisen without violence, with respect for constitutional order."   

Moscow confirmed its "readiness to work constructively with the legally elected leadership of Turkey in the interest of promoting bilateral relations," saying this particularly applied to "fighting the threat of terrorism."

The Kremlin also said it was gravely concerned about events in Turkey, and that it had instructed officials to help Russian nationals in Turkey return home at the earliest opportunity.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that President Vladimir Putin was being kept constantly updated on the situation in Turkey, where the government has said a military coup attempt is underway.

Peskov said events were moving too fast to fully understand what was happening, but he said Russia was concerned and wanted to see Turkey return to the path of stability and order, and for there to be a lawful outcome.

He said that, whoever was now in charge in Turkey, it was incumbent on them to ensure the safety of Russian nationals.

The European Union has joined calls for “restraint” after the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“In constant contact with EU Delegation in Ankara & Brussels from Mongolia. Call for restraint and respect for democratic institutions #Turkey,” the EU’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, tweeted from a regional summit in Ulan Bator.

“Brussels will be watching with deep concern the events in Turkey, a key partner on its southeastern flank which has been trying to join the EU for many years without success,” said Mogherini.

Dramatic events have shaken the world during the last days: the attack in Nice and the military coup attempt in Turkey, said the European Council’s Donald Tusk, while speaking at a press conference after the 11th ASEM summit In Ulaanbaatar July 16.

“Both events serve as a strong reminder of the importance of global dialogue, cooperation, mutual respect and understanding. Let the message of solidarity of our entire community in the face of terrorism and violence be an important message to the world,” remarked Tusk.

“We continue to follow closely the developments and to coordinate with the 28 EU Member States,” he added about Turkey.

Meanwhile, Iran has said the attempted military coup in Turkey was "doomed to fail."

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as praising the "brave defense by the people of Turkey of their democracy and elected government."

Zarif said the events in neighboring Turkey prove "that coup d'etat has no place and is doomed to fail in our region."

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier both expressed deep concern after the attempted military coup in Turkey.

The Chairperson-in-Office said: “I condemn in the strongest terms any attempt to change the democratic order of Turkey through the use of force. The democratic institutions of Turkey and the constitutional order must be respected”, Steinmeier stressed. “All those that carry responsibility must adhere to the rules of democracy and the rule of law and must prevent any further bloodshed. It is encouraging that the political parties represented in the Turkish Parliament have expressed their commitment to the principles of democracy.”

Secretary General Zannier expressed faith in the wisdom of the Turkish leadership: “ I call on the Turkish Government and democratic institutions to exercise restraint in the aftermath of last night’s events.  Rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights and freedom of the media must be upheld even in difficult times.  We stand ready to support Turkey in safeguarding the common values and principles that constitute the cornerstone of the OSCE”, said Zannier.

hurriyetdailynews.com/intl-community-washington-moscow-stand-in-strong-solidarity-with-republic-of-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101684&NewsCatID=359

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Opposition parties reject the military coup attempt

July 16, 2016

All three opposition parties in parliament have announced their stance against the military coup attempt starting from late July 15.

“This country had suffered a lot from the coups. We do not these difficulties be repeated,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said in a written statement. He stressed that the CHP will protect the Republic and democracy, saying “It should be known that the CHP fully depends on the free will of the people as indispensable of our parliamentary democracy.”

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli phoned to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım after news broke, expressing his party’s support to the democracy and free will of the people.

The co-leaders of Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have  declared their dissidence to “any kind of coup,” citing “democratic politics” as “the only solution.”

“The only solution is democratic politics. In these challenging and critical days which Turkey goes through, whatever its reason might be, no one should put himself in the place of the people’s will,” said Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the co-chairs of the Kurdish problem-focused party July 16.

“The HDP is opposed to any kind of coup under any circumstances and as a principle,” said the leaders.

hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-parties-reject-the-military-coup-attempt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101670&NewsCatID=341

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Coup attempt shakes up Turkish judiciary with big shift

July 16, 2016

Only hours after a coup attempt the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has sustained 2,745 judges on July 16, apparently because they are suspected to be linked to the U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen.

The government has announced that Gülenists were behind the failed coup attempt.

Some 542 of these judges are in administrative judgement as the remain in 2,204 of them are in judicial judgment.

The general assembly of the HSYK decided to end the memberships of its five judges, who now face detention warrants by the Chief Prosecutor of Justice in Ankara.

Some vacations of the judges and prosecutors have also been cut short.

Meanwhile, 48 members of the Council of State, who were sought with an arrest warrant, were detained in relation to the coup attempt.

Arrest warrants were revealed for 140 members of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

hurriyetdailynews.com/coup-attempt-shakes-up-turkish-judiciary-with-big-shift.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101692&NewsCatID=341

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Coup attempters detained after taking Doğan journalists hostage

July 16, 2016

A group of soldiers entered the Doğan Media Center, which hosts Hürriyet newspaper, Hürriyet Daily News, broadcaster CNNTürk and other Doğan media companies, in Istanbul early on July 16, taking several journalists and other staff in the building hostage for some time.

The 13 private soldiers and corporals headed by a middle-ranking soldiers, entered the headquarters on a helicopter.

The soldiers forcefully brought the Hürriyet and CNNTürk staff together, pointing riffles at them, before evacuating them to the garden of the campus.

The soldiers cut the broadcast, blocked use of cell phones.

The raid came only minutes before Hürriyet newspaper was sent to print.

The police then held an operation inside the accented buildings, wounding their leader and detaining the others.

Many civilians also rushed to the gates of Doğan, to lend support to journalist, and managed to enter inside.

Many parts of the buildings were destroyed.

The broadcast at news channel was back on air after a few hours.

Only hours before the raid, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan connected to the channel, delivering a speech on the plot attempt.

hurriyetdailynews.com/coup-attempters-detained-after-taking-dogan-journalists-hostage.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101674&NewsCatID=341

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Yeni Şafak newspaper’s photographer loses his life

July 16, 2016

A photographer of the Yeni Şafak daily newspaper, Mustafa Cambaz, has lost his life after being gun fired by a group of soldiers who have staged an attempted coup, his newspaper has announced.

The editor-in-chief of the daily, İbrahim Gül wrote July 16 on his Twitter account:

“Here is the last message of our martyr,” and shared Cambaz’s tweet which said:

“We are taking to the streets upon Chief Commander Erdoğan’s will and command.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/yeni-safak-newspapers-photographer-loses-his-life.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101686&NewsCatID=341

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India

Pro-Pakistan Slogans Raised In Patna, In Protest to Support Zakir Naik and Asaduddin Owaisi

July 16, 2016

In an unprecedented act, pro-Pakistan slogans were raised in Patna on Friday afternoon by supporters of a political front. Several people under the banner of Popular Front of India carried out a protest march against the Central government. The protest march was carried to support controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

PROTESTERS SUPPORT ZAKIR NAIK, OWAISI

The protest march which was carried out after prior permission from the local administration slammed the Central government for unnecessarily troubling and cracking down on Zakir Naik and Owaisi.

The march had started from Patna's Science College and while the march was going on, few people present raised pro-Pakistan slogans. The protestors were demanding that the Bihar government should intervence in the matter and speak to the Centre on Zakir Naik's issue. The protestors alleged that the crack down in Naik and Owaisi was a concerted effort to silence the voice of Muslims leaders in the country.

"We are not going to tolerate this. The Centre is unnecessarily cracking down on Zakir Naik and troubling him", said a protestor.

POLICE INITIATES PROBE

After the video of the pro-Pakistan slogans were aired by electronic media channels, the state police has flung into action. Police headquarters in Patna has begun probe into the matter of how slogans in support of Pakistan were raised at the march. The Bihar police is also coordinating with the central intelligence agencies to probe the case. Bihar DGP, P.K Thakur confirmed that the police was scanning the video of the rally.

"We have initiated a probe in the matter. We are also monitoring the video footage if the rally where pro-Pakistan slogans were raised", said Bihar DGP.

The DGP has assured that if it comes to light that anti-nation slogans and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised, action will be taken.

In a late night move, Patna police has identified the person who raised pro-Pakistan slogans as Taufiq, a worker of the Popular Front of India. Police have arrested Taufiq in the case. The police in the meantime has sent the video footage for forensic investigation.

The controversial Islamic preacher is alleged to have brain washed through his hateful speeches at least of the terrorist who carried out attack at a restaurant in Dhaka earlier this month in which more than 20 people were killed.

indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pro-pakistan-slogans-raised-in-patna-one-arrested-after-police-orders-probe/1/716225.html

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Sedition case against Owaisi for legal help remarks

Jul 16, 2016

HYDERABAD: A sedition case was today registered against AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi over his statement that he would provide legal aid to five city-based persons, who were recently arrested by NIA on charges of involvement in an alleged IS terror module .

"It's a court referred matter based on a private complaint. The court directed the Saroor Nagar police to book a case and accordingly the case was booked under section 124A (sedition)," Deputy Commissioner of Police (L B Nagar Zone) Tafseer Iqubal told PTI.

K Karuna Sagar, a practising advocate, had yesterday filed the private complaint in the 11th Metropolitan Magistrate court and sought for directions to the police to register a case under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

"We will follow the procedure and investigate and submit a report to the court. We will proceed with investigation," Iqubal said.

In the complaint, Sagar alleged that "the stand of Asaduddin Owaisi and his remarks is boosting the morale of anti-nationals and giving oxygen to terrorists. Owaisi is directly or indirectly helping the ISIS which had come up with a video in which it threatened to target India and this is betrayal of the country".

In the complaint, he further claimed "the revelations of the arrested accused to carry out terror attacks on police stations, religious places, prominent persons from right wing organisations is shocking."

The conspiracy has been foiled. But, Asaduddin Owaisi talks of providing legal aid to five IS suspects arrested by the NIA amounts to treason, promotes terrorism and further, the remarks of Owaisi has boosted the morale of anti-nationals, the complainant alleged.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sedition-case-against-Owaisi-for-legal-help-remarks/articleshow/53239345.cms

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NIA To File Chargesheet Against 5 ‘Islamic State Sympathisers’

Jul 16, 2016

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will formally charge five alleged Islamic State (IS)-sympathisers from Haridwar and Mumbai for conspiring to carry out bomb blasts during the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Haridwar earlier this year.

Akhlak-ur-Rehman, Mohammad Osama alias Adil, Mohammad Asim Shah and Mohammad Meraj alias Monu, were arrested from Roorkee and Haridwar in January this year while the fifth alleged IS-sympathiser Mohsin Ibrahim Sayyed was picked up a month later here by the special cell of the Delhi Police.

The case was later transferred to the NIA.

The chargesheet will be filed in a special court in Delhi.

“The boys had planned to plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Har Ki Pauri, where devotees take a dip in the Ganga in Haridwar. They had identified entry and exit points and a bridge where the IEDs were to be planted,” said an investigator who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

According to investigators, Syria-based IS recruiter Shafi Armar alias Yusuf al Hindi provided bomb-making literature to the accused persons.

“They were asked to fabricate IEDs with explosive coated on the tip of match sticks. They bought huge number of match boxes for it,” said the investigator.

The NIA claims it has found a link between the five accused and Yusuf al-Hindi who investigators suspect is a former Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shafi Armar, orignally a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka. He is said to have gone to Pakistan in 2009 after a crackdown on the IM and later shifted to Afghanistan. But as the brand of the IS grew, he along with some of his erstwhile IM associates reached Syria. Since then, Armar is known to have stitched together more than half a dozen groups of IS-sympathiser in the country, with latest of being busted in Hyderabad two weeks back.

During the probe, the NIA gathered extensive electronic communication trail which not only linked the accused together but also with their handler Yusuf al-Hindi in Syria.

The NIA is likely to file another chargesheet against 18 more alleged IS-sympathisers on Monday.

hindustantimes.com/india-news/nia-to-file-chargesheet-against-5-islamic-state-sympathisers/story-BR2JDhO0H31DVlz8WiF4ZL.html

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Kerala MLA Claims Threat From Islamic Fundamentalists

July 16, 2016

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  IUML legislator KM Shaji said he has reported 10 cases of threats that were made to him for the strongly progressive stand he has been taking against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Kerala.

"There are 10 cases that I myself have given on the threats that I have received. I have even given the telephone numbers from which the calls have come, but surprisingly no action has been forthcoming. Does this not show that they do have influence?" Shaji, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator, told IANS.

He suggested that the Islamic fundamentalists command "the money power" which they have been using to publish and circulate a huge amount of objectionable literature in Kerala.

"You would not believe the amount of literature that is being circulated in the state and the police should conduct a raid," said Shaji, who is one of the 18 IUML legislators in the Kerala assembly.

The IUML has long been a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) which lost power in the state to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) earlier this year.

Shaji said "a strong intervention" of the state government and the Centre is required if there is any truth in media reports that 21 people from Kerala have joined Islamic State or ISIS, which is a UN-designated terrorist group headquartered in Syria.

"The first move to tackle this has to come from the Kerala government, but it remains to be seen if they will do it in the way it should be done, as to some extent there is a vote bank politics in it and they are taking on a section that has the money power with them," he said.

Shaji's colleague in IUML and the assembly, C. Mammootty, told IANS that it is for the people who have reportedly joined the IS to explain what they are up to.

"The creed of Islam is spread through the mind and not through the tongue. We can discuss on why they left, but the answer has to be given by them," said Mammootty, who identifies himself as a devout Muslim.

He said a "true Muslim" will never ever indulge in terrorist or extremist activities and will never join the IS.

"What is probably happening is vested interests are behind this and religion is being used as a tool," said Mammootty, adding the message of Prophet Mohammed has to be spread and never forced upon.

"What the ISIS is doing is anti-Islam and forced conversion will never help," said Mammootty.

Shaji also said that the IUML is bringing together a number of organisations to discuss the issue of radicalisation of Muslim youths in Kerala and the appeal that the IS holds for them.

"This is being done to first form a common platform to find out views of all and then to discuss on why these things are happening here," he said.

He said he organised a similar exercise about a decade ago when he was president of the Muslim Youth League, a wing of the IUML.

A number of organisations dominated by the Muslims have been invited by the IUML for the proposed meeting which is expected to take place as soon as the ongoing Kerala assembly session ends.

They include Indian National League, People's Democratic Party (led by Abdul Nasser Madani), Welfare Party of India, National Secular Conference, Social Democratic Party of India (led by A. Saeed), and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly on July 11 that 21 Muslim youths from the state had gone missing "over the last one month" and that "the state government is committed to take stern action against any kind of terror activities." 

Muslims account for 26.56 per cent of Kerala's population and are perceived to be well placed both economically and politically.

ndtv.com/south/kerala-mla-claims-threat-from-islamic-fundamentalists-1432152

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Rourkela tense over WhatsApp message

July 16, 2016

Tension over an inflammatory WhatsApp message continued to prevail in Rourkela for the second day on Friday, even as police imposed Section 144 of CrPC around the town to avert communal clashes.

Rourkela SP Anirudh Singh said that 23 platoons of CRPF and local police had been deployed in the city and members of all the communities resolved to maintain peace during a panel meeting. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC were clamped from Ambedkar Chak at Uditnagar to Madhusudan Marg. Shops remained closed in some parts of the city during the day. Sundargarh district collector Bhupindar Singh Poonia said that the situation in the area was normal.

Officials, however, said they would be watchful as the local VHP unit had called for a bandh in Rourkela on Saturday.

On Thursday evening, members of the Muslim community gathered in large numbers on the main roads of Rourkela ahead of the Lord Jagannath’s bahuda yatra (chariot procession). They protested against an objectionable comment, involving the Muslim community, that was allegedly made by a 19-year-old youth on a WhatsApp group.

The protesters allegedly assaulted the youth and disrupted traffic by blocking the roads with burning tyres.

However, they allowed the Bahuda Yatra to pass after the youth was detained.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/section-144-in-rourkela-after-whatsapp-message-leads-to-protest/

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Pak has no locus standi in India’s internal affairs: MEA

July 16, 2016

Taking strong umbrage to Pakistan declaring July 19 as “black day” to express solidarity with Kashmiri people over killing of Burhan Wani, India today asked it to desist from further interfering in its internal affairs and destabilising the situation in the region through support to terrorism and other subversive acts.

External Affairs Ministry also hit out at Pakistan for continuing to glorify terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist organisations, saying it makes it amply clear where Pakistan’s sympathies continue to lie.

“India completely and unequivocally rejects in entirety the decisions adopted by the Cabinet of Pakistan on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are dismayed at the continued attempts by Pakistan to interfere in our internal matters, where, we reiterate, Pakistan or any other external party has no locus standi,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Further needling India on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today declared Wani, the slain Hizbul commander, as a “martyr” and said July 19 will be observed as black day to express solidarity with people of Kashmir. He was addressing a special cabinet meeting in Lahore to discuss the situation in the state.

“Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination,” Sharif was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.

India also asked Pakistan to desist from further interfering in its internal affairs and destabilising the situation in South Asia through support to terrorism and other subversive acts.

“The self serving actions by Pakistan in the last few days to derive political mileage out of the recent developments in J&K follow planned infiltration and terrorism aimed at India from across the Line of Control and the International Boundary.

“The attempts in Pakistan by various players to ingratiate themselves to the people of J&K in the run up to the so called elections in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation will not succeed,” Swarup said.

India also hoped that Pakistan will respond constructively to its initiatives for peace and normalising bilateral relationship, Swarup added.

siasat.com/news/pak-no-locus-standi-indias-internal-affairs-mea-986629/

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Europe

Nice terror attack, France: Truck driving killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was not a Muslim his wife’s family says

JULY 16, 2016

The Aamaq news agency cited a “security source” as saying the attacker “carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State”.

But there is no evidence IS was involved in planning the July 14 attack. Bouhlel killed 84 people when he drove a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice.

Police raided Bouhlel’s home and have held his estranged wife for questioning. He has been described as a petty criminal, a violent depressive and was a loner who showed no outward sign of being a devout Muslim.

Police found two automatic weapons, ammunition, a mobile phone and documents in the truck, as well as fake weapons at his home.

Bouhlel had a criminal record, including a history of threats and violence.

news.com.au/world/europe/nice-terror-attack-france-truck-driving-killer-mohamed-lahouaiej-bouhlel-was-not-a-muslim-his-wifes-family-says/news-story/84a107bf2de7c41d2138100c158e7c2b

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Time to Recognize the Truth Behind Europe's Endless Terror

July 15, 201

France has a problem. The problem is too many Muslims in a society that many Muslims despise. The centuries-long conflict between Islam and the West is ongoing, and it erupts intermittently on French soil in the form of the Charlie Hebdo shooting of January 2015 (twelve dead), the multiple Paris attacks of November 2015 (130 dead, 368 wounded), and now the truck attack in Nice (eighty-four dead so far, and more than one hundred injured).

As of this writing, we don’t know who perpetrated the Nice slaughter, but in the other two instances (and numerous lesser attacks), the killers were people, or their offspring, welcomed into Western society from Islamic lands. The two Islamist gunmen at Charlie Hebdo were French Muslims of Algerian descent. Those responsible for the massacre of November 2015 were all EU citizens, and French citizens helped organize the carnage. Some had been fighting in Syria and returned to Europe as ersatz refugees.

President Obama wants us to think this carnage has nothing to do with the essential culture of Islam, which he insists is peaceful at its core and poses no threat in itself to the nations or the peoples of the West. It is just these twisted people who distort Islam to their own nefarious aims that we have to be concerned with. He takes a lot of criticism for refusing to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism” or other derivations of that concept. But he insists that his use of such words would only exacerbate the problem, casting aspersions on peaceful Muslims and diminishing their willingness to help control the malefactors.

This is fatuous. In any population of Muslims within the West, a proportion will harbor Islamist sentiments, will despise the West as a morally inferior civilization that has, however, dominated many lands of Islam through a superior technology of warfare. I have quoted in these spaces the words of the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington on all this, and I do so again because they capture so powerfully the essence of what we face.

“The underlying problem for the West,” wrote Huntington, “is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not the CIA or the U.S. Department of Defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world.” He also wrote, “Some Westerners . . . have argued that the West does not have problems with Islam but only with violent Islamist extremists. Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise.”

The Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg rejects this perception. He echoes the Obama view by insisting that we do ISIS a favor if we suggest that Islamist fervor emanates out of Islam and reject the view that ISIS is utterly aberrational. “The war we are experiencing is not primarily a war between civilizations,” he writes, “but a war within a civilization.”

That’s an interesting sentence that cries out for some parsing. Goldberg overtly rejects Huntington’s famous thesis that we are living through an era characterized by civilizational clashes. No, he says, it is merely a clash within Islam—between normal Muslims who have no complaint with the West and can be easily assimilated there and those who harbor radical Islamist views. That’s the real battle, according to Goldberg. And yet he refers to “the war we are experiencing,” which is an intriguing phrase—about as antiseptic a way as could be devised to express what’s been happening. If it is merely a war within Islam, why are we experiencing it? Are we merely innocent bystanders who got too close to the strife? Are we perhaps to be characterized as “collateral damage”? Tell that to the people at the Boston Marathon who lost their lives or limbs in April 2013. Tell it to the victims of San Bernardino and Orlando. Tell it to the people of France.

No. Huntington is right, and Goldberg is wrong. There is a natural tension between the West and Islam that has always been there. And America has exacerbated that tension tremendously in recent years by establishing military bases upon the sacred Islamic soil of Saudi Arabia, invading Islamic lands, upending Islamic national leaders, and demanding that Muslims in their own lands adopt Western ways and ideals.

At the same time, many Americans are shocked when someone suggests that perhaps we should limit the influx of Muslims into the country in the face of the Islamist terrorist threat. Consider what happened when Donald Trump suggested, after San Bernardino, that Muslim immigration to the United States should be halted pending a better understanding of the potential threat it posed. The reaction was immediate and nearly hysterical. Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, foreign leaders, military men—all rushed to denounce the suggestion as un-American, an assault on “who we are” and “what we as a country stand for.” Wrote conservative commentator Scott McConnell, “For several days, America experienced the kind of bipartisan power elite unanimity which one thought could happen only in the wake of national tragedy.” He noted that many commentators suggested the country actually needed more Muslim immigrants to help in the struggle against terrorism.

nationalinterest.org/feature/time-recognize-the-truth-behind-europes-endless-terror-16987

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Nice Massacre: Irish Muslims condemn attack and call for reflection

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland said he is shocked and appalled by the attack in Nice, but that as a society we must reflect deeply on its causes.

Shaykh Umar al-Qadri added we need to respond wisely to the event and think about how to treat those on the margins of our society.

“As citizens of the EU, Muslims are citizens of Europe. We are shocked and appalled when an attack takes place and our thoughts are with the friends and family of all affected in this attack which targeted innocent people.

“Similar innocent people have been targeted and lost their lives. We need to think deeply about why these attacks are taking place, we need to look at the causes of these attacks, particularly in the case of France.

“This is not the first attack in France, in the past 12 months alone there have been three attacks in France it’s important to notice why these attacks are happening in France,” he told the Irish Examiner.

Dr al-Qadri said we must embrace every minority in our society in order to prevent further radicalisation.

“What I understand is that we need to embrace everyone in our communities and embrace those vulnerable to radicalisation and minorities.

“These attacks take place by people who feel they don’t belong and hate will not defeat hate, love will defeat hate,” said the imam.

Dr Al-Qadri urged leaders and members of society in general to be “wise” in their response to the attack in Nice.

“We need to be wise in our responses. We should have the response that unites people in love,” he said.

The imam explained that he had been invited to the French embassy in Dublin to celebrate Bastille Day, noting how many Muslims feel they belong in France.

“France was having its independence day and I was invited to the French embassy, so many Muslims are part of France, they belong to France, so many Muslims have a sense of belonging but there are also those who don’t have that sense of belonging.

“A community of cohesion is how we defeat this. One of the aims is to divide communities, Muslims are not the problem, Muslims are alive in the war against terrorism. We have had these attacks throughout the Muslim world, Muslims are suffering themselves,” Dr Al-Qadri said.

“There are communities that do feel genuinely marginalised, they do have this sense that they do not belong, that is a failure of government. They feel they don’t have the same opportunities,” he said.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ireland also offered their condolences yesterday and condemned the “barbaric” attack.

“Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ireland and worldwide offer their deepest condolences to the people and government of France. The victims, their families and the French nation affected by these barbaric attacks, are in the prayers of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,” said Dr Nauman Iftikhar, spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Ireland.

“All forms of terrorism and extremism are completely against the true teachings of Islam. The Holy Koran has said that to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of mankind,” he said.

irishexaminer.com/ireland/nice-massacre-irish-muslims-condemn-attack-and-call-for-reflection-410633.html

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Islamic State claims responsibility for Nice truck attack

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the truck attack in Nice that killed 84 people, injured more than 200 and brought carnage to a Bastille Day fireworks celebration on Thursday night.

In a statement on Saturday, the news agency Amaq, which supports Isis, said: “The person who carried out the operation in Nice, France, to run down people was one of the soldiers of Islamic State. He carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of states that are part of the coalition fighting Islamic State.”

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man who lived in the Riviera city, drove a heavy-goods vehicle through a crowd that had gathered to watch the display on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

]Later on Saturday, the Isis-operated radio station Bayan claimed that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was a soldier who had completed a “new, special operation using a truck”. It also warned western nations that no security measures would spare them “from the blows of the mujahideen”.

The claim of responsibility, which came 36 hours after the attack, will increase pressure on French authorities investigating the massacre. No evidence was presented to support the claim that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had been acting in Isis’s name.

Although President François Hollande has spoken of France facing “the threat of Islamist terrorism”, François Molins, the Paris prosecutor leading the investigation, said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had no obvious links to radical Islam. He was “totally unknown to intelligence services… and was never flagged for signs of radicalisation”, Molins said.

Neighbours have said the attacker showed no obvious interest in religion.

Five people had been arrested since the attack, according to judicial sources. Agence France-Presse reported that one of the people being held was arrested on Friday, while three others were detained on Saturday morning. The driver’s estranged wife was also being held.

The promenade was reopened on Saturday morning as France began three days of national mourning and Hollande held a security meeting with ministers, police and intelligence officers. As some walked along the thoroughfare beside the beach, others continued to leave floral tributes at the metal barriers lining it.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Nice chauffeur known to police for petty crimes, accelerated the 19-tonne truck through dense crowds for more than a mile (2km) along the esplanade before police shot him dead.

The death toll is expected to rise. Of the 202 people who were injured, 80 of them were critical, and about 50 were children, many of them seriously wounded. No European attack in recent years has taken such a heavy toll on pre-teens.

] Le Figaro said 16 bodies were still unidentified and five children still critical, three of them on life support, quoting a hospital spokeswoman for the Fondation Lenval, Nice Children’s hospital, which treated 30 children, the youngest aged six months.

A planned memorial ceremony in Nice for the victims on Saturday morning was cancelled for security reasons as the identities of those who died in the attack began to emerge. They included a father and son from Texas, a Moroccon mother of seven who was living in France, a Russian student and French police officer.

Molins said the perpetrator was known to police and had been involved in a series of minor fracas over the last six years, including a violent altercation with another motorist earlier this year for which he received a suspended sentence.

Before the Isis claim was reported, the prosecutor had noted “this sort of thing fits in perfectly with calls for murder from such terrorist organisations”. He said there were two Kalashnikov rifles, bullets and a grenade in the cab of truck, where the driver was killed.

People who lived near Lahouaiej-Bouhlel said they did not think he had attended a mosque.

The attack began shortly before 11pm on Thursday when the truck gained access to the Promenade des Anglais and began mowing down people. Officials said the driver weaved along the road, knocking people down “like skittles”.

Witnesses said people pushed each other out of the way, jumped down to the beach and even ran into the sea to avoid the vehicle. Others described victims being hurled around like mannequins, bodies littering the esplanade in the wake of the zigzagging truck.

A local official said the vehicle was only brought to a stop by the heroics of a person who tried to jump on to the cab. The driver then opened fire before police killed him with a volley of shots through the windscreen.

Most of the dead were French, but there were at least three Germans, two Americans, one Russian, Tunisians and Algerians. A number of Britons were also caught up in the attack.

As investigators continued to comb the vehicle, questions were being asked about how the truck managed to get to the waterfront. The city centre has restrictions on heavy-goods vehicles, and there were additional security restrictions for the festival, including metal barriers.

Hollande is under intense pressure to do more to tighten security. Marine Le Pen, the Front National leader and a rival for next year’s presidential election, called for a “war on Islamic fundamentalism”, saying that all that had happened so far was a “war on words”.

She told Le Figaro: “Nothing that we have proposed has been put in place. Considering the new nature of terrorism, which is now a terrorism of opportunity, that’s to say without hierarchical structure, the urgency is to attack the ideology on which this terrorism is based.”

Alain Juppé, a centre-right presidential hopeful, said: “We know there are faults and shortcomings – the parliamentary inquiry after the November attacks showed us that. We must absolutely lead this struggle against radicalisation and better coordinate our intelligence services.”

World leaders were more sympathetic in their responses. Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Theresa May all spoke with Hollande to convey their condolences. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, sent a message to Hollande, saying: “We have sympathy for and solidarity with the French people.”

The father of the truck driver, Monthir Bouhlel, told RTL television in Tunisia that his son had undergone psychiatric treatment in the past, was unstable and sometimes violent. “He had some difficult times. I took him to a psychiatrist, he took his treatments and he said he had a serious illness,” he said. He added that since his son moved to France he had not seen him for four years, and that their last contact was a phone call last week to mark Eid and everything was “normal”.

Corentin Delobel, the lawyer who represented Lahouaiej-Bouhlel when he was given a suspended sentence in March, told RTL: “I could not say ‘he is a terrorist, he’s an Islamist. He’s a radical’. It could have been you or me.”

theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/16/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-nice-truck-attack

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North America

After Nice Attack, Obama Vows to Defeat ‘Vile’ Islamic State

July 15, 2016

Tragedy overshadowed what President Barack Obama had planned Friday as a pleasant reception for the Washington diplomatic corps at the White House. As he has had to do many other times recently, he began his remarks at the event by addressing another mass attack.

"We come here with heavier hearts than normal," he said. "Overnight in Nice, we witnessed another attack, an appalling attack on freedom and the peace that we cherish. Today, our hearts are with the people of France and all the innocent men and women and so many children who were hurt or killed in this sickening attack."

Obama welcomed French Ambassador Gerard Araud and said he had spoken with French President Francois Hollande earlier in the day.

“We pledge to stand with our French friends, and we defend our nations against this scourge of terrorism and violence. This is a threat to all of us,” Obama said.

Pledge of victory

The president referenced recent attacks alleged to have been inspired by Islamic State terrorists in Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, noting that many of the victims were Muslims. He said the anti-terrorist coalition of 66 countries would not relent and would destroy what he called the “vile” Islamic State group. He said the coalition would win the fight by staying true to its values of pluralism, the rule of law, diversity and freedoms of religion, speech and assembly.

Obama said in this world of 7 billion people, the hatred and violence of a few was no match for the love and decency of so many.

Without mentioning anyone by name, the president rejected any suggestion of testing Muslims in America for their beliefs, calling this “repugnant” and “un-American."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, July 6, 2016. On Thursday, he called for testing all U.S. Muslims and deporting those who "believe in sharia law."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, July 6, 2016. On Thursday, he called for testing all U.S. Muslims and deporting those who "believe in sharia law."

After the Nice attacks Thursday evening, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News, "Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia law, they should be deported.”

Gingrich was said to be one of the leading candidates to become Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's running mate, but on Friday, Trump tweeted that he had chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence for the position.

Candidates react

Trump reacted swiftly to the Nice attacks, tweeting, "Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse."

His likely Democratic opponent for the White House, Hillary Clinton, also reacted to the attacks on Twitter: "Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France."

At Friday’s White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest said French investigators had concluded that Thursday night’s truck attack was a terrorist attack. Earnest said Obama had pledged not only to stand with the French, but also to provide them with whatever assistance they required.

Asked about what could be done to stop the quickening pace of terrorist attacks, he said the U.S. already had increased its sharing of intelligence with France and other European countries. Earnest said there needed to be more sharing of intelligence, though, among European allies.

Asked whether the president was worried that something similar could happen in the United States, Earnest said officials were very concerned about the possibility of lone wolf attacks, saying that even one single person can wreak terrible carnage

voanews.com/content/after-nice-attack-obama-vows-defeat-vile-islamic-state/3420394.html

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Barack Obama Slams Suggestion Of Muslim Test In Wake Of Nice Attack

July 16, 2016

WASHINGTON:  President Barack Obama on Friday angrily denounced suggestions from some Republican leaders that Muslims in America be "tested" after an attack in Nice, France, that killed at least 84 people, calling the idea "repugnant."

Making his first public comments since a Tunisian man drove a truck through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks, Obama told a gathering of ambassadors at the White House that the United States stands with France and vows to fight terrorism.

Obama did not explicitly link the attack to ISIS terrorists who have been connected to other recent attacks around the globe, saying that the details were not yet clear. He vowed to continue to fight the group.

"These terrorists are targeting and killing innocent people of all backgrounds and all faiths, including Muslims. I know I speak for all of us when I say these individuals and these networks are an affront to all of our humanity," he said.

Without naming names, Obama responded to a suggestion from Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker, who on Thursday said a religious test was needed for Muslims in America, deporting them if they believe in Sharia law.

Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the November 8 presidential election, has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

"In the wake of last night's attacks, we've heard more suggestions that all Muslims in America be targeted, tested for their beliefs, some deported or jailed," Obama said.

"The very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans," Obama said.

Obama, who spoke earlier on Friday with French President Francois Hollande, said he met with French Ambassador Gerard Araud to offer sympathy and help.

Obama also spoke about a father and son from Texas who were killed in the attack. "Their family, like so many others, are devastated," Obama said.

ndtv.com/world-news/barack-obama-slams-suggestion-of-muslim-test-in-wake-of-nice-attack-1432064

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US mosque vandalized hours after Nice attack

16 Jul, 2016

After Thursday’s attack in Nice, France left 84 people dead, a Rhode Island mosque was vandalized. The Muslim Community Center of Kingston’s Masjid Al-Hoda was spray-painted with the message, “Muhammad, prophet of butchers.”

In the wee hours of Friday morning, officials with the Muslim Community Center found a window smashed in the mosque with anti-Muslim graffiti spray-painted outside the building.

“We’ve never faced anything like this,” Dr. Nasser Zawai, spokesman for the Kingston, Rhode Island mosque told the Providence Journal.

“Shocked” was how Zawai, a dean at the nearby Graduate School at the University of Rhode Island, felt, he told the Journal, “because this is a very peaceful, beautiful community. I think this is an isolated incident and doesn't in any way reflect our Rhode Island community."

A statement from the South Kingstown Police Captain Joel Ewing-Chow described witnesses seeing a lone perpetrator, dressed in all black, break through the window using the handle of an axe. As a result, volunteers spent Friday vacuuming broken glass off of the prayer area, boarding up the broken window, and trying to wash off the graffiti.

This attack comes less than two weeks after the the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organization, released a statement to call for unity against Islamic State.

Dr. John Robbins, the executive director for CAIR, told the Daily Dot: “We will not let ourselves be divided by turning on each other or by throwing away the principles of justice and religious inclusion on which our nation was founded.”

This is not the first attack on a mosque in the area. Rev. Donald C. Anderson, executive minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, told the Journal that an Islamic school in West Warwick had been attacked last year.

“Whoever did this has no intention to try to create a more peaceful world,” Anderson decried the vandalism, adding, “They only care about causing more trouble and making the situation worse.”

Attacks against mosques and its attendants have been on the rise. In December 2015, RT reported that crimes against Muslims and osques had hit an all-time high, following the attack on San Bernardino. Earlier this month, Dr. Arslan Tajammul of Houston, Texas was attacked while going to mosque for morning prayers.

Last June, Mohamed Rasheed Khan was attacked while bicycling home from his mosque in the New York City neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens.

rt.com/usa/351459-rhode-island-mosque-vandalized/

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Rauner: America ‘at war with Islamic terrorists’

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters about the state budget and education funding last month in his office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

SPRINGFIELD — Speaking at a state convention of the American Legion on Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner said the United States has been “at war with Islamic terrorists for decades” and likely will be for decades to come.

The Republican’s remarks came a day after a man drove a truck into a crowd at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, killing 84 people.

“This is a brutal war. It’s going to be very difficult,” said Rauner, one of many U.S. governors who sought temporary bans on Syrian refugees entering their states after November’s terrorist attacks in Paris. “We need to remind everyone in our communities to stay vigilant, stay aware. There are thousands of terrorists in America – they’re in America; they’re in Europe; they’re around the world – seeking to hurt innocent people to pursue their own goals. We’ve got to stop them.”

The governor said state security officials are reviewing procedures for handling motor vehicle attacks like the one in Nice, which also injured more than 200 people.

“These terrorists are creative in terms of how they hurt innocent people, but we’ve got to stay vigilant, remind everyone in our communities to stay aware, stay safe, communicate with law enforcement,” Rauner said.

Master Sgt. Matt Boerwinkle, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police, said the agency “is working very closely with state and federal agencies to review our terrorism response policies and procedures.”

“We ask all Illinoisans remain vigilant as we keep the citizens of Nice, France, in our thoughts and prayers,” Boerwinkle wrote in an email.

The driver in Nice has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian who was living in France with legal permission, according to news reports. As of early Friday evening, no group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement on Facebook, Rauner said he and first lady Diana Rauner “stand in solidarity with the victims and their families.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrific attack,” said Rauner, who ordered that flags be flown at half-staff through sunset Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at the American Legion convention, Rauner wouldn’t answer a question about whether Republican candidate Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton would be better equipped to deal with the threat of terrorism if elected president. The governor has routinely avoided weighing in on the presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Rauner used his appearance at the convention to sign a bill allowing those who’ve served in National Guard and Reserve units to have a special veteran designation on their driver’s licenses regardless of whether they’ve served on active duty.

The governor said the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, corrects an oversight in a previous law.

Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, who served in the Illinois Army National Guard from 1992 to 1998, sponsored similar legislation this spring and was a co-sponsor of Althoff’s bill.

“It’s important that we recognize all who have answered the call to serve our nation in the military,” Barickman said in a written statement. “This new law will help make sure National Guard members and reservists are able to take part.”

nwitimes.com/news/national/rauner-america-at-war-with-islamic-terrorists/article_ba5e0539-dd00-5ee0-86bc-70a1ab331b08.html

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Admiral cites concern of Islamic radicalization in Latin America

July 15, 2016

SAN ANTONIO — The top commander of U.S. forces in Latin America said Wednesday that his counterparts in the region have expressed concerns about Islamic self-radicalization and the return of fighters from Iraq and Syria.

Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, described a “dense web” of criminal enterprises threaded throughout the region that includes conduits to spread ideology used to recruit troops and lone-wolf attackers for the Islamic State group.

“You want to spread an extremist message in the Caribbean and recruit fighters for ISIL? We have a worrisome number of networks engaged in that,” he said Wednesday in Washington, D.C., during a briefing at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank. ISIL is another name for the Islamic State group.

His predecessor, Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, said in January that about 150 people from the region were known to have joined the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

“There’s a few very, very radical mosques; one in particular that’s associated itself, himself, the imam, with ISIS,” Kelly said, describing activity in the Caribbean.

Tidd pointed to the issue of extremists using the internet to incite self-radicalization, which could facilitate home-based attacks, citing recent examples in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. But he stopped short of describing the issue as an imminent threat to the United States.

In a March briefing to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tidd said that his command is challenged by the ability to “identify, monitor and fully illuminate and understand these networks and the resources necessary to significantly disrupt, degrade and ideally dismantle them.”

Kelly echoed that issue during his statements at the Pentagon in January, saying partner nations lack the sophistication and infrastructure to monitor fighters returning with battlefield experience or those who racialize at home.

Tidd said Wednesday that illicit networks established to smuggle drugs, immigrants, weapons and gold throughout the region could be used to funnel extremists to porous sections of the southern U.S. border.

Thousands of unaccompanied children surged across the U.S. border in 2014 after spikes of violence in Honduras and El Salvador. They overwhelmed immigration resources — a possible point of exploitation for foreign fighters.

In a Southern Command briefing with Stars and Stripes this month, officials said the Islamic State group online publication Dabiq said that human-smuggling networks could be used to move its members, though there are no clear indication that fighters have successfully gained entry into the U.S. this way.

“I haven’t heard our experts say that has happened already,” said Jose Ruiz, a SOUTHCOM spokesman.

Tidd also focused on conventional threats in the region on Wednesday. “What happens in Latin America and the Caribbean can’t be divorced from what’s happening in the rest of the world,” he said, describing Russia and China vying for influence in the hemisphere.

In the past year, Russia deployed four naval missions to collect data and intelligence on regional and U.S. activities in Latin America, Tidd said in March, adding that a recent agreement with Nicaragua simplified port access there. The Russians also fund and amplify propaganda in South America to sow doubt about U.S. interests there, Tidd said Wednesday.

China’s focus on soft power means the nation is concerned with securing trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere, he said.

Ruiz pointed to the desire for partner nations to take the lead in their security operations, though U.S. military forces take a more active role in weaker states like Honduras.

U.S. Special Forces and Marines have trained the corruption-plagued police there “in the right kind of skills” needed to match sophisticated drug-trafficking organizations, he said. U.S. troops will occasionally transport local personnel and cargo to isolated regions that the Honduran police and military cannot reach, but they do not actively engage in operations there or in the region, he said.

SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility includes 31 countries over one-sixth of the Earth’s landmass. Its objectives include disrupting drug- and human-smuggling operations and responding to natural disasters in a region knotted with volcanoes and devastating earthquakes.

As the region’s become more economically powerful, Ruiz said, the U.S. must place a priority on being the best choice for a partner nation compared to Russia and China.

stripes.com/admiral-cites-concern-of-islamic-radicalization-in-latin-america-1.419299

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Arab World

People Explode ISIL's Largest Flag Tower in Salahuddin Province

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) announced that the people have exploded the ISIL's tallest flag tower in the center of al-Sharqat region in Northern Salahuddin province on Saturday as anti-ISIL attacks have increased in recent weeks.

"The residents of al-Sharqat city used explosives to destroy the ISIL's tallest flag tower in the city," the Arabic-language Sumeria News quoted Hashd al-Shaabi Commander Jabbar al-Ma'amouri as saying on Saturday.

He said that the move by al-Sharqat residents shows their hatred for the terrorists.

In a relevant development earlier in July, Fifteen senior ISIL members were killed by the Iraqi security forces during an air landing operation in Qayyarah in Mosul, A security source said.

“The Anti-Terrorism Directorate carried out an air landing operation at night at one of the biggest headquarters of ISIL at Qayyarah in Mosul,” the source said, Iraqi News reported.

 “The operation resulted in the death of fifteen top members of ISIL and eight others were captivated.”

“Most of the dead and captives were foreign nationals,” the source concluded.

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Al-Shishani's Death to Deteriorate ISIL's Vulnerable Situations in Syria, Iraq

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Political analysts underscored that the death of Abu Omar al-Shishani, a top military adviser to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will accelerate the terrorist group's complete break down in both Iraq and Syria.

"Al-Shishani was the top official in charge of planning and coordinating the ISIL's military operations in Iraq and Syria, recruitment of fresh forces in Caucasus, the top commander of thousands of ISIL fighters form Chechnya and the mastermind behind the capture of Mosul in Northern Iraq, therefore, his absence in leadership of ISIL will incur heavy costs on the groups," the analysts underlined.

"Al-Shishani was a charismatic figure amongst ISIL's top commanders. He was actually a symbol of ISIL's international plans to expand their territories across the historical lands of the so-called Islamic Caliphates," Russian expert Sergei Brustakov said, adding, "Death of al-Shishani will leave negative impacts on the unity of the terrorist groups affiliated to the ISIL, I mean the ISIL can not find a charismatic commander similar to al-Shishani to unite its forces."

"On the other hand, al-Shishani's absence will bring about very good opportunity for the other terrorist groups, mainly al-Nusra Front, to attract fresh forces without any serious rival," the Russian expert said. 

Reports said on Thursday that the ISIL terrorist group eventually admitted that the murderous red-bearded militant, also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani, was killed.

The revelation, published by ISIL mouthpiece Amaq Agency, came four months after several sources publicly reported al-Shishani’s death.

Omar the Chechen was born in 1986 in Georgia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, and had a reputation as a top military adviser to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Born with the name Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, the notorious militant once fought as a rebel in Chechnya before joining Georgia's military in 2006.

He fought against Russian troops before being discharged two years later for medical reasons, according to US officials.

He was arrested in 2010 for weapons possession and spent more than a year in jail, before leaving Georgia in 2012 for Istanbul and then Syria, a US official said. The militants then joined the ISIL group and pledged allegiance to Baghdadi and joined ISIL in 2013

His death is one of the most successful operations to take out ISIL leadership in Iraq and Syria since May, when special operations forces killed the man who directed the group's oil, gas and financial operations.

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Turkey Closes Key Border Crossing Along Syria's Idlib

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish government closed a strategic border crossing near the province of Idlib on Saturday.

Bab al-Hawa border crossing overlooking Idlib province in Syria was closed by the Turkish government.

The Arabic-language Halab al-Youm news channel reported that the main reason for closing the border crossing was the failed coup in Turkey.

Bab al-Hawa is one of the main routes which link the terrorists in Idlib and Aleppo to each other.

Earlier on Saturday, the terrorists in Syria voiced their support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their web pages and accounts on social media networks and prayed for his victory in the ongoing developments in his country.

The terrorists in Syria are praying for Erdogan to eventually come triumphant against his opponents and the orchestrators of the coup in Turkey.

The terrorists rushed to the web to declare their concerns and support for Erdogan after a section of the Turkish army staged a coup against his government.

Turkish government officials said the army factions that have staged the coup are receiving orders from Islamist opposition leader Fetullah Gulen who is in exile in the US. Hundreds of Gulen's followers in the army, police and judiciary were arrested and jailed last year. Prosecutors in Turkey's capital announced on Wednesday that "Ankara has prepared a file for extraditing the US-based preacher Gulen, who is accused of leading a terrorist organization, as well as trying to infiltrate and overthrow the elected government".

Fetullah Gulen and his supporters issued a statement last night to "condemn the coup" in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from government accusations.

The opposition, including the Kurdish minority, have also condemned the coup attempt.

Turkey is a NATO member, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times over the past half-century. The coup has taken the lives of 265 people, including 41 policemen, 49 civilians and 104 coup supporters, and injured 1,440 others. Also 2,900 pro-coup forces have been arrested so far.

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Senior ISIL Commanders Killed in Syrian Army Attacks East of Homs

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops hit ISIL's bases and positions hard in Eastern Homs, killing several terrorists, including a security commander and an Emir.

ISIL's security officer Aref al-Sweilim from Kuwait and Takfiri group's commander in al-Sukhneh region Marwan Abu Daghmesh were killed in the offensive of the Syrian Special Forces near al-Abyadh mountain.

The Syrian army men also targeted two tanks, a missile launchpad, two fuel tankers and five technical vehicles of the ISIL in their attacks.

The Syrian Air Force, for its part, bombed ISIL centers near al-Sha'er oilfield in Southeastern side of Palmyra, which not only ended in the killing of several militants but destroyed their machinegun-equipped vehicles.   

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, Syrian army soldiers beat a number of ISIL terrorists back from their positions in Eastern Homs after hours of non-stop clashes, inflicting also major losses on them.

The Syrian military forces engaged in fierce clashes with a number of ISIL terrorists who attacked the villages of Abu al-Alaya and Khattab by lights and semi-heavy weapons and forced them to retreat from surroundings of the village.

The ISIL left behind scores of the dead and wounded members in the failed attacks.  

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Syrian Army Gains Full Fire-Control over Al-Lairamoun-Castillo Road in Northern Aleppo

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian military forces beat terrorist groups back from their positions near al-Lairamoun square towards Castillo, army sources said Saturday, adding the Army's fire-control over militants' main supply line will not allow any terrorist to enter the Northern part of Aleppo city.

"The Syrian Army troops won back more building blocks and firms in al-Lairamoun industrial region and Bani Zeid, which enabled the army to gain full fire control over al-Lairamoun square toward Castillo highway,' the sources said. 

Reports said earlier today that the Syrian Army troops launched a fresh round of attacks on the strongholds of the terrorist groups of al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham in the Northern districts of Aleppo city and pushed the militants back from more building blocks and firms.

The Syrian soldiers hit the terrorist groups' concentration centers and gatherings hard in Khalediyeh districts, and the road connecting al-Lairamoun to Bani Zeid and captured more building blocks and firms in the region.

The terrorist groups suffered a heavy death toll and their mortar launchers and weapons sustained major damage.

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Army to Deploy New Radar System in Northeastern Iran to Detect Tiny Flying Objects

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli announced that a highly advanced home-made radar system will be deployed in Northeastern Iran soon with the capability of detecting and tracing very small flying objects.

"Deploying a radar system in North Khorassan region, which has been the latest achievement and production of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base and has the capability to detect very small flying objects will be accomplished soon," Esmayeeli told reporters.

"The radar is capable of detecting active and passive small-scale flying objects with a cross-section of one-hundredth of the standard size," he added.

General Esmayeeli had announced in November that Iran is one of the top 6 countries in the world which have made advanced long-range radar systems.

"We don’t have any technical bottleneck in the air defense field and don’t need to purchase anything in this field from the foreign states," Esmayeeli said in Tehran at the time.

"Today, our experts have built a 3,000-km-range radar without any foreign help and we are among the six countries which can build it," he added.

Also in September, Brigadier General Esmayeeli underlined that the country's integrated missile and radar systems are always monitoring moves and ready to fire and intercept hostile flying objects at any moment from over 3,000 kilometers away.

"Today we are capable of monitoring the enemies' slightest move from a distance of more than 3,000 kilometers," Esmayeeli said.

He reiterated that one of the achievements in the field of Air Defense in Iran is that the country has become self-sufficient in the production of radar systems and missiles.

Brigadier General Esmayeeli said Iran's Air Defense units have been deployed in some 3,700 locations across the country to give a crushing response to enemies' threats, while they have a message of peace and security to regional and friendly states.

He underlined that Iran's military capabilities serve as a deterrent arm against enemy threats.

Brigadier General Esmayeeli noted that Iran’s defense lines are not confined to the geographical borders, and said, "Given the increase in variety, speed and range of aerial weapons of the enemy and the intention of the enemy to destroy the infrastructure of the defending country, the defense lines can be expanded to all parts of the target (enemy) country."

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Saudi Military Base Hit Hard by Yemenis' Ballistic Missile in Najran Province

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army pounded the Saudi-led forces' strategic military base in the kingdom's Najran province with a Zalzal 3 missile on Saturday.

Bin Yalin military of Saudi Arabia was hit by Yemen's Zalzal 3 missile.

Initial reports indicated scores of casualties in the Yemeni missile attack on Bin Yalin military base.

Bin Yalin military base is located in Najran province.

Also on Saturday, another Zalzal 3 missile of the Yemeni army hit Almas military camp in al-Jad'an region of Ma'rib province.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Yemeni army pounded the Saudi-led forces' strategic military base in Ma'rib province with a Zalzal 3 missile.

The forces loyal to former fugitive president Mansour Hadi were also present in Al-Tadavin military base at the time it was hit by the missile.

Al-Tadavin military base is located between Ma'rib and al-Jawf provinces in the Northern parts of Yemen.

In a relevant development earlier on Wednesday, the Yemeni forces repelled the Saudi-led forces' fourth attack on their military positions in the Western part of Ma'rib province, inflicting heavy losses on them in a counteroffensive.

The Saudi forces launched an attack for the fourth time on the Yemeni military positions in Yam Benham region in Western Ma'rib, but were pushed back army and popular forces.

The Yemeni forces also destroyed several armored and military vehicles of the Saudi forces in the army's counterattack.

Meantime, a battlefield source in Yemen told FNA that tough battle is currently underway between the Yemeni army and the Saudi forces in Ta'iz.

Nawaf Adnan reiterated that heavy clashes between the Yemeni and Saudi forces are underway in the Eastern and Western parts of Ta'iz.

On Tuesday, the Saudi forces launched their third attack on the Yemeni positions in Yam Benham region, but to no avail.

On Monday, the Yemeni army and popular forces' missiles hit and destroyed the arms and ammunition depots of Saudi-led forces in the city of al-Hazm in al-Jawf province on Monday as the Arab coalition continued to violate the ceasefire.

"Saudi Arabia's weapons and ammunition depots were annihilated in Shihat region of al-Hazm city in al-Jawf province," battlefield sources said.

The sources noted that heavy smoke could be seen after the Yemeni missiles hit Saudi arms arsenal.

The Saudi-led forces sustained heavy casualties as the Yemeni missiles precisely struck their arms and ammunition depots.

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Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Kinsibba at Lattakia Border with Turkey

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops, in a large-scale offensive, forced the terrorist groups back from their positions near Kinsibba in Northern Lattakia and took full control over the small but key town, military sources confirmed minutes ago.

"The Syrian Desert Hawks forces and navy commandoes attacked on defense lines of the terrorist groups from six fronts in the Southern, Southeastern and Southwestern flanks of Kinsibba," the sources said.

"The Syrian military forces at first liberated the villages of Shillif, Toubal, Ra'as al-Hossein, al-Raqem, Ruweisa al-Kaniseh, Wadi Basour and the entire heights around these villages, then they stormed the positions of terrorists near Kinsibba and captured the town in short-time but tough battle," the sources added.

"The Syrian government forces are now fortifying their positions in the Northern, Northeastern and Northwestern sides of the town," the sources went on to say, adding, "Last night coup in Turkey has decreased Ankara-backed terrorist groups across Northern Syria."

Reports said on Sunday, the Syrian military forces continued to push militant groups back from more strongholds in Northern Lattakia and captured three strategic positions in the mountainous region.

The Syrian government forces stormed defense lines of militant groups in the Southern side of the key town of Kinsibba and forced the terrorists to retreat from the Forts of shillif and Toubal and the passage of Basour.

The militant groups suffered a heavy death toll and their militant hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.      

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950426001175

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Spokesman Underlines Iran's Support for Elected Turkish Gov't

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi reiterated the country's severe concerns over Turkey's security and stability after the coup, and said Tehran supports the elected Turkish government.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues the developments in its neighboring country highly precisely and sensitively," Qassemi said on Saturday.

Referring to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's three phone calls with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu since the start of the crisis from last midnight to Saturday noon, he said, "We are deeply concerned about stability, security, unity, democracy and the rule of the law in Turkey."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the publically-elected government and advises (all sides) not to resort to violence," Qassemi said.

Stressing that Iran prioritizes stability, security and democracy in Turkey, he expressed the hope that full stability and tranquility would return to the country as soon as possible.

An attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble on Saturday after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan's call to take to the streets to support him and dozens of rebel soldiers abandoned their tanks in the main city of Istanbul.

Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik announced that his country is almost through with the last night coup, although a number of commanders are still held hostage.

His remarks came after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim officially declared the failure of the coup attempt, but meantime reiterated earlier allegations that government holds Fetullah Gulen and his followers responsible for the coup. Yildirim said the government is now in control of the country, adding that the arrests will continue and the detainees might be given capital punishment if certain changes are made to the constitution. Turkey's constitution bans execution.

In Tehran, the Supreme National Security Council headed by President Hassan Rouhani convened for a second time in an urgent meeting on Saturday morning. In its earlier meeting it had ordered the armed forces to seal off the border with Turkey.

Reports said on Saturday that 11,000 Iranian tourists are in Turkey now. Iran's aviation organization has also halted all flights to various destinations in Turkey for an unspecified period. Yet, officials in Tehran said they will send several passenger planes tonight to bring the tourists back home.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif twitted his "deep concerns" over the status quo in neighboring Turkey. In a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday morning, Zarif discussed the latest developments in Turkey after the failed coup d'etat.

Also Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi underlined that his country is closely monitoring the political and military developments in neighboring Turkey.

"Iranian police, security and intelligence forces are on alert, and Iran's common borders with Turkey are fully controlled," Alavi said.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani said that Tehran supports President Erdogan's government because it has been elected by the people, adding that Iran's support for the Syrian government derives from the same fact.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's position on such phenomena and events has always been respect for people's choice compared with forceful control, meaning that rejecting coups and supporting the governments elected based on people's real vote is always our principled and fixed policy on the governmental structures," Shamkhani said on Saturday.

Turkey is no exception in this regard, he said, and stressed that Iran prefers a government elected through people's vote to a failed, flawed and unpopular government that has ascended to power through a coup.

"This, of course, is not just limited to Turkey and it is the reason for our presence in Syria too," Shamkhani underscored.

Asked about the situation at the shared Iranian borders with Turkey, he said the country's Northwestern bordering areas, neighboring Turkey, enjoy sufficient levels of security and the Ground and Air forces are ready to defend the country, if necessary.

Turkish government officials said the army factions that have staged the coup are receiving orders from Islamist opposition leader Fetullah Gulen who is in exile in the US. Hundreds of Gulen's followers in the army, police and judiciary were arrested and jailed last year. Prosecutors in Turkey's capital announced on Wednesday that "Ankara has prepared a file for extraditing the US-based preacher Gulen, who is accused of leading a terrorist organization, as well as trying to infiltrate and overthrow the elected government".

Fetullah Gulen and his supporters issued a statement last night to "condemn the coup" in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from government accusations.

The opposition, including the Kurdish minority, have also condemned the coup attempt.

Turkey is a NATO member, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times over the past half-century. The coup has taken the lives of 265 people, including 41 policemen, 49 civilians and 104 coup supporters, and injured 1,440 others. Also 2,900 pro-coup forces have been arrested so far.

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Terrorists in Syria Pray for Erdogan

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorists in Syria voiced their support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their web pages and accounts on social media networks and prayed for his victory in the ongoing developments in his country.

The terrorists in Syria are praying for Erdogan to eventually come triumphant against his opponents and the orchestrators of the coup in Turkey.

The terrorists rushed to the web to declare their concerns and support for Erdogan after a section of the Turkish army staged a coup against his government.

Turkish government officials said the army factions that have staged the coup are receiving orders from Islamist opposition leader Fetullah Gulen who is in exile in the US. Hundreds of Gulen's followers in the army, police and judiciary were arrested and jailed last year. Prosecutors in Turkey's capital announced on Wednesday that "Ankara has prepared a file for extraditing the US-based preacher Gulen, who is accused of leading a terrorist organization, as well as trying to infiltrate and overthrow the elected government".

Fetullah Gulen and his supporters issued a statement last night to "condemn the coup" in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from government accusations.

The opposition, including the Kurdish minority, have also condemned the coup attempt.

Turkey is a NATO member, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times over the past half-century. The coup has taken the lives of 265 people, including 41 policemen, 49 civilians and 104 coup supporters, and injured 1,440 others. Also 2,900 pro-coup forces have been arrested so far.

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ISIL Fails to Hit Oil Pipelines East of Hama

July 16, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian military forces repelled ISIL's offensive to break through government forces' positions along crude oil transferring lines in Eastern Hama, inflicting a heavy death toll on them.

ISIL's attacks on the government forces' strongholds near oil pipeline in the Southern side of the small town of Aqarib were fended off by the strong defense of the Syrian soldiers.

ISIL left behind tens of the dead and wounded members and pulled the remaining pockets of its forces back from the battlefield.

In the meantime, the Syrian military men pushed back the ISIL terrorists from the small towns of al-Tayibeh and al-Mofaker in Eastern Hama, which ended in the killing or wounding of several militants.

Also on Thursday, the Syrian Air Force destroyed two positions and a number of vehicles of Takfiri terrorists in Jana al-Elbawi and Souha in Hama province.

Also the gathering centers of Jund al-Aqsa terrorist group near Morek town in the Northern parts of Hama was targeted by the fighter jets. 5 militants were killed in the attack.

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Pakistan

'Mumbai-style' terror bid targeting Islamabad foiled, says IGP

July 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Inspector General Police (IGP) Islamabad claimed on Friday that police had foiled a bid of Mumbai-style terrorist attack in the federal capital during the the early days of June.

IGP Islamabad Tariq Masood informed the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that police thwarted a terror attempt with the help of surveillance cameras recently installed in the city.

Briefing the media after meeting of the parliamentary committee, the IGP said that he and city's chief commissioner were informed by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) about possibility of a terror attack.

Police officials told media that terrorists had planned to launch an attack in Islamabad just like it happened in Mumbai in 2008.

“According to the plan, 13 terrorists were supposed to attack a university and a five-star hotel in Islamabad,” the officials said.

The police official added that ISI came to know about the plot after tracing some telephone calls.

The IGP informed the Senate committee that police foiled the terror bid with the help of newly installed cameras in the city under the Safe City Project.

“Police monitored all entry and exit points to prevent the possible attack,” the IGP added.

However, more details of the terror plot were not shared with the media and the Senate committee.

Some 1,850 security cameras have been installed in Islamabad and connected to a central command and control centre as part of the Rs124.9 million Safe City Project.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed his annoyance over the IGP statement regarding terror bid.

“Police should refrain from giving statements which could cause fear among the general public,” Nisar said adding police officers must be careful while making statements.

dawn.com/news/1271017/mumbai-style-terror-bid-targeting-islamabad-foiled-says-igp

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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif declares Burhan Wani as ‘martyr’; to observe black day on July 19

July 16, 2016

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday declared slain Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a “martyr” and said July 19 will be observed as a “black day” to express solidarity with people of Kashmir.

Hitting out at Pakistan’s decision the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying, “We are dismayed at the continued attempts by Pakistan to interfere in our internal matters.”

“The self serving actions by Pakistan in the last few days to derive political mileage out of the recent developments in J&K follow planned infiltration and and terrorism aimed at India from across the Line of Control and International Boundary. The attempts in Pakistan by various players to ingratiate themselves to the people of J&K in the run up to the so called elections in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation will not succeed,” MEA’s statement read.

Addressing a special cabinet meeting in Lahore to discuss the situation in Kashmir on Friday, Mr. Sharif had termed the “movement of Kashmiris as a movement of freedom”.

“Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination,” he had said.

“The Prime Minister termed Burhan Wani as martyr of independence movement,” Radio Pakistan reported. “He said, Indian brutalities will give impetus to the freedom struggle and Kashmiri people will get their right to self-determination

for which the whole Pakistani nation is standing behind them,” reported Radio Pakistan.

He was also quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan. “Seven hundred thousand Indian soldiers deployed in Occupied Kashmir could not suppress the struggle of Kashmiris.”

On the proposal of Prime Minister Sharif, the cabinet decided that “Black Day will be observed on Tuesday (July 19) against Indian barbarism in Occupied Kashmir.”

The meeting also condemned the terrorist attacks in France, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Turkey and Indonesia.

siasat.com/news/pakistan-pm-nawaz-sharif-declares-burhan-wani-martyr-observe-black-day-july-19-986813/

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Govt changes date of observing 'black day' against Indian atrocities in Kashmir

July 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Taking back its earlier announcement, the federal government on Saturday decided to observe 'black day' against Indian atrocities in India-held Kashmir on July 20 instead of July 19.

In a surprising move, the federal cabinet on Friday had decided to observe a countrywide ‘black day’ on July 19 for expressing solidarity with people of India-held Kashmir, several of whom were killed while protesting against the murder of separatist leader Burhan Wani.

July 19 is observed every year in renewal of the historical resolution of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan passed by the people of the state.

The All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference on July 19, 1947, in Srinagar demanded the then Dogra rulers to materialise the accession of the Jammu Kashmir state to Pakistan honouring the decision and point of view of the majority population of the Muslim majority in the state.

“Kashmir’s Accession day will be observed on July 19 while nation-wide ‘Black day’ will be observed on July 20 to protest the brutalities of Indian forces in Kashmir,” the government announced on Saturday.

Indian authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in most parts of IHK after Wani was killed, but massive protests continued despite attempts to suppress violence.

Paramilitary troops and police in riot gear patrolled villages and towns in the region. Most shops were shuttered, businesses were closed and cellphone services were suspended. More than 25 people were killed in clashes between Indian troops and protesters.

dawn.com/news/1271224/govt-changes-date-of-observing-black-day-against-indian-atrocities-in-kashmir

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No headway in water dispute talks with India

July 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will move the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) to restrain India from building two major hydropower projects on rivers assigned to Islamabad under the 1960s Indus Waters Treaty.

“Pakistan to move international court of arbitration,” said Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Mohammad Asif in a tweet. An eight-member delegation led by Secretary Water and Power Mohammad Younas Dagha is currently in the neighbouring country for final talks on resolving the dispute bilaterally or to seek arbitration.

Khwaja Asif, who is also holding the portfolio of federal minister for defence, said the talks for two and a half years with India on resolution of Pakistan’s objections regarding Kishanganga and Ratle Hydroelectric projects have failed. “Pakistan with consent of stakeholders decided to take it to full court of arbitration,” he said.

The minister said India had invited the Pakistani side to discuss points of dispute over the Indus Waters Treaty.

He did not receive telephone calls or respond to messages after his afternoon tweets. “Talks have failed,” said a water and power ministry spokesman but declined to go into details.

Another official said the Pakistani delegation would return from India on Saturday. He said the delegation was meant to discuss both options with India i.e. resolve the dispute through bilateral means or else move the ICA.

Under the treaty, in case the parties fail to resolve water disputes through bilateral means, the aggrieved party has the option to invoke the jurisdiction of the ICA or the neutral expert under the auspices of the World Bank.

The jurisdiction of the ICA could be invoked either jointly by the two parties or by either party as envisaged under Article IX (5) (b) or (c) of the treaty for constitution of a seven-member arbitration panel.

Pakistan’s experience with both international forums — neutral expert and ICA — has not been satisfactory for varying reasons and outcomes, partially due to domestic weakness, including belated decision-making. Pakistan first challenged Baglihar Hydroelectric Project before the neutral expert and then Kishanganga Hydroelectric and Wuller Barrage before the ICA. He said India was also in violation of the ICA decision of 2013.

Islamabad has been under criticism at home for losing its rights through legal battles instead of building diplomatic pressure in world capitals to stop India from water aggression.

An official said Pakistan now again felt its water rights were being violated by India on two rivers, the Chenab and Jhelum, through a faulty design of 850MW Ratle Hydropower Project and 330MW Kishanganga Hydropower, respectively.

He said the government had originally decided to take up the matter at international forums provided in the 1960 treaty in December 2015 but the process was delayed for unknown reasons. He said even two US law firms, Three Crowns and Willams & Connelly, had been selected at the time.

Bilateral avenues’ failure

The official said Pakistan had exhausted all bilateral avenues to settle the dispute but in vain. Pakistan’s Foreign Office had also written to India last year highlighting points of difference and seeking its consent for appointment of neutral expert over the designs of the two said projects as both the countries had failed to resolve the issues at the level of Permanent Commission of Indus Waters (PCIW).

Both Pakistan and India have already declared their failure to resolve the issues pertaining to the designs of Kishangana and Ratle hydropower projects at the PCIW.

Pakistan believed Kishanganga’s pondage should be a maximum of one million cubic metres instead of 7.5 million, intake should be up to four metres and spillways be raised to nine metres.

On Ratle, Pakistan has four objections. Freeboard should be one metre instead of two meter, pondage should be a maximum of eight million cubic metres instead of 24 million, intake level should be at 8.8 metres and spillways at the height of 20 metres. It believes the Indian design of Ratle project would reduce Chenab flows by 40 per cent at Head Marala and cause irrigation loss to crops. The Ratle dam is believed to be three times larger than the Baglihar dam.

Under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960, the waters of the eastern rivers — teh Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — had been allocated to India and the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — to Pakistan except for certain non consumptive uses.

dawn.com/news/1271195/no-headway-in-water-dispute-talks-with-india

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NAB gives a clean chit to Dar in Rs130bn case

July 16, 2016

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: After 15-year investigation, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has given a clean chit to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in over Rs130 billion corruption case.

According to the NAB spokesman, the decision was taken at the NAB’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) that was chaired by bureau’s chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Friday.

“The EBM decided to close investigation against Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Finance and ex-Minister for Commerce, which was pending for closure since 2001, due to lack of incriminating evidence,” it is officially informed.

Minister says his stance has been vindicated after 15 years

The NAB spokesman did not mention the amount involved in the case. However, the details of the case still available on the official website of the NAB say he was accused of misuse of authority and having assets beyond known sources of income since 2000. It says money involved in the case included Rs32 million, UK Pounds 3.488 million and $ 1,250 million (over Rs130 billion).

The NAB spokesman was reluctant to give further details of the case and did not reply to some questions sent through mobile phone message (SMS).

Mr Dar has claimed many times in the past that he was facing no corruption case but the decision taken by the NAB on Friday negated his claims.

Interestingly, if there was no incriminating evidence in the federal minister’s case, then why the NAB had included his case in the list of 179 mega corruption cases that was presented before the Supreme Court last year and whose update is also shared with the apex court periodically.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, the federal minister said he was happy that he had won justice though after 15 long years. He said the NAB (money laundering) reference against him was shocking and it was moved against him on a political basis.

He said he would think of taking legal action against those responsible for the reference after completing his tenure as the finance minister.

OTHER CASES: The NAB board also made some other important decisions including approval of five corruption references. The first corruption reference was decided against Arshad Farooq Faheem and others for exorbitant and illegal increase in drug prices during drug pricing committee meetings which caused a loss of Rs692.96 million to the national exchequer.

The second reference was approved against Asfand Yar Kakar, ex-minister food of Balochistan, and others for embezzlement in government wheat amounting to Rs467 million from the Provincial Reserve Center, Pishin.

The third one was approved against Muhammad Aslam Butt, ex-mayor of the Gujranwala Municipal Corporation, and others. In this case, the accused were alleged for misuse of authority and awarded contract to M/s Rathore Enterprises on higher rates.

The fourth reference was authorised against Dr Ihsan Ali, vice chancellor of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan and others for misuse of authority by making illegal appointments of 652 officials on a contract/temporary basis and that too without advertisements and completing all codal formalities as per law causing a loss of Rs462 million to the national exchequer.

The fifth one was against Syed Mussarrat Abbas, former additional secretary, Senate Secretariat, Islamabad and others who misused authority and committed criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds of the Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Housing Society.

The EBM also decided to re-authorise an investigation against officers/officials of the Multan Electric Power Company, the Trust Investment Bank Limited (TIBL), Multan and others for misappropriation, obtaining pecuniary benefits, misuse of authority involving Rs297.289 million.

The EBM decided to authorise two inquiries. The first one against Shafqat Shah Shirazi, ex-MNA, and Ejaz Shah Shirazi, ex-MPA from Thatta district of Sindh for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income.

The second inquiry was authorised against Dost Muhammad, Rahimoo, Minister for Ushr and Zakat, Sindh and others who were involved in accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, misappropriation in distribution of wheat in Taluka Chachro and Dhali, Sindh and misuse of authority causing a loss of Rs500 million.

dawn.com/news/1271183/nab-gives-a-clean-chit-to-dar-in-rs130bn-case

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Africa

Libyan Forces Battling Islamic State In Sirte Suffer Losses In Push To Advance

Sat Jul 16, 2016

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Forces aligned with Libya's U.N.-backed government suffered losses from snipers and mines on Friday as they battled Islamic State to win control of a strategic conference centre in the coastal city of Sirte.

Islamic State is clinging on in the centre of Sirte in the face of a two-month campaign by brigades mainly composed of fighters from the western city of Misrata. Their progress has been slowed by resistance from militants holed up in a 5 km area in central Sirte.

Losing Sirte would represent a major setback for Islamic State, which established its most important base outside Syria and Iraq in the Libyan city.

Sirte had been under the militant group's control since last year, and it had extended its presence along about 250 km (155 miles) of coastline.

At least 20 members of the government-backed forces were killed and 120 wounded in fighting in Sirte on Friday, said Aziz Issa, a spokesman for the central hospital in Misrata, one of the higher tolls in recent weeks of fighting.

A spokesman for the forces, Ahmed Hadia, said the latest clashes around the Ouagadougou conference hall complex and in the neighbourhood of Ghiza Asskariya had been continuing for two days.

"Our forces entered the complex and are fighting (but) they still cannot take the complex," he said.

Militants had tried unsuccessfully to counter attack with three car bombs, Hadia said. "The deaths among our forces on Friday were a result of targeting by snipers and of mines," he said.

The Ouagadougou hall became a key site for Islamic State as it imposed its ultra-hardline rule over Sirte, using the centre for meetings and religious instruction.

The militant group expanded into Libya amid the political chaos and security vacuum that developed after long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an uprising in 2011.

The United Nations-backed government moved to Tripoli three months ago in an attempt to unify two rival administrations and various armed factions.

While the new government has so far received support from powerful brigades from Misrata, it has made little progress extending its influence nationally and has continued to face determined opposition from hardliners in eastern Libya.

af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0ZW0EE?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

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Muslim Youths destroy Catholic Church in Niger

Sat Jul 16, 2016

A group of Muslim youths yesterday attacked St. Philip’s Catholic Parish, Baki Iku, close to Zuma Rock in Niger State, destroying properties worth thousands of naira.

The Vicar-General of Parish, Revered-Father Gobep Luka Sylvester, who confirmed the news last night, said about 200 Muslim youths stormed the Church premises yesterday and destroyed properties of the church.

It was gathered that some Catholics had gone to the church to pray and were attacked by the Muslims who claimed that Friday was their day of prayer and that the Church only had right to worship on Sundays.

Revered Father Sylvester said last night that although he was not around when the incident happened, he was told that some Muslim youths numbering about 200 came to the Church and started destroying the church’s properties, saying the security men in the church premises were seriously injured.

According to him, ‘’Sometime around 2pm, some Muslim youths in numbering 200 left their Mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the Church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the Church: the windows, the alter, musical instruments, the chapel.

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’The security man in the church premises was beaten to pulp. Some women who were holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian who is resident in the premises was also beaten up and chased away.”

He said the incident had been reported to the police and they claimed to have made some arrest and promised to investigate the matter.

In 2012, Alhaji Kabiru Sokoto — suspected member of terrorist group, Boko Haram, on Christmas day, detonated bomb that killed several Catholics and passers-by at St Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, close to St. Philips that was destroyed yesterday.

The Revered Father added, “Just last week, Mrs. Eunice Olawale, a mobile preacher of the Redeemed Christian Church of God was killed by some fanatical Muslims in Kubwa, FCT. How long are we going to continue like this?”

today.ng/news/national/153361/muslim-youths-destroy-catholic-church-niger

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Christians Told to 'Buckle Up' After Preacher Hacked to Death

Sat Jul 16, 2016

A female preacher was hacked to death in the early hours of July 9 near Nigeria's capital.

Eunice Elisha, a mother of seven, had gone out to preach as was usual, her husband, Olawale Elisha, a Redeemed Church of God Pastor, told local media.

Later, two of their sons, who had been practicing football, heard that a woman had been killed while preaching.

"I told my children that it couldn't be their mother, but they insisted we should go there and check," Elisha said. "When we got there, we didn't see anybody. They had even covered her blood with sand."

A police officer confirmed a killing had taken place and that the body had been taken to a police station in Kubwa, on the outskirts of Abuja.

"At the entrance of the station I saw a pickup van coming out," Elisha said. "Inside it I saw the lifeless body of my wife at the back of the pickup van. At this point, my children and I burst into tears."

'Zealous Christian'

Eunice Elisha was 42. Her surviving husband called her a zealous Christian who "rarely missed a day in church."

Asked how he felt about the murder of his wife and her killers, Olawale said: "I see her as a martyr who died for Christ. Whether the people are caught or not, they should be forgiven."

Police have arrested six suspects, and an investigation continues.

Elisha is only the most recent of several attacks on Christians in recent weeks.

On 30 June in the town of Obi, in the central state of Nasarawa: father of seven, Rev. Joseph Kurah, was ambushed by two armed men after he arrived at his farm. His severely mutilated body was later recovered from the scene. Ethnic Fulani herdsmen are suspected in the killing.

On 8 June in Kaduna state, Francis Emmanuel, a 41-year-old carpenter, was waiting for food when a gang of six Muslim youths stabbed him. It was Ramadan, and he was not fasting.

"They asked why I was eating," Emmanuel told World Watch Monitor. "At first I didn't reply, but when they asked if I was a Christian or a Muslim, I said I was a Christian. They got furious and started beating me up. One of them brought out a knife and stabbed me in my neck, on my right arm and around my right eye. A police officer rushed over to help me, and the assailants all ran away."

In Kano, in northern Nigeria, on 2 June, Bridget Agbahime, 74, wife of Mike Agbahime, pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church in Kano, was ambushed by an angry mob for allegedly blaspheming against Islam's prophet. Hers was the second extrajudicial killing after an accusation of blasphemy in recent weeks.

In June, at least 81 people were killed in recent attacks by ethnic Fulani in Logo and Ukum areas of Benue state in central Nigeria. An undetermined number of churches were ransacked and burned, a local source told World Watch Monitor.

Benue State has been wracked with deadly violence. More than 500 people were killed in February in the mainly Christian area of Agatu. About 20,000 people are thought to have fled the wave of attacks. On 30 May in Niger state: Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel, 24, was attacked and killed by a mob, after allegedly posting a blasphemous statement about Muhammad on social media. Three other people, including a police officer, lost their lives as a result of violence that followed the killing. A church and a house were burnt down and 25 shops were looted.

Incidents targeting Christians are the result of growing intolerance and radicalism among Nigerian society, said Atta Barkindo, a researcher and doctoral candidate at the London School of Oriental and African Studies.

For a very long time, the focus has been on the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria's north-east, Bakindo said.

As well as Boko Haram there are other extremist groups

"But apart from Boko Haram, there are a number of extremist Islamic groups, such as Aljana Tabas in Gombe, Madinatoul Keffi in Nasarawa or Al Kour Aniyoun in Bauchi. All these states are very close to Abuja, the capital."

They recruit from a large pool of uneducated young people migrating toward central Nigeria from the northern cities of Kano and Sokoto in the north, and they operate with little fear of punishment, Bakindo said.

"The government has done nothing in the past. People feel they can commit these kind of killings and propagate Islam, and the government can't do anything about it," he said.

"So the main issues here are impunity and the lack of accountability. Look at what happened in Kano, Nasarawa and Niger States. But by the end of the day, you will hear nothing, and the attackers will be set free. Impunity is a big issue in Nigeria."

charismanews.com/world/58628-christians-told-to-buckle-up-after-preacher-hacked-to-death

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South Asia

Major operation to kick off against ISIS in East of Afghanistan: Ghani

Sat Jul 16 2016

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to launch a major offensive against the loyalists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province.

President Ghani was speaking to the Afghan forces during a visit to Nangarhar province on Friady and said the main purpose of the operation would be to eliminate the loyalists of the terror group from Nangarhar.

He said the main focus of the annual Shafaq military operation, which is currently being conducted across the country, would be Nangarhar province from next week.

Qestioning the presence and participation of the loyalists of the terror group with the Afghan people, President Ghani ordered the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army to completely root out the terrorists from Nangarhar.

President Ghani further added that the difficult days in the country have gone but he cautioned that the enemies of Afghanistan are still plotting destructive activities.

He also visited the residents of Kot district and hailed for their resistance and fight against the loyalists of ISIS terrorist group.

The remarks by President Ghani comes as ISIS loyalists have been attempting to expand foothold in the country, an attempt that has forced the Afghan and US forces to step up strikes against them.

The US forces are regularly conducting drone strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in the restive parts of Nangarhar besides the Afghan forces conduct air and ground raids.

khaama.com/major-operation-to-kick-off-against-isis-in-east-of-afghanistan-ghani-01493

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3 policemen feared dead, wounded in Kabul explosion

Sat Jul 16 2016

An explosion took place in the outskirts of Kabul earlier this morning with preliminary reports suggesting at least three policemen have suffered casualties.

The administrative chief of Bagram Ahmad Shafi said the incident took place after a magnetic bomb was detonated in a police vehicle.

He said an investigation is underway regarding the incident but did not say anything regarding the casualties.

However, another official in Bagrami district said a policeman has lost his life and two others were wounded in the explosion.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

This comes as at least 33 people lost their lives and 80 others were wounded in a coordinated suicide attack in the outskirt of Kabul late last month.

The incident took place in Company area of the city after a suicide bomber targeted the vehicle convoy of the Afghan police cadets followed by another suicide attack.

The Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the incident which was the second largest attack carried out by the group since they announced their spring offensive.

Earlier, at least 64 people were killed and 347 others were wounded after the militants attacked the VIP protection unity in the city in April.

khaama.com/3-policemen-feared-dead-wounded-in-kabul-explosion-01494

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Fire incident reported in key diplomatic area of Kabul city

Fri Jul 15 2016

A massive fire has swept through a key diplomatic area of Kabul city earlier tonight with the exact location yet to be confirmed.

Numerous footage and pictures of the incident have appeared online which purportedly shows the incident has taken place in Shash Darak area of the city.

The area is home to numerous diplomatic and foreign missions including the US Embassy and a military base used by the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Preliminary reports suggest an under construction hotel building has caught fire near the embassy compound in Masood Square.

The security sources have not commented regarding the incident so far.

khaama.com/fire-incident-reported-in-key-diplomatic-area-of-kabul-city-01491

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A look into Bangladesh's troubles

Jul 15, 2016

The recent hostage-taking attack in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, ended in the death of 28 people, 18 of them foreigners. That event invites us to look at the recent history of Bangladesh and what shapes the mentality of that society. Most of the six or seven perpetrators of this act of terrorism are reported to have been out of Bangladesh’s educated and upper class and families of the Awami party, the majority party in Bangladesh politics.

It all began with the partition of India when that country gained its independence from England in 1947. In the agitation and politicking leading up to that independence, some Muslims of India, led by Muhammad Jinnah, demanded a separate Muslim state. It so happened that the majority Muslim areas of India were its far west and far east. In the partition therefore Pakistan ended up a two-part state divided by 1,000 miles of India.

It didn’t take long until the very different eastern half of Pakistan began chafing under dominance by the western half, chiefly West Pakistan’s insistence upon Urdu as the national language. West Pakistan’s politicians insisted upon trying to impose Urdu upon East Pakistan’s Bengali speaking population. West Pakistan’s refusal to recognize East Pakistan’s demands hardened until the West Pakistan Army was killing of East Pakistan demonstrators, and the civil war was on.

In this civil war West Pakistan possessed the military advantage, at least at the beginning, but India came to the aid of East Pakistan, prompted by a desire to see Pakistan divided. As a result the war, begun with East Pakistan’s Declaration of Independence March 26, 1971, ended in December 1971. East Pakistan took the name Bangladesh, which means quite simply Land of Bengal.

The recent Dhaka attack has stunned many Bangladeshis because of the makeup of the terrorists. “They include the son of a government politician along with university and elite public school students,” says BBC News online. Some of these terrorists disappeared from their homes earlier, leaving their parents wondering about their whereabouts.

Interestingly, “Secular” was named one of four fundamental principles in Bangladesh’s 1972 Constitution. But after an army coup in 1975 the army administration declared Islam to be the state religion. However, in 2005 Pakistan’s Supreme Court restored the principle of secularity in the Constitution, though it left the familiar Islamic invocation that had been added in 1997, “In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful (al-Rahman, al-Rahim).

As recently as March 28, 2016, Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejected a petition for change, leaving Pakistan with the anomaly of declaring itself in the Constitution as a secular nation while at the same time declaring Islam its state religion.

This contradiction and clash of opposing ideals may well be the cause of Pakistan’s recent outbreak of violence. News reports of the Dhaka massacre noted the fact that the terrorists came out of Pakistan’s educated, elite upper-class, those most likely to resonate with the secularity of that country’s constitution. Yet the terrorists themselves somehow got attracted to and fired up by the conservative radical Islam motivating Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. These terrorists are frightened by the very few Hindus, Christians, and atheist minorities in their country. They seem blind to the fact that their resort to violence hurts far more than helps the reputation of the faith they are trying to defend.

These tensions in Bangladesh’s society are also present in other countries of the world such as England, Germany and the United States, although they may take different forms and revolve around different issues in religion and politics.

Marlin Jeschke is professor emeritus of philosophy and religion at Goshen College. In 1968-69 he received a Fellowship in Asian Religions, spending five months at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School and five months traveling in Muslim countries of the Middle East and Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia.

goshennews.com/news/lifestyles/global-faiths-a-look-into-bangladesh-s-troubles/article_5e1a523e-f62d-55cb-8889-7a6c6f054e95.html

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Southeast Asia

Leading Malaysian university sacks lecturer for showing slideshow portraying Hindus as 'unclean and dirty'

Fri, 15 Jul 2016

Vice-chancellor Dr Prof Wahid Omar said the lecturer responsible for the controversial slides has been sacked

A leading Malaysian University has sacked a lecturer responsible for developing a controversial teaching module that disparaged Hindus and Sikhs triggering outraged among the minority communities in the Muslim-majority country. The lecture slides from the module of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), which went viral online, had portrayed Hindus in India as "unclean and dirty" and misrepresented the history of Sikhism.

India had expressed concern over the "negative and incorrect" picture conveyed about Hinduism and Sikhism, following which the varsity had also issued an apology.

UTM vice-chancellor Dr Prof Wahid Omar said the lecturer responsible for the controversial slides has been sacked and his 30-day dismissal notice came into effect yesterday.

"He is still at the university as he still needs to serve the one-month notice," he was quoted by Star daily as saying.

Asked why the dismissal was not immediate, Dr Wahid said the procedure had to be done according to the contract, which meant giving the staff a month's notice. The Higher Education Ministry had viewed the matter seriously and had called for "stringent action". The slides were part of a university course mandatory for tertiary students.

The university is currently reviewing the course module, which includes appointing experts in Indian, Sikh and Chinese civilisation studies.

Meanwhile, the youth wing of the country's largest ethnic Indian based political party, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) welcomed the sacking of the lecturer.

Youth chief C Sivarraajh said the lecture materials should never have been made in the first place.

"The slides were likely made with an intention to ridicule and downgrade Hinduism and Sikhism," he said in a statement.

Sivarraajh hoped such an incident would not recur, especially by educationists from a university that should place value on learning.

Muslim-majority Malaysia's 28 million population include 60 per cent Malays who are all Muslims, 25 per cent ethnic Chinese mostly Christians and Buddhists and eight per cent ethnic Indians, a majority of whom are Hindus.

dnaindia.com/world/report-leading-malaysian-university-sacks-lecturer-for-showing-slideshow-portraying-hindus-as-unclean-and-dirty-2234709

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Indonesia's Six Largest Ethnic Groups

July 16, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesia's motto "Unity in Diversity'" signifies the country's myriad of cultures and ethnicities with all its people living together largely in peace.

As one of the most ethnically diverse societies, Indonesia consists of 1,300 ethnic groups with at least 95 percent native to the archipelago. Minority migrant groups, such as Chinese, Arab and Indian, make up the remainder.

Many Indonesians will first identify themselves from their ethnic groups when strangers ask where they are from.

The questions emphasizes how important it is for Indonesians to claim their ethnic group. The answer can provide an indication of how to interact with them.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) has compiled a report on Indonesia's ethnic groups, native languages and religions in the 2010 census.

These are the six largest ethnic groups that makes up more than two third of 237 million of the country's total population.

1. Javanese

Javanese people, native to the island of Java, is the largest ethnic group in Indonesia with more than 95.2 million people, make up 40 percent of the total population. Javanese population spread all over the country, but is highly concentrated in Java and Bali Islands.

Javanese people mostly identified as Muslim, with asmall figure of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu. They also long been associated with Kejawen, a traditional animistic beliefs which rooted in Javanese history, synchronizing practices into different religion, such as Islam, Hindu and Christianity. There are ethnic sub-groups of Osing, Tengger, Samin, Bawean/Boyan, Naga, Nagaring and other communities.

2. Sundanese

Native to the western part of Java, Sundanese people makes up 16 percent, or 36.7 million people, from the country's total population. The ethnic group is predominantly Muslim and stick to their own language. They traditionally inhabit provinces of Banten, West Java and Jakarta.

3. Batak

The third largest ethnicity is Batak from North Sumatra with 8.5 million people, accounting for 3.8 percent of the total population, which consists of Batak Simalungun, Angkola, Karo, Mandailing, Pakpak Dairi, Tapanuli, Dairi, Toba and many more. These ethnic groups are distinctly related and speak the same language, while also practicing similar customs.

As predominantly Christian, Batak accept this Abrahamic religion as part of their identity since the early 20th century. Although, other ethnic sub-groups of Mandailing and Angkola are predominantly Muslims, they are closely associated with Minangkabau ethnic group from West Sumatra.

4. Sulawesi

The fourth largest are the Sulawesi ethnic groups with 7.6 million, equivalent to 3.2 percent of Indonesia's total population, which comprise of 208 ethnic groups, including Attinggola, Suwawa, Mandar, Amatoa, which excluded the people from Makassar, Bugis, Minahasa and Gorontalo.

5. Madurese

Around 7,179,356 million Madurese made up for 3.03 percent out of Indonesia's total population, identifying themselves as the people who originally lives in Madura Island. They are predominantly Muslim and commonly affiliated with Nadhatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia. However, Madurese also inhabited many regions in Indonesia as most of Madurese native have been migrated to any other parts of the country for a century.

6. Betawi

The Betawi ethnic group is the term for the people who lived in Batavia, the Dutch name for Jakarta. The native Jakartans made up for 6.8 million or 2.9 percent. Their language ——a Malay-based creole that borrows extensive words from Hokkien, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and Dutch languages as well as other local language — is still used as slang language in Jakarta.

They are predominantly Muslims, with a few number of Christian and Roman Catholic believers.

jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/features/unity-diversity-indonesias-six-largest-ethnic-groups/

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IS and the future of Malaysia

July 16, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, an IS attack in Puchong changed the security landscape in Malaysia. Until last week many Malaysians believed such attacks will not happen in this country because the IS threat is only outside Malaysia.

For the security and intelligence forces this attack was a surprise. The choice is not obviously in the city centre or crowded places visited by foreigners but rather one that was unimaginable. This has shown that ISIS supporters, sympathisers or terrorists have read and scaled down their targets well.

Worst of all the attack was carried out in the holy month of Ramadhan, a month of peace and supplication when people will least expect such an attack to happen.

Therefore, officially IS has declared war against Malaysia. The intelligence and security forces can expect a future wave of attacks here. The fatwa issued by IS in Syria urged its supporters and sympathisers to attack places like nightclubs because these clubs do not observe the sanctity of the month of Ramadhan. Furthermore, it is stated in the Prophetic Traditions that the last 10 days of the month of Ramadhan is most rewarding.

The Movida attack is a target of convenience and it’s the first attempt, with less risk and less effort for the terrorist rather than high-security places like KLCC, Bukit Bintang or Putrajaya.

The good work of the Special Branch (Counter-Terrorism division, E8) need to be commended. In the aftermath of the attack, they were able to identify the suspected terrorists with detailed information. This reflects the dedication, commitment and efficiency of the Royal Malaysia Police in tackling the issue. The effective way to curb the terrorists in Malaysia is to pay attention to its local followers because one can expect more noxious terrorist attacks in the near future.

As reported in the media, most IS terrorists are ex-criminals and those who want to wash out their sins by committing such notorious acts in the name of the religion. Further it’s a route of escapism to seek redemption by wrongly interpreting the notion of Jihad which allow them a short cut to  paradise.

Needless to say, terrorism threats cannot be taken lightly. Admittedly, it’s very challenging for PDRM to provide security everywhere especially outside Kuala Lumpur. The task is almost impossible to achieve.

Thus, the higher institutions, ministry of home affairs, NGOs and parents have to play their role together with the people to work towards safeguarding this nation. After all, we are all stakeholders to peace. Hence, it is important that we work together to safeguard and preserve this valuable asset.

Meanwhile the ground intelligence needs to be increased. Constant monitoring of social media like Facebook is vital, because Facebook has become their tool of recruitment especially targeting the young generation, the main users of social media. In other words, we need to develop  “social media intelligence” capability in tracking and preventing the terrorists from threatening the social fabric of our nation.

The targets of IS are always Western oriented places. The ISIS inspired attacks in Dhaka, Istanbul, Baghdad and Puchong have  seen  a shift of its strategy by attacking the Muslim nations.

The International Islamic University of Malaysia terrorism expert Ahmad El-Muhammady stated that Malaysia was raised twice in the 11th issue of ISIS’ monthly online magazine, Dabiq: once for the country’s stance against ISIS and secondly, when the magazine suggested that the homegrown militants target diplomatic missions in Malaysia.

R. Paneir Selvam, a lecturer in the field of terrorism from HELP University, believes that the current policies of Malaysia can be a conduit for IS to launch further attacks as Malaysia experiences economic and social problems. If that happens it can paralyze the whole nation.

The proactive role and effort by religious departments and other relevant agencies need to be intensified so that the young people including those studying at madrasahs do not fall prey to IS recruitment.

The relevant agencies must be helped to curb further IS attacks. It is every Malaysian’s duty to protect the sovereignty of this nation from IS.

freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/07/16/is-and-the-future-of-malaysia/

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Malaysia ‘high’ terrorism threat: UK travel advisory

JULY 16, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR — The British government advised its citizens on Friday (July 15) that there is a “high” threat from terrorism in Malaysia, following the recent grenade attack at a Puchong nightclub linked to the Islamic State (IS).

The “high” status is the highest of four levels of terrorist threat used by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), defined as a “high level of known terrorist activity”.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” said the FCO in its travel advice for Malaysia on Friday (July 15).

“On 28 June 2016, there was a grenade attack at a bar in the town of Puchong, injuring eight people. Malaysian authorities have confirmed this was a terrorist attack by individuals with links to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL),” it added.

According to the police, the grenade attack at the Movida bar at a Puchong mall was the first successful attack linked to the IS militant group.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar said earlier this month that 15 male terrorism suspects were arrested following the attack, including two policemen.

The FCO also advised British citizens against “all but essential” travel to islands off the Sabah east coast from Kudat to Tawau, citing a threat to foreigners of kidnapping.

“There has been an increase in kidnapping by groups operating in the southern Philippines, some of whom have the ability to conduct kidnaps on the coast of Sabah,” it said.

“You should take great care in the town of Sandakan and along the coastal area south to Tawau, and in and around Lahad Datu and Semporna. In May 2015, two Malaysian nationals were abducted in Sandakan, one of whom was subsequently murdered,” the advisory added.

The latest in a spate of abductions saw three Indonesian fishermen taken hostage by five armed men off the coast of Lahad Datu, Sabah, last Saturday night.

Abu Sayyaf militants from southern Philippines had first started its kidnapping spree targeting tourists, including Westerners and Chinese who often vacationed in the east coast islands of Sabah. When the government introduced the sea curfew from dusk to dawn, the kidnap-for-ransom groups shifted their focus, and more and more Malaysians and Indonesian fishermen became the target of their multi-million ringgit crimes.

todayonline.com/world/europe/malaysia-high-terrorism-threat-uk-travel-advisory

 

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