New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 09:59 AM

Islamic World News ( 14 Oct 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

UAE Planned To Invade Qatar with US-Trained Mercenaries










Photo: (AhlulBayt News Agency) - UAE trained 15,000 mercenaries to invade Qatar before announcing the siege

 

Founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the ISC of Canada Warns Youth to Beware Of Influence of Islamic State

Freed Canadian Hostage Says Taliban Murdered His Baby, Raped Wife

51 Cows of Muslim Family 'Snatched By Alwar Cops'

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Mideast

UAE Planned To Invade Qatar with US-Trained Mercenaries

Bahraini NGO Slams Mounting Use of Capital Punishment In PGCC

OIC decries mosque massacre in Central African Republic

Tehran releases statement in response to Trump's anti-Iran speech, US new policy

Iran ready to cement ties with France in all fields of mutual, regional, international interest

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North America

Founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the ISC of Canada Warns Youth to Beware Of Influence of Islamic State

US Special Forces Deaths in Niger Lift Veil On Shadow War against Islamists in Sahel

US drone kills 14 IS militants in Afghanistan: officials

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South Asia

Freed Canadian Hostage Says Taliban Murdered His Baby, Raped Wife

Afghanistan Rejects Pak Military’s Allegations Against CIA, MI6, RAW For Support ISIS

Clash among ISIS and Afghan forces leaves 12 dead, wounded in Kunar

Back to back explosions target Pakistani troops leaving 5 dead, wounded

Bangladesh steps up security at India border over Rohingya fears

Taliban reject rape, murder claims of freed Canadian hostage

Couple shot dead over illicit sexual relations in North of Afghanistan

Taliban suffer heavy casualties in latest operations in Helmand province

Suicide truck bombing plot foiled in Kabul city

ISIS and Taliban insurgents suffer heavy casualties in latest military operations: MoD

Taliban seizes Shia-dominated Mirza Olang in Afghanistan

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India

51 Cows Of Muslim Family 'Snatched By Alwar Cops'

19-Yr-Old Rohingya Muslim Illegally Procures Aadhaar, Arrested In Hyderabad

Indian Union Muslim League's KNA Khader Wins Kerala By-Poll

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Pakistan

India’s Role in Afghanistan Not Acceptable to Pakistan: Foreign Affairs Spokesman By

Pakistan Turns To Islamic Finance Market for Support

UK army chief briefed on Raddul Fasad, border management

Four FC personnel martyred in Kurram Agency blast

Court seizes Musharraf’s Rs1m surety bonds

Shahbaz for ‘credible’ accountability set-up

Pakistan, Iran sign MoU for improved border management

US, Pakistan to hold frank talks, says interior minister

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Arab World

Up To 200-300 Foreign Islamic State Fighters Remain In Syria's Raqqa: SDF

King Salman Welcomes Trump's Firm Approach To Iran

Zero Hour Arriving for Iraqi Forces' Large-Scale Anti-ISIL Operation at Border with Syria

Al-Nusra Terrorists Push ISIL back from More Lands in Syria's Hama

Syrian Air Force Bombs Heavily ISIL's Positions in South-eastern Deir Ezzur

AEOI Chief: Iran to Stop Implementation of Additional Protocol If N. Deal Collapses

Turkish Military Column, Scores of Terrorists Arrive in North-western Syria

Russia: US Trying to Destroy Syria's Vital Infrastructure, Residential Areas

Iraqi troops in armed standoff with Kurd forces

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Africa

Death Toll from Blast in Somalia's Capital Rises To 231

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Europe

Austrian Voters Concerned About Immigration, Islam

German interior minister proposes Muslim holidays be put on regional calendars

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Southeast Asia

Army Says Battle for Philippine City to End Soon, 1,000 Dead

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/uae-planned-to-invade-qatar-with-us-trained-mercenaries/d/112888

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UAE planned to invade Qatar with US-trained mercenaries

October 15, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - UAE trained 15,000 mercenaries to invade Qatar before announcing the siege

A Spanish newspaper ABC revealed that the United Arab Emirates had recruited mercenaries from American organization Blackwater to invade Qatar before announcing the siege.

As indicated by the report a large number of hired mercenary troopers from Blackwater were getting trained in the UAE to attack Qatar, however these plans were not approved by the White House and were relinquished.

Qatar’s former deputy prime minister H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah indicated, the invasion plans, driven by UAE, started before the declaration of the bar against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, on June 5.

The plan affirms what HH Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, said amid his meeting with US President Trump, that he had halted the barricading nations intent to intervene militarily in Qatar. There were likewise reports in American media that Trump had discussed with UAE and Saudi Arabia and stopped them from taking any military move against Qatar.

Abu Dhabi initially hired the infamous Blackwater for its operations in Yemen as a feature of the military alliance driven by Saudi. Later they were recruited to invade Qatar and introduce a leadership which is meek and slavish to the interests of UAE and Saudi Arabia as cited in peninsulaqatar.

Spanish paper ABC told that around 15,000 mercenary soldiers were trained at Emirate military base in Liwa, western UAE.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/uae-planned-to-invade-qatar-with-us-trained-mercenaries_860469.html

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Founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the ISC of Canada Warns Youth to Beware Of Influence of Islamic State

October 15, 2017

CALGARY — The tall, slim teenager asks a question that’s on the minds of many of the young people gathered around the cloth-covered tables in a small meeting room at a mosque in northeast Calgary.

“If someone from ISIS or ISIL approaches you, how would you respond to them, so that you’re not attacked any further?” wonders Zubair Tariq, 16.

“If they approach, you should be smart enough to know that ISIL/ISIS is very big criminals in the eyes of Islam,” answers Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.

“These people reach out through the internet. These people reach

out through a local community. Understand this is not somebody who is a nice Muslim or a good Muslim or a true Muslim. This is someone who is disguised as a Muslim. ISIL is a disguised Muslim.

“They say they are good Muslims but to us they are a bunch of thugs and criminals,” he continues. “They are terrorists.”

Soharwardy met recently with 30 Muslim youth at the Jamia Masjid Gunbad-e-Khizra mosque. It was one of several meetings he does on a regular basis to prevent the radicalization of Canadian Muslim youth.

Soharwardy decided to call another meeting after an attack earlier this month that injured a police officer and civilians in Edmonton. A man stabbed an officer doing traffic control outside a football game and then crashed a cube van into pedestrians downtown. Five people were injured. Police say they seized an Islamic State flag as evidence.

Tariq says he hasn’t been contacted directly by anyone seeking to recruit young Canadian Muslims, but he’s worried.

“One of my friends was approached … and he’s the same age as me,” the teen says. “It’s scary. If someone approaches you, you don’t know how to respond properly unless you talk to your peers.”

Teen Hassaan Rizvi says recruitment by the Islamic State is happening through social media.

“We were sitting in my math class and two of my friends received a WhatsApp link,” says Rizvi, referring to the popular mobile messaging program. “When opened, it was for recruitment for ISIS. It had the flag and said we are recruiting.

“I said, ‘This is not something good so we should close it.’ This did happen. They are still recruiting.”

Soharwardy turns the conversation to the Edmonton attack.

“When you hear … a police officer hurt and an ISIS flag found, what do you feel?” Soharwardy asks.

“Angry,” says one young man.

“Embarrassed,” says another.

A report last year on the terrorist threat in Canada said that at the start of 2014 there were more than 130 Canadians who were abroad and suspected of terror-related activities. By the end of 2015, the number had grown to about 180 and the government knew of about 60 extremist who had returned to Canada.

Some of the students at the meeting express anger at the backlash they endure every time a terrorist attack happens anywhere in the world.

“I don’t understand why the word terrorist or terrorism is stitched to the word Muslim or the name of Islam. Terrorism itself is just an attack on anyone,” says Shahwali Hameed.

“Terrorism has no religion.”

Aysha Ali believes a lack of understanding causes people to believe all Muslims are terrorists every time an attack occurs.

“It definitely gets worse. They wouldn’t blame it on Muslims if it just happened once, but it’s happened several times where people like ISIS and ISIL do it in the name of Islam.”

Ibrahim Khan says there appears to be a double standard. He points out nobody is calling the perpetrator in the Las Vegas mass shooting a terrorist.

“He’s either mentally damaged or they just call him a shooter. No one calls him a terrorist, because he doesn’t have a long beard.”

Soharwardy says he believes there are still recruiters and sympathizers Islamic State sympathizers working in Canada and he suggests that will continue until their financial pipeline dries up.

He tells the students that anyone who promotes hatred or committing violent acts is not following the Muslim faith.

“If you see anybody make sure you report to your parents, your teacher, to me,” he says.

“Let us know right away, because we need to defend ourselves and … remain loyal, faithful, law-abiding citizens of this country.”

vancouversun.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/still-recruiting-imam-warns-youth-to-beware-of-influence-of-islamic-state/wcm/05e9ecf7-106e-4b1f-a426-b71ae15558e1

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Freed Canadian hostage says Taliban murdered his baby, raped wife

AFP | Updated: Oct 15, 2017

OTTAWA: Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle+ accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late Friday with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on Wednesday by Pakistani troops.

He condemned the Haqqani network's "stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter" in "retaliation for my repeated refusal to accept an offer that the miscreant of the Haqqani network had made to me, and the stupidity and evil of the subsequent rape of my wife."

He said the rape was not the action of a lone guard but aided by the captain of the guard and a Haqqani commander he identified as Abu Hajr.

The Haqqani group is headed by SirajuddinHaqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

The faction has long been suspected of having links with Pakistan's shadowy military establishment.

Boyle said both incidents had taken place in 2014, some two years after he and Coleman, who was "heavily pregnant" at the time, were kidnapped in a remote Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan.

He said they were in Afghanistan as "pilgrims" helping poor villagers when they were captured.

The three children who survived the ordeal were all born in captivity.

"Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family to build a secure sanctuary to call a home, to focus on edification and to regain some portion of the childhood they have lost," he said.

The Canadian government welcomed the family's arrival.

"Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones," a foreign ministry statement said.

"Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Boyle's case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that they have returned," it said, asking that the family's privacy be respected.

The Pakistani forces that freed the family said the US intelligence services tipped them off that they had been moved into Pakistan's+ semi-autonomous tribal areas from across the border in Afghanistan.

Residents in the tribal districts of Kurram, where the operation took place, and North Waziristan told AFP they had seen drones flying in the skies above them for several days before the operation.

"We sent our troops, traced the vehicle on the basis of intelligence sharing ... and recovered the hostages," Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesman for the Pakistani military, said in televised comments late Thursday.

Before marrying Coleman, Boyle was briefly married in 2009 to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, who was captured in battle as a teenager in Afghanistan in 2002 and held for a decade in the US military at Guantanamo Bay.

Boyle was active in the campaign to win Khadr's release from Guantanamo and his transfer to Canada in 2012. He was freed on bail in 2015.

On Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Boyle was not a target of any investigation.

Boyle returned to Toronto from Islamabad by commercial airlines, traveling via London. He denied reports he had refused to be flown home aboard a US military aircraft.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/freed-canadian-hostage-says-taliban-murdered-his-baby-raped-wife/articleshow/61081285.cms

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51 cows of Muslim family 'snatched by Alwar cops'

Rajendrasharma and Ashish Mehta | TNN | Oct 15, 2017

ALWAR/JAIPUR: Fifty-one cows of a Muslim family in Alwar district have been snatched, allegedly by the police, on a complaint by some Hindu activists, and handed over to a village gaushala. For the past 10 days, the family has been struggling to get back its flock. Police said it had no role in the incident.

Six months after Pehlu Khan was lynched, another member of the Meo community has now been labelled the same, allegedly by members of some Hindu organisations.

Subba Khan (45) alleged that local police forcibly took away his 51 cows and handed them over to the gaushala following complaints from cow vigilantes. He is now running between the sub-divisional magistrate's (SDM) office and the police station to get back his cows but to no avail.

Police, however, said it had no role in the incident and locals had driven the cows to the gaushala.

Nearly 17 calves that were at Khan's house now have to be fed ith milk bottles. He has given an affidavit at the Kishangarh police station as well as the SDM office that all the cows were milching and their calves are at his home.

Sher Mohammad, the Sadar (head) of Meo Panchayat told TOI on Saturday , "The police claimed it received complaints that Khan was into cow slaughtering."

"If he is into cow slaughtering, why the police have not lodged any case against him? said Sher Mohammad.

Alwar SP, Rahul Prakash told TOI, "I am not aware of the incident. I will get details before commenting on it."

Kishangarh Bas SHO, Rathore refuted the allegations that police drove Khan's cows to the gaushala."Itwere the villagers who took his cows in their possession and handed them over to the village gaushala. Now villagers have written a letter to SDM claiming that Khan is not a cow smuggler and earns his livelihood by selling milk."

"If Meosare targeted like this, the state government should bring in some law banning the Meo community from keeping cows as pets," Mohammad said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/51-cows-of-muslim-family-snatched-by-alwar-cops/articleshow/61086561.cms

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Mideast

UAE planned to invade Qatar with US-trained mercenaries

October 15, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - UAE trained 15,000 mercenaries to invade Qatar before announcing the siege

A Spanish newspaper ABC revealed that the United Arab Emirates had recruited mercenaries from American organization Blackwater to invade Qatar before announcing the siege.

As indicated by the report a large number of hired mercenary troopers from Blackwater were getting trained in the UAE to attack Qatar, however these plans were not approved by the White House and were relinquished.

Qatar’s former deputy prime minister H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah indicated, the invasion plans, driven by UAE, started before the declaration of the bar against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, on June 5.

The plan affirms what HH Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, said amid his meeting with US President Trump, that he had halted the barricading nations intent to intervene militarily in Qatar. There were likewise reports in American media that Trump had discussed with UAE and Saudi Arabia and stopped them from taking any military move against Qatar.

Abu Dhabi initially hired the infamous Blackwater for its operations in Yemen as a feature of the military alliance driven by Saudi. Later they were recruited to invade Qatar and introduce a leadership which is meek and slavish to the interests of UAE and Saudi Arabia as cited in peninsulaqatar.

Spanish paper ABC told that around 15,000 mercenary soldiers were trained at Emirate military base in Liwa, western UAE.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/uae-planned-to-invade-qatar-with-us-trained-mercenaries_860469.html

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Bahraini NGO slams mounting use of capital punishment in PGCC

October 12, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A Bahraini-American rights group slammed the soaring use of capital punishment in the states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council particularly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain said that Saudi Arabia, one of the most frequent executioners in the world, has already carried out over 100 executions for the third year in a row.

ADHRB further added that in January, Bahrain had broken a seven-year de facto moratorium on capital punishment, executing three torture victims. Likewise, Kuwait ended a four-year moratorium on the death penalty when the government executed seven men that same month.

Accordingly, the rights group denounced the use of the death penalty, and called on all states, in particular Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, to commute all existing death sentences and impose an immediate moratorium on capital punishment with a view toward abolition.

Husain Abdulla, Executive Director of ADHRB explained that "an increasing number of states around the world have passed legislation abolishing the death penalty, and the number of retentionist states decreases every year."

He went on to say that "the death penalty remains to be an increasingly acceptable form of punishment for a range of crimes, including peaceful dissent" in the states of the PGCC.

"Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are increasingly using the death penalty as a political weapon against activists and peaceful dissidents, who are convicted only after torture and unfair trials. These executions fly in the face of international norms, as many of those on death row are certainly not there because of ‘most serious crimes,' but for partaking in their internationally-sanctioned human rights," the ADHRB director said urging the international community to speak up and take action since staying "silent on these cases is a travesty".

In conclusion, ADHRB calls on all states, including the members of the PGCC, to halt executions and commute all current death sentences, with a view toward the ultimate abolition of capital punishment.

It also commended that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, to halt their use of executions for individuals expressing peaceful dissent, and in all cases where due process violations have occurred, including the use of torture.

en.abna24.com/news/bahrain/bahraini-ngo-slams-mounting-use-of-capital-punishment-in-pgcc_859892.html

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OIC decries mosque massacre in Central African Republic

15.10.2017    

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned a deadly attack on a mosque in the Central African Republic that more than 20 Muslim worshippers dead.

The incident occurred when the Christian anti-Balaka militia broke into the mosque in the country’s southeast during the weekly Friday prayers, killing more than 20 worshippers.

In a statement, OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen decried “this criminal incident and continuous violence by the anti-Balaka militia”.

He reiterated the OIC support for the Central African Republic and for efforts aimed at restoring security and stability to the country.

Since 2013, thousands of people have been killed in sectarian violence and thousands have fled their homes to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

In a 2015 report, Amnesty International estimated that more than 5,000 people, most of them civilians, have died in sectarian violence in the Central African Republic despite the presence of international peacekeepers.

Reporting by Ammar al-Khalafi:Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

aa.com.tr/en/africa/oic-decries-mosque-massacre-in-central-african-republic/936032

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Tehran releases statement in response to Trump's anti-Iran speech, US new policy

October 14, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran released a statement on Friday evening in response to US President Donald Trump's today's speech on Iran and Washington's new policy toward Tehran .

The following is the full text of the statement:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Statement of the Islamic Republic of Iran

13 October 2017

Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian foreign policy has been developed and implemented based on principles of international law and international rules and conventions; respect for sovereign equality of all states and non-interference in internal affairs of others have formed the cornerstone of relations with other countries. After decades of dictatorship, dependence on foreign powers - especially the United States - and constant interference of those powers in Iran's internal affairs, the Iranian people, with their newly-established democratic government, had hoped to be able to finally build ties with neighbors based on equality and fraternity, free from political, economic and military rivalries; to form a peace-seeking nation that sought to replace enmity and bloodshed with friendship and cooperation. By contrast, the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf region have persistently refused to accept realities of Iran and the region, and have vainly attempted to thwart the Iranian peoples’ quest for democracy and self-determination.

From the very first days of the Islamic revolution, the United States adopted a hostile, interventionist and destabilizing approach towards Iran's newly-established government -- with the aim of overthrowing it. The United States’ bleak record -- staging several coup attempts, harboring terrorists, openly supporting Saddam Hussein during the imposed war against Iran -- even his use of chemical weapons against Iranians, aiding secessionist plots, downing an Iranian civil airliner, and hundreds of other conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people — is undeniable. Even before the Islamic Revolution, the United States sponsored a coup against the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953, thereby showing its constant historic enmity with democracy and its support for dictators.

Terrorist groups -- that have found safe haven in and plotted against the Iranian people from the United States over the past 38 years-- murdered 17000 Iranians in the first few years following the Islamic Revolution. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while successfully establishing the highest standards of stability and security at home, has provided its advisory services to the people and security forces of Iraq and Syria, playing an indispensable role in combating terrorism, thwarting the Takfiri campaign to take over Damascus, Baghdad and Erbil, and helping uproot these groups from Iraq and Syria. The constructive role of our armed forces in combating terrorist groups — which the current U.S. president himself cited during his campaign as having been created by the U.S.— has been instrumental in eradicating this scourge. It is unfortunate that, instead of discarding terrorism as a tool and joining Iran's genuine counter-terrorism efforts, the United States continues to misportray these constructive efforts as destabilizing.

The role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the frontlines of combating terrorism in the region is irrefutable. The Corps, a branch of Iran’s armed forces, has an impeccable track record of containing Takfiri terrorism, restoring gradual tranquility for the people of the region as well as safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria. The Revolutionary Guards are regarded as national heroes for their role in the defense of Iranian territory against Saddam Hussein’ army. Any action by the U.S. administration or Congress against the IRGC will constitute a strategic mistake and will draw the indignation of the Iranian people and a strong and unified reciprocal reaction. The U.S. President will have to bear full responsibility for all consequences of his rogue behavior.

The United States has defined its interest in generating and aggravating regional disputes, and exacerbating conflict and insecurity to fuel an arms race and create bigger markets for its weapons. On the other hand, Iran has identified its regional interests with good-neighborliness, and peace and stability in the highly sensitive Persian Gulf region. This is in clear contrast with the publicly stated position of the current president of the United States, who in his campaign, publicly considered the war between Iran and Iraq as serving U.S. interests, and more recently openly made his visit to the region contingent upon the sale of hundreds of billions of 'beautiful weapons'—tools of destruction that are currently being used against defenseless children and the elderly in Yemen.

The crises in our region, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, are rooted in occupation, illegal military interventions, and hegemonic designs of the United States in the region. In contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that its national security interests can only be secured through dialogue, confidence building and multilateral cooperation within the region, and we are determined to actively contribute to the promotion of effective regional cooperation for peace and security. Iranian proposals for political settlements to end the horrifying wars in Yemen and Syria have been welcomed by the international community, and Iran has played a constructive role in every international initiative aimed at ending regional conflicts. Iran has also cooperated with Russia and Turkey effectively to de-escalate the violence in Syria, and stands ready to contribute actively to joint efforts with the United Nations Secretary General and other responsible countries - including other permanent members of the Security Council - and the European Union, to put an end to conflicts and violence.

The hostile policies of the United States and its regional allies, especially the Zionist regime, as well as the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms into the region that have turned the region into a tinderbox require the Islamic Republic of Iran not to be complacent about the country's defense needs. During the war imposed on us by Saddam Hussein's regime, not only did the United States and its regional allies provide military, intelligence, logistical, economic and political assistance to Saddam, and offer their support and maintained their silence during his chemical weapons attacks campaign, they also did everything in their power to interdict the acquisition of even the most basic defensive capabilities by Iran. Through that experience we learned that in order to protect our people, safeguard our independence and security and defend our national honor, we must rely on indigenous capacities and not hesitate in developing the capability to meet the country's legitimate defense needs. It is in this framework that Iran's missile program has a purely defensive and deterrent character. Our missiles are strictly designed to carry conventional warheads and their range and precision are proportionate to our security environment and threat perception. It will continue with full force in accordance with our national defense program and is not, nor will it ever be, negotiable. When U.S. allies in the region, whose combined population is far less than Iran, each spend exponentially higher sums on their military than Iran, why shouldn't Iran -- that has attacked no one in almost 300 years but has been the victim of aggression supported by the U.S. and its regional partners -- acquire necessary tools of deterrence in the face the constant threats by aggressors?

The antagonistic policies of the United States against Iran have also extended to the realm of advanced science and technology in past few decades. The United States has imposed restrictions that bar scientific and technological exchanges while also imposing sanctions in these fields. These actions serve no purpose but trying to hold back our technological development and prolong dependence on advanced powers. The efforts of our young scientists to acquire the knowledge for the development of a peaceful nuclear program has from its outset been met with propaganda, sanctions, cyber attacks and even the assassination of our scientists. Iran has repeatedly stated that it wishes to utilize nuclear energy peacefully, and that we view weapons of mass destruction— including nuclear weapons— as disruptive to peace and security, and as such they will never have a place in our military doctrine. The International Atomic Energy Agency's report and conclusion in 2015, rejecting accusations of Possible Military Dimensions (PMD), acknowledged the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.

Iran has demonstrated its good will by entering into and its conclusion of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 to resolve a fabricated crisis, and we have proven our fulfillment of our undertakings by the good-faith implementation of our commitments in accordance with the JCPOA. In contrast, the United States' fulfillment of its commitments has been lackluster and deficient from the very beginning, and in several cases—especially during the current administration—it has violated both the spirit and the letter of the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran has officially registered with the Joint Commission those violations, including failures in lifting of sanctions and policies preventing the establishment of an atmosphere necessary for normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran. The claim by the president of United States regarding Iran's non-compliance has no international relevance or credibility, since the IAEA, as the sole authority to conduct such monitoring and verification, has repeatedly confirmed Iran's full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA. This proves once again that the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner.

The JCPOA is a valid international instrument and an outstanding achievement in contemporary diplomacy. It cannot be renegotiated or altered. The nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement that can be annulled by unilateral action, but a deal endorsed by the international community and incorporated as a part of Security Council Resolution 2231. Other JCPOA participants, as well as the rest of the international community, should not allow the president of the United States to continue to mock and undermine the deal. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first to withdraw from the deal, but if its rights and interests in the deal are not respected, it will stop implementing all its commitments and will resume its peaceful nuclear program without any restrictions.

Today, the United States is more isolated globally than ever before and the veracity of Iran’s policies and positions have become evident to the international community. The world has witnessed that over the past several weeks, most countries have been unified in supporting the JCPOA and the Islamic republic and rejecting U.S. policies. The international community views Iran as a responsible actor endeavoring to promote peace and will not give any credence to rogue actors further isolating themselves every day by withdrawing from one or another international agreement and organization.

The difference between Iranian and U.S. policies on many international and regional issues are clear and undeniable. Because of their miscalculations, various U.S. administrations have aggravated these differences into open hostility against the people of Iran. In spite of all these animosities, embodied mostly in illegal threats and sanctions, the people of Iran have resiliently persisted in their quest for justice and independence. Iran has reached the pinnacles of influence and strength through relying on its own people and its indigenous capabilities, benefitting from the prudent and wise guidance of Ayatollah Khamenei, who has personified the dignity and integrity of the Iranian people, following the footsteps of the late Imam Khomeini. The new U.S. rulers must not forget the hard lessons of the past four decades; they should not forget that previous administrations -- who by uttering similar fallacies put themselves in open rivalry with the Iranian people – were forced to retreat from such imprudent utterances.

en.abna24.com/news/iran/tehran-releases-statement-in-response-to-trumps-anti-iran-speech-us-new-policy_860254.html

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Iran ready to cement ties with France in all fields of mutual, regional, international interest

October 14, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - President Rouhani had a telephone conversation with the French president and referred to the role of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in developing and deepening relations between Tehran and Paris, stating that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to develop relations with France in all fields of mutual, regional and international interest.

In the phone call with President Emmanuel Macron of France that took place on Friday night, Dr Rouhani referred to French President’s coming official visit to Tehran next year, saying: “Iran and France could take a greater step forward in strengthening relations in all areas of mutual interest”.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only reference to declare Iran's commitment to fulfill its obligations, and mixing multilateral and international commitments with domestic disagreements in the US can be very dangerous for global confidence,” said Dr Rouhani referring to Washington's possible decisions and the French President's emphasis on the European Union and Paris’ supporting the JCPOA and the need for all parties to full implementation of its provisions.

Dr Rouhani also stressed that any action taken by the President of the United States against the JCPOA means undermining a multilateral agreement, saying: “The JCPOA is in no way negotiable, and all parties must adhere to their obligations and the President or the Congress of the United States must not be allowed to take actions against it”.

The president said: "Unfortunately, there is a government in the United States that does not wish to be committed not only to the JCPOA, but also to other international obligations and regulations, an act that seriously undermines the principle of the negotiating table in the global stage”.

"JCPOA is the basis of trust between Iran and the P5+1 countries and the stronger this agreement is, the stronger the basis for dialogue and negotiation on other issues with the European Union will be," said Dr Rouhani, adding that Iran is committed to its commitments made in the JCPOA and continues its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The president emphasised: “The European Union and Iran must work together to counteract malicious and incorrect acts against the JCPOA”.

The French president also emphasised in the telephone conversation that Paris is determined to deepen its ties with Tehran in all areas of mutual interest.

Emmanuel Macron referred to US’ attempts to undermine the JCPOA and said: "The European Union and France will defend the JCPOA decisively and we are fully committed to it, and we urge Iran, in spite of Washington's efforts, to continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and stay committed to its commitments”.

He said that he would head an official high-level French delegation visiting the Islamic Republic of Iran next year, saying: “There is a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues that I would like to discuss with Iranian officials during the trip”.

The French president also described the White House’s policies towards the JCPOA the result of internal disagreements in Washington, calling on Washington to remain committed to its commitments.

en.abna24.com/news/iran/iran-ready-to-cement-ties-with-france-in-all-fields-of-mutual-regional-international-interest_860252.html

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North America

Founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the ISC of Canada Warns Youth to Beware Of Influence of Islamic State

October 15, 2017

CALGARY — The tall, slim teenager asks a question that’s on the minds of many of the young people gathered around the cloth-covered tables in a small meeting room at a mosque in northeast Calgary.

“If someone from ISIS or ISIL approaches you, how would you respond to them, so that you’re not attacked any further?” wonders Zubair Tariq, 16.

“If they approach, you should be smart enough to know that ISIL/ISIS is very big criminals in the eyes of Islam,” answers Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder of Muslims against Terrorism and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.

“These people reach out through the internet. These people reach

out through a local community. Understand this is not somebody who is a nice Muslim or a good Muslim or a true Muslim. This is someone who is disguised as a Muslim. ISIL is a disguised Muslim.

“They say they are good Muslims but to us they are a bunch of thugs and criminals,” he continues. “They are terrorists.”

Soharwardy met recently with 30 Muslim youth at the Jamia Masjid Gunbad-e-Khizra mosque. It was one of several meetings he does on a regular basis to prevent the radicalization of Canadian Muslim youth.

Soharwardy decided to call another meeting after an attack earlier this month that injured a police officer and civilians in Edmonton. A man stabbed an officer doing traffic control outside a football game and then crashed a cube van into pedestrians downtown. Five people were injured. Police say they seized an Islamic State flag as evidence.

Tariq says he hasn’t been contacted directly by anyone seeking to recruit young Canadian Muslims, but he’s worried.

“One of my friends was approached … and he’s the same age as me,” the teen says. “It’s scary. If someone approaches you, you don’t know how to respond properly unless you talk to your peers.”

Teen Hassaan Rizvi says recruitment by the Islamic State is happening through social media.

“We were sitting in my math class and two of my friends received a WhatsApp link,” says Rizvi, referring to the popular mobile messaging program. “When opened, it was for recruitment for ISIS. It had the flag and said we are recruiting.

“I said, ‘This is not something good so we should close it.’ This did happen. They are still recruiting.”

Soharwardy turns the conversation to the Edmonton attack.

“When you hear … a police officer hurt and an ISIS flag found, what do you feel?” Soharwardy asks.

“Angry,” says one young man.

“Embarrassed,” says another.

A report last year on the terrorist threat in Canada said that at the start of 2014 there were more than 130 Canadians who were abroad and suspected of terror-related activities. By the end of 2015, the number had grown to about 180 and the government knew of about 60 extremist who had returned to Canada.

Some of the students at the meeting express anger at the backlash they endure every time a terrorist attack happens anywhere in the world.

“I don’t understand why the word terrorist or terrorism is stitched to the word Muslim or the name of Islam. Terrorism itself is just an attack on anyone,” says Shahwali Hameed.

“Terrorism has no religion.”

Aysha Ali believes a lack of understanding causes people to believe all Muslims are terrorists every time an attack occurs.

“It definitely gets worse. They wouldn’t blame it on Muslims if it just happened once, but it’s happened several times where people like ISIS and ISIL do it in the name of Islam.”

Ibrahim Khan says there appears to be a double standard. He points out nobody is calling the perpetrator in the Las Vegas mass shooting a terrorist.

“He’s either mentally damaged or they just call him a shooter. No one calls him a terrorist, because he doesn’t have a long beard.”

Soharwardy says he believes there are still recruiters and sympathizers Islamic State sympathizers working in Canada and he suggests that will continue until their financial pipeline dries up.

He tells the students that anyone who promotes hatred or committing violent acts is not following the Muslim faith.

“If you see anybody make sure you report to your parents, your teacher, to me,” he says.

“Let us know right away, because we need to defend ourselves and … remain loyal, faithful, law-abiding citizens of this country.”

vancouversun.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/still-recruiting-imam-warns-youth-to-beware-of-influence-of-islamic-state/wcm/05e9ecf7-106e-4b1f-a426-b71ae15558e1

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US special forces deaths in Niger lift veil on shadow war against Islamists in Sahel

Four American forces died in an attack blamed on a group led by Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui, one of several extremist factions in the vast semi-desert area

Sunday 15 October 2017

When four US special forces soldiers died in an ambush earlier this month in scrubby desert in western Niger, attention was suddenly focused on one of the most remote and chaotic war zones on the planet.

The US troops had been embedded with a larger unit of Nigerien troops and were attacked as they left a meeting with local community leaders a few dozen kilometres from the remote town of TongoTongo.

Some reports claimed US troops were on a mission to kill or capture a high-value target in the area, perhaps even Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahraoui, the leader of the only local faction of fighters to have formally pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Given the light armament of the US detachment, the scramble to evacuate them, and the lack of medical backup or reinforcements, this seems unlikely. The US troops were eventually rescued by French aircraft, which flew from bases about 300 miles away in neighbouring Mali.

That there are conflicting accounts of the clash is not surprising. It occurred in an environment where hard fact is rare, and rumours swirl as fiercely as the dust storms that sweep the scrub and desert.

Reuters news agency reported that the attackers were from al-Sahraoui’s group, which calls itself the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Al-Sahraoui’s background and allegiance is evidence of the extremely fractured nature of the conflict across the swath of northern Africa known as the Sahel.

The 40-year-old is thought to have grown up in refugee camps in the south of Algeria, where he was committed to the nationalist cause of the Western Sahara. Little is known about how he became interested in Islamist extremism but by 2012 he was spokesman for the militant coalition that took over Timbuktu, the mythic city in northern Mali.

French troops forced the militants back into the northern deserts of Mali in 2013, and a year later the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) split their coalition.

Some factions maintained their ties to al-Qaida in the Maghreb, the tenacious and powerful local affiliate of the veteran group founded by Osama bin Laden in 1988.

Al-Sahraoui went his own way with a few dozen extremist followers, eventually pledging allegiance to Isis in May 2015.

In recent years disaffected extremist leaders have looked to Isis for sponsorship – and advantage over their rivals – in conflict zones from west Africa to the Philippines.

Often such pledges of support have been welcomed by Isis high command. But it took 18 months for al-Sahraoui’sbayat, or oath of allegiance, to be formally accepted – and only after he proved his mettle with a series of attacks.

A C-130 US air force plane lands as Nigerien soldiers stand in formation during a joint exercise in Diffa, Niger in 2014. Photograph: Joe Penney/Reuters

This delay has raised doubts over the substance of al-Sahrouai’s links with Isis.

If it is hard to place factions in the Sahel on an organogram of extremist groups, it is even harder to place them on a map.

Other than Boko Haram, the Islamic State affiliate based in north-east Nigeria, no Islamic extremist faction in the Sahel currently has a fixed base, making it very difficult to track the whereabouts and evolution of any individual group.

Even Boko Haram, which gained global notoriety by abducting more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014, has suffered serious losses of manpower, funds and territory in recent months, and is now very scattered.

“Very few factions are looking to govern or control territory … These are highly flexible, mobile units moving frequently, changing areas and it’s very difficult to identify who is who and who controls what,” said RidaLyammouri, a US-based independent researcher on the Sahel.

The dozen or so extremist factions operating across this vast area have, however, been responsible for scores of bloody attacks, and hundreds of deaths. Recent strikes have included a sophisticated assault on a military camp in Gao, Mali, which killed 77, and a series of attacks on hotels used by westerners and local elites.

Most of the groups responsible for these operations are linked to al-Qaida. yet even here there is little solidarity. A recent attempt by al-Qaida leaders to build a coalition among local jihadi groups is seen by analysts as evidence of quite how fractured the movement is in the region.

Ideology too is often unclear, with experts describing a complex mix of ethnic and other tensions which fuel militancy.

A recent report by the International Crisis Group noted that jihadist groups have established a presence in the northern Tillabery region, close to TongoTongo, through targeted recruitment of young members of the Fulani community – one of the largest ethnic groups in west Africa comprising mostly herders – who are looking for ways to counter their ethnic rivals or protect their businesses or communities.

“All these armed movements demonstrate a genuine capacity to understand and adapt to local circumstances, and do so better than less-motivated capital-based elites or foreign ‘peacekeepers’ … Instead, jihadist groups are willing to settle down and are developing an expertise in manipulating local intra and intercommunal tensions,” the ICG said.

Extremist groups also provide limited services to some communities, most notably security, dispute resolution and rule of law.

In central Mali, jihadist groups offer protection to pastoralists, and take the sides of local communities in contests over scant resources with government representatives or local elites.

A US army carry team at Dover, Delaware, transfers the remains of Staff Sgt Dustin Wright, one of four special forces soldiers killed in Niger. Photograph: Staff Sgt Aaron J Jenne/AP

In this complex environment, western military units have to have significant autonomy in order to respond rapidly to local threats and conditions.

Reuters has reported that the US special forces soldiers abandoned, or at least extended, their more limited mission in TongoTongo when they learned of a raid nearby, deciding to engage the attackers themselves.

Former western special forces officers with firsthand knowledge of current operations in the Sahel said this account was “plausible”.

“Since [President] Trump took power, US forces deployed around the world have had a lot more room to manoeuvre. Decisions about when and what to engage have been devolved right down to unit level,” the former officer said. “Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks.”

theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/15/sahel-niger-us-special-forces-islamists

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US drone kills 14 IS militants in Afghanistan: officials

October 15, 2017

KABUL: A US drone strike killed 14 members of the militant Islamic State (IS) group in a remote area in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, Afghan officials said on Saturday.

Abdul Ghani Musamim, spokesman for the provincial governor, said on Saturday that the strike took place on Thursday afternoon in the Chawkay district.

He said it targeted a meeting of IS commanders planning for a terrorist attack. The government has no control of the remote area where Afghanistan’s IS affiliate has managed to establish a presence.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, Dawlat Waziri, also confirmed the report. There was no immediate comment from the US-led forces in Afghanistan. However, lawmaker Shazada Shaheed rejected the report, claiming the victims of the strike were civilians.

The IS affiliate has grown in Afghanistan over the last few years.

Jury ‘near consensus’ in NYC bombing

Separately in New York, a jury said on Friday it was near consensus but won’t deliver a verdict before Monday on charges that a man planted bombs on New York City streets, including one that detonated and injured 30 people last year.

The Manhattan federal jury deliberated just over two hours before telling Judge Richard M. Berman that it wants to return on Monday.

The jurors are deciding the fate of Afghanistan-born Ahmad Khan Rahimi, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who is charged with the use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, destroying property with an explosive and using a destructive device to further a crime of violence, among other charges.

Prosecutors say Rahimi, 29, placed a bomb in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood that went off, injuring 30 people. He also is accused of planting bombs in New Jersey that didn’t hurt anyone.

Rahimi did not testify. He was arrested two days after the September 2016 attacks following a shootout with police.

On closing arguments, Rahimi’s attorney, Sabrina Shroff, urged jurors to acquit Rahimi of three charges that could lead to a mandatory life prison term.

Shroff said there was no proof Rahimi intended for a bomb to explode that was left four blocks away from the bomb that detonated. She said “there are many reasons to doubt the government’s case”. Shroff, an assistant federal defender, noted that no one from the defence team cross-examined any of the dozen or so victims who testified during the two-week trial.

“This is a difficult case for all of us because we are all New Yorkers,” she said.

Shroff’s surprise approach to focus on only a few charges in her closing seemed to catch prosecutors off guard, leaving them scribbling and whispering behind her as they seemed to realize the rebuttal summation they were about to deliver might need tweaking.

Assistant US Attorney Andrew DeFilippis said the fact that the second bomb never went off should not spare Rahimi from conviction on all eight counts of the indictment.

The prosecutor said Rahimi, inspired by the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, launched a “cold and calculating attack” when he left his home shortly after 5am on Sept 17, 2016, with nine bombs, including seven in a backpack that were small enough to use like grenades if he wished. Defence lawyers later objected to the grenade reference.

Prosecutors said a pipe bomb from the backpack was placed along a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, while the rest were left the following day in the backpack near the Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station.

A delay in the start of the race prevented anyone from being injured when that bomb went off. The others were discovered and did not explode, except for one that went off in safe conditions as bomb technicians worked to disable it.

dawn.com/news/1363970/us-drone-kills-14-is-militants-in-afghanistan-officials

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South Asia

Freed Canadian hostage says Taliban murdered his baby, raped wife

AFP | Updated: Oct 15, 2017

OTTAWA: Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle+ accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late Friday with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on Wednesday by Pakistani troops.

He condemned the Haqqani network's "stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter" in "retaliation for my repeated refusal to accept an offer that the miscreant of the Haqqani network had made to me, and the stupidity and evil of the subsequent rape of my wife."

He said the rape was not the action of a lone guard but aided by the captain of the guard and a Haqqani commander he identified as Abu Hajr.

The Haqqani group is headed by SirajuddinHaqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

The faction has long been suspected of having links with Pakistan's shadowy military establishment.

Boyle said both incidents had taken place in 2014, some two years after he and Coleman, who was "heavily pregnant" at the time, were kidnapped in a remote Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan.

He said they were in Afghanistan as "pilgrims" helping poor villagers when they were captured.

The three children who survived the ordeal were all born in captivity.

"Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family to build a secure sanctuary to call a home, to focus on edification and to regain some portion of the childhood they have lost," he said.

The Canadian government welcomed the family's arrival.

"Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones," a foreign ministry statement said.

"Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Boyle's case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that they have returned," it said, asking that the family's privacy be respected.

The Pakistani forces that freed the family said the US intelligence services tipped them off that they had been moved into Pakistan's+ semi-autonomous tribal areas from across the border in Afghanistan.

Residents in the tribal districts of Kurram, where the operation took place, and North Waziristan told AFP they had seen drones flying in the skies above them for several days before the operation.

"We sent our troops, traced the vehicle on the basis of intelligence sharing ... and recovered the hostages," Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesman for the Pakistani military, said in televised comments late Thursday.

Before marrying Coleman, Boyle was briefly married in 2009 to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, who was captured in battle as a teenager in Afghanistan in 2002 and held for a decade in the US military at Guantanamo Bay.

Boyle was active in the campaign to win Khadr's release from Guantanamo and his transfer to Canada in 2012. He was freed on bail in 2015.

On Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Boyle was not a target of any investigation.

Boyle returned to Toronto from Islamabad by commercial airlines, traveling via London. He denied reports he had refused to be flown home aboard a US military aircraft.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/freed-canadian-hostage-says-taliban-murdered-his-baby-raped-wife/articleshow/61081285.cms

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Afghanistan rejects Pak military’s allegations against CIA, MI6, RAW for support ISIS

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan rejected the allegations by certain Pakistani military officials regarding the alleged support by CIA, MI6, and RAW to ISIS terrorist group in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan Gen. Dawlat Waziri told RFE that the terror group’s ranks in Afghanistan are mainly comprised of Orakzai Agency residents who are continuously being deployed by certain circles in Pakistan.

Gen. Waziri further added that the ISIS militants are mainly fighting in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan located along the Durand Line with Pakistan.

He said such allegations are baseless suggesting that America supports ISIS as the US forces have so far killed four leaders of the terror group which proves that the allegations are wrong.

According to Gen. Waziri, the US military was truly supporting the ISIS terrorist group then they would not target their leaders in Afghanistan.

This comes as certain Pakistani military officials have told The News media outlet in Pakistan that it is an established fact, though quite deplorable, that the top world intelligence agencies like RAW, CIA and MI6 are supporting ISIS in Afghanistan which has its impact on Pakistan too.

According to these sources “We also understand that Afghanistan, India and USA would endeavour to snoop into Balochistan in order to sabotage China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for which an ingress would be needed by ISIS into Pakistan, as is the conviction and planning of the aforementioned prominent intelligence agencies”.

khaama.com/afghanistan-rejects-pak-militarys-allegations-against-cia-mi6-raw-for-support-isis-03648

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Clash among ISIS and Afghan forces leaves 12 dead, wounded in Kunar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

At least twelve people were killed or wounded during a clash between the Afghan security forces and the ISIS militants in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces in the East said the incident took place late on Saturday night in the vicinity of Kunar Bain area.

A statement by the Silab Corps said at least eight ISIS militants were killed and four others were wounded during the clashes.

The statement further added that two weapons, eight magazines of ammunition, 2 rocket launcher missiles, 1 communication device set, and 3 mobile phones together with the dead bodies of the two militants were left in the area in the aftermath of the clashes.

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

Kunar, located in eastern parts of Afghanistan, borders the tribal regions of Pakistan and is home to several terrorist groups.

The Afghan Taliban insurgents as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot, ISIS Khorasan, operate in some of the restive districts of the province.

khaama.com/clash-among-isis-and-afghan-forces-leaves-12-dead-wounded-in-kunar-03647

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Back to back explosions target Pakistani troops leaving 5 dead, wounded

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

At least five Pakistani soldiers were killed or wounded in back to back explosions in the tribal regions of the country.

According to the Pakistani officials, the incident took place earlier today in the vicinity of the Kurram Agency.

The officials quoted by the local media outlets said at least three soldiers were killed in the explosions and two others were wounded.

The incident took place after landmines planted in the area went off as the security forces were busy conducting patrols, the officials added.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

This comes as at least four Pakistani soldiers were wounded in a similar incident in Kurram Agency last month.

On September 27 this year, four security personnel were injured when two roadside bombs exploded near their vehicle close to the Afghan border in Kurram Agency, according to Geo News.

Officials of the political administration said the incident occurred in Shorki, Lower Kurram.

Today’s incident takes place as the local officials are saying that a counter-terrorism clearance operation is underway in the tribal regions of the country to root out the terrorist groups from the area.

khaama.com/back-to-back-explosions-target-pakistani-troops-leaving-5-dead-wounded-03645

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Bangladesh steps up security at India border over Rohingya fears

PTI | Oct 15, 2017

DHAKA: Bangladesh has tightened security along its western border with India amid concern that hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees could be pushed into its territory, officials said on Sunday.

Patrols have been stepped up along the frontier with India's West Bengal state, where border guards say they have been ordered in recent weeks to steer Rohingya into Bangladesh.

Tariqul Hakim, an area commander of the Border Guard Bangladesh, said Rohingya could be seen gathering opposite the Putkhali frontier post, where just a narrow river divides the two countries.

"We have stepped up surveillance and patrols so that no Rohingya can be pushed into our territory," Lieutenant Colonel Hakim told AFP.

Hakim said Rohingya communities inside India could be trying to reunite with their families in southeast Bangladesh, where more than half a million Rohingya refugees have arrived since August from Myanmar.

An estimated 536,000 refugees have crossed since August 25, fleeing violence in western Myanmar described by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing.

An Indian border guard in West Bengal told AFP that patrols had previously turned over all Rohingya intercepted at the frontier to local police.

"But now our directions are very clear, and that is to push all Rohingya into Bangladesh," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We are trying to accomplish our task with active local support".

Bangladesh already hosts at least 800,000 Rohingya, including those who fled earlier crackdowns in Myanmar, and does not want to accept any from India.

It is trying to repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar. But the stateless Muslim minority are reviled in the mainly Buddhist nation and considered to be illegal immigrants.

The unprecedented influx of refugees has put immense pressure on Bangladeshi authorities and charities, who have described the crisis as one of the world's most pressing humanitarian emergencies.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bangladesh-steps-up-security-at-india-border-over-rohingya-fears/articleshow/61092162.cms

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Taliban reject rape, murder claims of freed Canadian hostage

October 15, 2017

The Taliban on Sunday rejected claims by freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle that his kidnappers had killed his child and raped his wife during the family's captivity, saying the woman had a "natural miscarriage".

Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were seized by the Taliban while hiking in Afghanistan in 2012. The couple and their three children born in captivity were freed on Wednesday in a Pakistani military operation triggered by US intelligence and are now back in Canada.

After landing in Toronto on Friday, Boyle had accused his captors of killing his baby daughter and raping his wife — accusations which the Taliban said were "fake".

In a statement read on his arrival, Boyle had condemned the Haqqani network's "stupidity and evil of authorising the murder of my infant daughter" in "retaliation for my repeated refusal to accept an offer that the miscreant of the Haqqani network had made to me, and the stupidity and evil of the subsequent rape of my wife".

Taliban spokesman ZabihullahMujahid said Boyle and Coleman were never separated during their captivity, "precisely due to the fact that the mujahideen did not want to incite any suspicion", but he admitted a baby had died.

"During a period of detention an incident did take place when the woman became ill. The area was remote, no doctors were present and due to this severe condition, the woman had a natural miscarriage of a girl," Mujahid said in a statement.

"The allegations floating around in the media have nothing to do with the reality because the said people are now in the hands of our enemy."

The Haqqani group is headed by SirajuddinHaqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

Providing few details, Boyle had said that the death of his daughter and his wife's rape occurred in 2014.

That was two years after he and Coleman, then "heavily pregnant", were kidnapped in a remote Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan.

He said they were in the war-torn country as "pilgrims" helping poor villagers when they were captured.

dawn.com/news/1364005/taliban-reject-rape-murder-claims-of-freed-canadian-hostage

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Couple shot dead over illicit sexual relations in North of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

A couple was shot dead by unknown armed men over alleged illicit sexual relations in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

According to the local officials, the incident took place recently in the vicinity of Shebarghan city, the provincial capital of Jawzjan province.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Reza Ghafoori confirmed the incident ad said the couple was shot dead by the armed men late on Saturday night.

He said the security forces have launched an investigation into the incident and a search operation has also been launched to arrest the perpetrators.

Ghafoori further added that no suspect has been arrested in connection to the horrific murder so far.

According to reports, the woman was a widow who was charged with illicit sexual relations with the brother of her husband.

In the meantime, the local residents have also confirmed that the woman and her brother-in-law were shot dead by unknown armed men over the illicit relations.

The latest involving the murder of the couple comes as there has been a sharp rise in the violence against women in several provinces of the country.

A woman was shot dead after she was accused of a similar crime in this province nearly two months ago.

The woman was reportedly shot dead by her brother who had accused her of having illicit relations with another man.

khaama.com/couple-shot-dead-over-illicit-sexual-relations-in-north-of-afghanistan-03646

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Taliban suffer heavy casualties in latest operations in Helmand province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

The Taliban insurgents suffered heavy casualties during the latest counter-terrorism operations in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government in a statement said the latest counter-terrorism operations were conducted in Lashkargah city, Nad-e-Ali, and Kajaki districts.

The statement further added at least 25 Taliban insurgents were killed during the operations and 11 others were wounded.

The operations are jointly being conducted by the Afghan army, Afghan police, and security personnel of the other institutions, the statement added.

According to the provincial government, the Afghan security forces also destroyed a PKM machine gun of the militants along with a mortar, four motorcycles, and two of their hideouts.

The provincial government also added that the security forces have so far managed to clear large swathes of the areas from the militants presence in Lashkargah, Nad-e-Ali, and Kajaki districts.

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

Helmand remains one of the most volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 where terrorist related incidents are frequently reported from its various districts.

khaama.com/taliban-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-latest-operations-in-helmand-province-03650

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Suicide truck bombing plot foiled in Kabul city

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

The Afghan security forces foiled a deadly plot of the anti-government armed militants to detonated a truck packed with explosives in Kabul city.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said a suicide bomber who was riding a Mazda type truck was arrested before he manage to detonate the vehicle in an unknown location of the city.

The statement further added that the suicide bomber was arrested from the 5th police district of the city late on Saturday night.

The suicide bomber was identified by the security forces and was injured after they opened fire him when he refrained to the calls to stop the vehicle, the ministry of interior added.

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

This comes as an explosion left a number of people wounded in Kabul city earlier on the evening of the same day.

The incident took place in Dehburi area of the city after explosives planted in a police vehicle went off, leaving two of them wounded.

Last evening’s incident took place almost twenty days after a suicide attack left at least five people dead and twenty others wounded.

The Islamic State had claimed responsibility behind the attack which took place on 29th of September in Qala-e-Fatullah area.

khaama.com/suicide-truck-bombing-plot-foiled-in-kabul-city-03644

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ISIS and Taliban insurgents suffer heavy casualties in latest military operations: MoD

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Oct 15 2017

The Taliban militants and insurgents affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group suffered heavy casualties in the latest counter-terrorism joint operations of the Afghan national defense and security forces.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Saturday that a total of nearly 60 insurgents were killed during the joint operations in the past 24 hours.

According to an operational update of MoD, at least 27 insurgents were also wounded during the same operations.

The statement by Mod further added that the operations were conducted in with the help of the Air Force and artillery units in Nangarhar, Ghazni, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Zabul, Ghor, herat, Badghis, Balkh, jawzjan, Faryab, Kunduz, Badakhshan, and Helmand.

The majority of the Taliban insurgents were killed in Dehrawood district of Uruzgan where 22 militants were killed and some of their weapons were destroyed, MoD said, adding that 14 were killed in Dasht Archi of Kunduz and 10 others were wounded, three vehicles were destroyed and 20 hideouts of them were eliminated.

According to MoD, at least 13 militants were killed in Nad Ali and Marjah districts of Helmand, 13 others were wounded, 4 motorcycles were destroyed and some weapons and ammunition and 26 landemines were discovered and defused.

In the meantime, at least 3 ISIS militants were killed in an operation conducted in Achin district of Nangarhar province, MoD said, adding that 4 militants were killed in Ghazni and 4 others were killed in Faryab province.

khaama.com/isis-and-taliban-insurgents-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-latest-military-operations-mod-03643

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Taliban seizes Shia-dominated Mirza Olang in Afghanistan

October 14, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Mirza Olang valley of Sar-e-Pul province has once again fallen to the Taliban, provincial council officials said on Saturday.

Mohammad Noor Rahmani, the head of the Sar-e-Pul provincial council, said that Taliban carried out an attack on Thursday night in the Sayyad district of the province and took control of the valley.

However, General Khalil Dastyar, police chief of Sar-e-Pul said the Afghan security forces that were in the district made a tactical withdrawal.

Dastyar also said the Afghan security forces intend to conduct an operation in the Mirza Olang valley.

This comes after Mirza Olang Valley fell to the Taliban and ISIS in August. Following the collapse, insurgents targeted civilians and killed around 50 villagers.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/taliban-seizes-shia-dominated-mirza-olang-in-afghanistan_860313.html

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India

51 cows of Muslim family 'snatched by Alwar cops'

Rajendrasharma and Ashish Mehta | TNN | Oct 15, 2017

ALWAR/JAIPUR: Fifty-one cows of a Muslim family in Alwar district have been snatched, allegedly by the police, on a complaint by some Hindu activists, and handed over to a village gaushala. For the past 10 days, the family has been struggling to get back its flock. Police said it had no role in the incident.

Six months after Pehlu Khan was lynched, another member of the Meo community has now been labelled the same, allegedly by members of some Hindu organisations.

Subba Khan (45) alleged that local police forcibly took away his 51 cows and handed them over to the gaushala following complaints from cow vigilantes. He is now running between the sub-divisional magistrate's (SDM) office and the police station to get back his cows but to no avail.

Police, however, said it had no role in the incident and locals had driven the cows to the gaushala.

Nearly 17 calves that were at Khan's house now have to be fed ith milk bottles. He has given an affidavit at the Kishangarh police station as well as the SDM office that all the cows were milching and their calves are at his home.

Sher Mohammad, the Sadar (head) of Meo Panchayat told TOI on Saturday , "The police claimed it received complaints that Khan was into cow slaughtering."

"If he is into cow slaughtering, why the police have not lodged any case against him? said Sher Mohammad.

Alwar SP, Rahul Prakash told TOI, "I am not aware of the incident. I will get details before commenting on it."

Kishangarh Bas SHO, Rathore refuted the allegations that police drove Khan's cows to the gaushala."Itwere the villagers who took his cows in their possession and handed them over to the village gaushala. Now villagers have written a letter to SDM claiming that Khan is not a cow smuggler and earns his livelihood by selling milk."

"If Meosare targeted like this, the state government should bring in some law banning the Meo community from keeping cows as pets," Mohammad said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/51-cows-of-muslim-family-snatched-by-alwar-cops/articleshow/61086561.cms

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19-yr-old Rohingya Muslim illegally procures Aadhaar, arrested in Hyderabad

PTI Published : Oct 15, 2017, 8:53 pm IST Updated : Oct 15, 2017, 8:54 pm IST

 

The Indian employer of the man, who had claimed to be his father in order to get him the Aadhaar card, was also placed under arrest.

Hyderabad: The police, on Sunday, arrested a 19-year-old Rohingya man on charges of illegally procuring an Aadhaar card and illegally staying in the country.

The Indian employer of the man, who had claimed to be his father in order to get him the Aadhaar card, was also placed under arrest, a police official said.

The Rohingya man, Mohammad Ajamuddin alias MollaAjamuddin, and his employer RiyazuddinMolla (36), a native of West Bengal, were nabbed from the Burma huts in the Balapur area in Hyderabad, he added.

Both the men were in the garment business and had recently come to the city from Kolkata, the police said.

"Ajamuddin belongs to Myanmar and he and his family were living at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh as refugees. About a year ago, Molla went to Bangladesh for some work related to his garment business and got acquainted to Ajamuddin," the official attached to the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate said.

"Molla informed Ajamuddin that he could earn more money in India and gave his phone number to him. Subsequently, Ajamuddin came to Kolkata and met him. Since then, he has been working for Molla for a monthly salary of Rs 6,000. Molla was providing shelter to him illegally," he added.

Molla also allegedly helped Ajamuddin get an Aadhaar card by giving false information to the UIDAI authorities, stating that the latter was his son, and violated the provisions of the Foreigners Act, the official said.

He had recently brought Ajamuddin to Hyderabad, he added. Acting on a tip-off, the police nabbed the duo and seized their Aadhaar cards.

A case was registered against the two under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, the official said.

Last month, the Rachakonda police had arrested a 20-year-old Rohingya man, who allegedly claimed to be an Indian citizen and applied for a passport to enable him to go to Dubai. The police had also seized a PAN card from him.

Scores of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine state have been fleeing the restive region since August amid a fresh wave of violence, triggering a refugee crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh and India.

Union minister KirenRijiju had recently said the Rohingya Muslims were illegal immigrants and pitched for their deportation.

asianage.com/india/all-india/151017/19-yr-old-rohingya-muslim-illegally-procures-aadhaar-arrested-in-hyderabad.html

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Indian Union Muslim League's KNA Khader Wins Kerala By-Poll

October 15, 2017

MALAPPURAM:  The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, won the Vengara by-poll today. IUML candidate KNA Khader won with a margin of over 23,000 votes.

IUML chief PK Kunhalikutty, who vacated the Vengara seat and later won the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat earlier this year, said the CPI-M used all its might to secure the seat.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Khader got 65,227 votes, CPI-M candidate PP Basheer came second with 41,917 votes followed by Social Democratic Party of India candidate KC Naseer and BJP's K Janachandran in the third and fourth positions.

A total of 502 voters pressed the NOTA button.

The by-election was necessitated when legislator Kunhalikutty vacated the seat after he was elected from the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency in April this year.

IUML, the second biggest constituent of the Congress-led UDF, had fielded two-time former legislator Khader.

In the Lok Sabha polls, Kunhalikutty had secured a margin of over 40,000 votes, while at the 2016 assembly polls he won with a margin of over 38,000 votes.

"I am going back with lots of happiness as the Left did their best to see the back of me, but I managed to win easily. I thank all the people of this constituency and the UDF leaders," said Khader.

Basheer said that he has been able to break the myth that the IUML was all prevailing and powerful.

"Just see the votes that we have managed to get and we could take the fight into several strongholds of the IUML," said Basheer.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary KodiyeriBalakrishnan said the results showed that the Congress-led opposition was on its way out.

"The IUML might have a technical victory, but we have scored a political victory."

ndtv.com/kerala-news/vengara-by-election-indian-union-muslim-leagues-kna-khader-wins-kerala-by-poll-1763121

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Pakistan

India’s Role in Afghanistan Not Acceptable to Pakistan: Foreign Affairs Spokesman By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Oct 14 2017

The foreign ministry of Pakistan once again reiterated Islamabad’s stance regarding the role of India in Afghanistan, calling it a controversial presence which is against the stability of the region.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad on Friday, the ministry of foreign affairs spokesman NafeesZakaria claimed that India’s controversial role in Afghanistan is neither in the interest of regional stability nor is it acceptable to Pakistan.

He went on to claim that Indian role in Afghan’s conflict can endanger regional stability.

Zakaria further added that Pakistan takes this issue very seriously and has raised it on several international fora.

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been insisting that the Afghan soil will never used and no party will be allowed to use it against its neighbors.

The US President Donald Trump also called on India late in August to step up its reconstructive efforts in Afghanistan as he unveiled the new US strategy for South Asia.

India has played a crucial role since the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and has invested more $2 billion on reconstruction projects in the country.

khaama.com/indias-role-in-afghanistan-not-acceptable-to-pakistan-nafees-zakaria-03640

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Pakistan turns to Islamic finance market for support

 

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's first international bond in a year is likely to be well received by investors, despite deepening concerns about the country's macroeconomic stability and deteriorating political risk profile, fund managers and economists said.

The finance ministry plans to raise up to $1 billion by issuing a five-year sukuk, or Islamic bond, in November to help plug a sharply widening current account deficit and shore up falling foreign exchange reserves. Sukuk refers to sharia-compliant securities structured so that buyers receive returns from assets or transactions rather than interest.

The finance ministry has issued a request for proposals to financial institutions with Oct. 14 as the deadline. Analysts said Pakistan's decision to float a sukuk was in part due to a glut of traditional sovereign bond issues between July and September.

"The main issue facing Pakistan is that the market is currently being saturated with new supply and many of the latest bond issues have struggled a bit," said Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore Group, a British investment manager focused on emerging markets. "By issuing sukuk, Pakistan may avoid some of the saturation issues."

International investors would take into account Pakistan's encouraging economic growth trajectory against its widening current account deficit. The deficit has increased pressure on the government to reverse its strong rupee policy and raised the prospect of it seeking balance of payments support from the International Monetary Fund.

"Pakistan will probably need to receive another financial support package, devalue its currency, or both, as the IMF will make any support contingent on a devaluation," the Eurasia Group, an American risk consultancy, said in a recent advisory note to investors about the sukuk issue.

Pakistan's gross domestic product grew by 5.3% in the fiscal year ended June, up from 4.8% in the previous year, driven by domestic consumption and improved agricultural and industrial output. In early October, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank each revised upward their forecasts of Pakistan's economic growth to 5.5% for the current fiscal year.

Pakistan's current account deficit swelled 148.5% to $12.09 billion during the last fiscal year, driven by rising imports of petroleum products and machinery for the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor infrastructure program, part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative to improve connectivity in the region.

It reached the equivalent of 4% of GDP, up from 1.7% the previous year, according to State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank. The ADB projected the current account deficit will increase to 4.2% of GDP this fiscal year.

The ADB said Pakistan's external debt and liabilities rose by $8.9 billion in the last fiscal year, with the government borrowing $4.8 billion to finance about 30% of the current account deficit. This included $2.3 billion received from Chinese state-owned banks, including $1 billion to pay off a 10-year Eurobond that matured in June.

asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Capital-Markets/Pakistan-turns-to-Islamic-finance-market-for-support

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UK army chief briefed on RaddulFasad, border management

October 15, 2017

PESHAWAR: Chief of the General Staff (CGS) of British Army Gen Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter called on Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt at the Corps Headquarters on Saturday.

During the meeting, the British officer was given a briefing on Operation RaddulFasad, border management, return of temporarily displaced persons as well as development and rehabilitation projects undertaken by the Pakistan Army for tribal people in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Gen Carter also visited a forward post in Khyber Agency, where he was apprised about the achievements and culmination of Operation Khyber IV and Pak-Afghan border fencing.

Later, the CGS toured the Khyber Pass and witnessed the traditional legacy of tribal culture.

Earlier, he laid a wreath at Yadgar-i-Shuhada at the corps headquarters to pay tribute to the martyred of Pakistan Army.

Lt Gen Butt accompanied the visiting dignitary during the visit.

Also on Saturday, Gen Carter reviewed the passing-out parade on the completion of several courses at the Kakul military academy.

Cadets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Turkmenistan and Libya were among those who completed the courses.

Participants in the parade had completed the 136th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course, 36th Graduate Course, 29th Technical Graduate Course and Integrated Course 55.

Gen Carter, who was the chief guest, spoke on the occasion and distributed awards to distinguished cadets.

The coveted Sword of Honour was awarded to Company Senior under Officer Abdul Hanan Mustafa of 136th Long Course.

The President’s gold medal was awarded to Company Senior under Officer Muhammad Iqbal of 136th Long Course, the overseas gold medal to cadet HudayberenovEresh from Turkmenistan of the 136th Long Course while Chief of the Army Staff cane was given to cadet Muhammad ArslanYousaf of Graduate Course 36th and Company Junior under Officer Saad Hamid of 29th Technical Graduate Course. The commandant’s cane for the best cadet was awarded to cadet TaimoorAzam Khan of Integrated Course 55.

PMA Commandant Maj Gen Abdullah Dogar was present on the saluting dais. A large number of senior serving and retired armed forces personnel as well as parents and relatives of the cadets witnessed the parade.

dawn.com/news/1363946/uk-army-chief-briefed-on-raddul-fasad-border-management

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Four FC personnel martyred in Kurram Agency blast

October 15, 2017

At least four Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were martyred and three others injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the Kharlachi area of Kurram Agency near the Pak-Afghan border on Sunday.

An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) handout said the troops targeted by the blast "were part of a search party for handlers of the rescued foreigners", Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, who were recovered by the army near Kohat.

ISPR identified the martrys as Captain Husnain, Sepoy Saeed Baz, SepoyQadir and SepoyJumma Gul. The injured were identified as Naik Anwar, SepoyZahir and Lance Naik Sher Afzal.

Earlier, security sources told DawnNews that three small blasts had occurred in the area - the first when a bomb disposal squad team was conducting a routine search in the area, and two others as security forces reached the site of the blast to aid a rescue operation.

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Following the blasts, security officials cordoned off the area and launched a search operation, while all those injured were shifted to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for militant movement across the border.

The region was claimed by the military to have been cleared of insurgents during an operation a few years ago. However, militants still carry out sectarian attacks and also target security forces occasionally.

dawn.com/news/1363985/four-fc-personnel-martyred-in-kurram-agency-blast

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Court seizes Musharraf’s Rs1m surety bonds

October 15, 2017

ISLAMABAD: An anti terrorism court (ATC) has confiscated the Rs1 million surety submitted by the guarantors of retired General Pervez Musharraf for his release in the judges detention case.

In June 2013, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted bail to the former military ruler in the judges’ detention case and directed him to submit two surety bonds worth Rs500,000 each.

Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashid Mehmood, his guarantors, had pledged their property documents as the surety amount.

Allows guarantors to swap their attached properties with cash for purposes of confiscation

However, during proceedings on Friday, both guarantors requested the court to release their property, saying they were willing to deposit Rs1 million in cash, which the court may confiscate.

The ATC has already initiated proceedings against both guarantors under section 514 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Under this section, sureties may be substituted with a cash amount, therefore the court allowed their request.

On Feb 2, 2017, the anti-terrorism court issued notices to the guarantors, notifying them of the confiscation of the bail bonds, but did not proceed further.

The latest order of the court states: “The prosecution’s evidence has already been closed and perpetual warrants of arrest have been issued against the accused (Gen Musharraf).”

The court noted that “due to non-appearance of proclaimed offender, the bonds so submitted are hereby confiscated”.

The judges’ detention case was registered against Gen Musharraf on Aug 11, 2009 on the complaint of local advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman, accusing him of confining over 60 judges of the superior courts after imposing an emergency on Nov 3, 2007.

But Mr Ghumman, who is currently an office-bearer of the Supreme Court Bar Association, had later announced that he would not pursue the case “in the larger public interest”.

This is the first case in the former general was arrested following his return to Pakistan in March 2013. IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had ordered Musharraf’s arrest, dismissing his plea for pre-arrest bail in the same case on Apr 18, 2013.

Police framed charges against Gen Musharraf before the anti-terrorism court on June 12, 2013 and he was indicted the same month. The accused, however, pled not guilty.

On Feb 9, 2017, the anti-terrorism court declared him a proclaimed offender after his continuous absence and issued perpetual warrants for the former army chief, seeking details of his movable and immovable properties.

The court has directed the Secretariat police station house officer to submit “the list of properties owned by the proclaimed offender (Gen Musharraf) and submit Qalandra (official complaint) under section 88 of the CrPC.”

Section 88 empowers the court to confiscate the movable and immovable properties of proclaimed offenders.

dawn.com/news/1363899/court-seizes-musharrafs-rs1m-surety-bonds

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Shahbaz for ‘credible’ accountability set-up

October 15, 2017

LAHORE: Instead of expanding jurisdiction of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), it must improve its performance and eliminate corruption from the country, says Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

In a statement, the chief minister said the country suffered an irreparable loss due to corruption and a ‘credible’ system of accountability was needed for the stability of Pakistan.

He said the current condition and the past history of the NAB was witness to the fact that it failed to carry out accountability of the corrupt and those who looted the national exchequer.

Sharif said instead of enhancing jurisdiction of the NAB to the superior judiciary and the army, the bureau should operate honestly, impervious to likes and dislikes. He said institutions like the judiciary and the army have their own systems of accountability that can be improved to meet needs of the time.

Nisar: Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here on Saturday and discussed political situation in the country.

According to a handout, during the meeting Shahbaz Sharif said the PML-N government had always given priority to development and progress in the country. Pakistan was the country of all of us and we should make joint efforts for progress and peace.

He stressed the need for unity and harmony so that the country could progress with the power of unity.

Meanwhile, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz arrived at her family’s JatiUmra residence from Islamabad.

She is likely to stay there till Oct 19 to appear before an accountability court in Islamabad in three graft cases against her and her other family members.

Meanwhile, chairman investment group of Turkey, Ahmet Albayrak, called on the chief minister and expressed interest in investing in health, housing and energy sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmet Albayrak said: “Pakistan nationals are our brothers and we are interested in investing in health, housing and energy sectors in Punjab.”

Mr Sharif said: “Friendship is changing into a profitable investment opportunity and these links will strengthen in the future.”

He said Turkey made unparalleled progress under its leader RecepTayyip Erdogan. “The healthcare model of Turkey is the best in the world and we are benefiting from this model to its maximum and for this reason cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in the health sector is increasing. Punjab has also followed the pattern of the public-private partnership in establishing new hospitals.”

dawn.com/news/1363928/shahbaz-for-credible-accountability-set-up

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Pakistan, Iran sign MoU for improved border management

October 15, 2017

Pakistan and Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sunday to improve the situation at the border between the two countries, Radio Pakistan reported.

During the 21st two-day meeting of the Pak-Iran Joint Border Commission in Gwadar, joint proposals regarding the border situation, security matters, immigration and border trade between two countries came under discussion, the state-run daily added.

Both sides expressed their determination to prevent the smuggling of drugs, intrusion of illegal immigrants and the use of their respective soils for terrorism, Radio Pakistan said.

Provincial Chief Secretary Aurangzeb Haque led the Pakistani side while Deputy Governor Sistan-Balochistan province Ali Asghar Mir Shikari headed the Iranian delegation in the meeting.

Last month, Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi and Iranian President Muhammad Hassan Rouhani met on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Both sides agreed to "maintain a trajectory of positive progress" between the two countries.

President Rouhani was said to have emphasised that the two countries should work together closely in deepening mutual cooperation in the areas of border management, trade and investment.

dawn.com/news/1364000/pakistan-iran-sign-mou-for-improved-border-management

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US, Pakistan to hold frank talks, says interior minister

October 15, 2017

WASHINGTON: Interior Min­i­ster Ahsan Iqbal has said that the United States and Pakistan will have a detailed and frank discussion on all relevant issues when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Islamabad later this month.

The minister’s remarks came hours after US President Donald Trump expressed his desire to build a much better relationship with Pakistan, also hinting that the two allies were already cooperating with each other on many fronts.

This was the second reconciliatory message for Pakistan from the US president in the last three days. In the recent past, Mr Trump has been very critical of Pakistan and in his Aug 21 speech, he also hinted at the possibility of imposing new sanctions on the country if it did not change the policies that Washington says encourage militancy in the region.

Trump says Pakistan’s cooperation is a sign it’s honouring America’s wishes for it to do more

But this changed on Thursday when working on a US tip Pakistan rescued an American woman, Caitlan Cole, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, from the clutches of the militants.

“This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan,” said President Trump while announcing the rescue at a White House event. “The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region.”

On Friday evening, Mr Trump sent out another tweet, indicating that the US-Pakistan cooperation was deeper than one rescue operation. “Starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders, I want to thank them for their cooperation on many fronts,” he said.

Mr Iqbal, when asked to comment on Mr Trump’s statement after a Friday night event at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, said the United States and Pakistan have had a strong relationship for the last 70 years and both desire to continue these close ties.

He acknowledged that US-Pakistan relations had strained considerably after Mr Trump announced his new South Asia strategy on Aug. 21, giving India a greater role in Afghanistan.

“Both sides are now taking steps to mend this relationship. Secretary Tillerson is scheduled to visit Islamabad soon. We will have frank and detailed discussions on all key issues and I hope that this visit will be successful,” Mr Iqbal said.

He repeated his earlier suggestion that the US should deal with Pakistan as an important sovereign state and “not through India’s or Afghanistan’s prism”.

The first effort to improve bilateral ties was taken last month, when Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi met US Vice President Mike Pence and both leaders agreed to continue the reconciliation process.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif visited Washington and met Secretary Tillerson and this week the US sent a multi-departmental delegation to Islamabad for further talks.

In his address at the Embassy Forum, the minister highlighted the economic gains and the security successes of Pakistan, achieved in the last four years.

“There’s not been a single case of corruption in the last four years,” said Mr Iqbal. “We are working to end corruption.”

He said the current government’s prudent fiscal policies had led to a 5.3 per cent annual growth rate and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would further increase the growth rate by generating business opportunities for foreign investors.

Mr Iqbal said the country’s security situation had also improved considerably after successful military operations in the tribal areas as well as other parts of the country.

dawn.com/news/1363942/us-pakistan-to-hold-frank-talks-says-interior-minister

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Arab World

Up to 200-300 foreign Islamic State fighters remain in Syria's Raqqa: SDF

 

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Under a negotiated withdrawal, 275 Syrian Islamic State fighters departed Raqqa city, leaving behind around 200-300 mostly foreign fighters to mount a last stand, a militia spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

Almost all civilians in the Islamic State enclave in Raqqa have been allowed safe passage out as part of the deal, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman TalalSelo said.

The U.S.-backed SDF launched their final assault in Raqqa on Sunday after the convoy left the city overnight. As of the morning, the convoy was still in SDF territory, Selo said.

in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria-convoy/up-to-200-300-foreign-islamic-state-fighters-remain-in-syrias-raqqa-sdf-idINKBN1CK0HL?rpc=401&

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King Salman welcomes Trump's firm approach to Iran

October 15, 2017

King Salman of Saudi Arabia, in a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump on Saturday, welcomed the US government’s firm strategy towards Iran, reported Arab News on Sunday.

According to the Saudi daily, King Salman supported the strategy announced by Trump on Friday in which he detailed a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its alleged support for extremist groups in the Middle East.

The king praised the Trump administration for "recognising the magnitude of these challenges and threats, and the need for concerted efforts on terrorism and extremism and its primary sponsor, Iran," the Saudi Press Agency reported.

In his speech on Friday, Trump accused Tehran of “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear agreement and said his goal was to ensure the country never obtained a nuclear weapon.

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” the president had said.

Trump’s hardline remarks drew praise from Israel, but was criticised by European allies.

His Iran strategy angered Tehran and put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord; Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union, some of which have benefited economically on renewed trade with Iran.

Responding to Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was committed to the deal and accused Trump of making baseless accusations.

Read: Iranians mock 'ridiculous' Trump speech

European allies have warned of a split with the United States over the nuclear agreement and say that putting it in limbo as Trump has done undermines US credibility abroad, especially as international inspectors say Iran is in compliance with the accord.

While Donald Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact.

If Congress reimposes the sanctions, the United States would in effect be in violation of the terms of the nuclear deal and it would likely fall apart. If lawmakers do nothing, the deal remains in place.

'An embarrassment'

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States signed the 2015 deal with Iran in a bid to prevent it developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Tehran agreed to surrender most of its enriched uranium and accept limits to its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

The previous US administration accepted that the deal was limited to the nuclear issue, and hailed it as a victory for Barack Obama's non-proliferation agenda.

But Trump has denounced the agreement as an “embarrassment” to the United States and has accused Iran of breaking it in “spirit” by arming militant groups and destabilizing the Middle East.

In particular, he has objected to the “sunset clause” that would see Iran resume some enrichment from 2025.

dawn.com/news/1363999/king-salman-welcomes-trumps-firm-approach-to-iran

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Zero Hour Arriving for Iraqi Forces' Large-Scale Anti-ISIL Operation at Border with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi Army called on people to stay away from ISIL-held regions near the border with Syria as the pro-government forces are getting ready to launch an imminent large-scale operation to purge border regions of terrorists, well-informed sources reported on Sunday.

The sources said that the Iraqi planes have dropped thousands of leaflets by the country's Joint Command Operation over the towns of Rawa and al-Qa'em, calling on people to stay away from ISIL's positions and gatherings.

In the meantime, RajehBarakat al-Isawi, a member of Anbar province's security council, said that a large volume of military equipment has arrived in Ein al-Assad airbase in Western Anbar in line with preparation for the launch of the liberation operation of Rawa and al-Qa'em.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the pro-government paramilitary troops repelled an ISIL attack, killing six militants on borders with Syria.

“Al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] repulsed an attack by ISIL in Tal Safuk region, on borders with Syria. Troops killed six militants and burned down a vehicle loaded with weapons,” a statement by the PMFs media service said.

ISIL has increasingly targeted security forces and civilians across Iraq over the past months coinciding with operations by the Iraqi government forces which sought to retake areas occupied by the group since 2014.

Iraqi troops managed to retake several ISIL strongholds including Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh, Huweija in Kirkuk and Ana in Anbar. Only al-Qa'em and neighboringRawa currently remain in ISIL grip.

In a weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that 2017 would witness the end of ISIL’s existence in Iraq. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723000742

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Al-Nusra Terrorists Push ISIL back from More Lands in Syria's Hama

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL and drove them out of another region in Northern Hama, militant-affiliated websites reported on Sunday.

The websites reported that Al-Nusra terrorists managed to capture the village of Sarha after heavy fighting with the ISIL.

The websites reported that Al-Nusra executed almost 30 ISIL terrorists, who were arrested yesterday after the ISIL killed a number of Al-Nusra fighters in Northeastern Hama.

Local sources confirmed on Saturday that a sum of 35 terrorists were killed in a fresh round of infighting between the ISIL and Al-Nusra Front in Eastern Hama.

The sources reported that 24 gunmen of ISIL and 11 fighters of Al-Nusra were killed in fierce clashes in Eastern and Northeastern Hama yesterday.

They added that a number of militants from both warring factions were also injured in the clashes.

The Al-Nusra managed to take control over the village of al-Rahjan in Eastern Hama after the clashes with ISIL.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723000679

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Syrian Air Force Bombs Heavily ISIL's Positions in SoutheasternDeirEzzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Air Force carried out a number of combat sorties over ISIL's defense lines in SoutheasternDeirEzzur on Sunday, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The army aircraft pounded ISIL's strongholds in the town of Mouhassan and in the villages of BuqrusFowqani, East of BuaqrusTahtani and Bu Leil, killing tens of terrorists and destroying their military vehicles and equipment.

The army troops drove ISIL out of their key stronghold town of al-Mayadeen in SoutheasternDeirEzzur on Saturday.

"The army has purged terrorists from the town of al-Mayadeen and its surrounding regions and managed to impose full control over the town," the army sources said.

They added that the army men were advancing in the Western outskirts of al-Mayadeen to fortify their defense lines.

In the meantime, field sources reported that fierce clashes were underway between the pro-government forces and the ISIL on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River, opposite to DeirEzzur city.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723001101

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AEOI Chief: Iran to Stop Implementation of Additional Protocol If N. Deal Collapses

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi warned that his country will stop implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if other parties cause collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran through their non-compliance.

"If the nuclear deal is annulled, we will stop implementation of the Additional Protocol because we are now implementing it voluntarily and it has not yet been approved by the parliament," Salehi said on Sunday.

He stressed that inspection of Iran's military sites would be impossible, added, "We are committed to the inspections stated in the nuclear deal and act within the framework of our undertakings."

Salehi underscored that Iran has not and will not accept any demand for inspection of its military sites.

In relevant remarks in August, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said his country will not bow to the US demand and pressure on the IAEA to visit Iran's military sites.

"We don’t allow others to step into banned zones based on the nuclear deal, and the Agency's inspection will be certainly carried out within the framework of our internal policies," Qassemi said.

"We will not surrender to certain governments' excessive demands," he underscored.

Qassemi also expressed confidence that given its independence and responsibility to defend its international position, the IAEA is not likely to accept other countries' illogical and unrealistic demands.

The IAEA is tasked with monitoring Iranian compliance with the deal, a basically technical matter that falls within the agency’s area of expertise. The IAEA has consistently verified that Iran is in compliance since the deal started being implemented in January 2016.

The US is a party to the nuclear deal, which was negotiated under former US president Barack Obama. But the administration of US President Donald Trump, which took over in January this year, has been opposed to the accord and is believed to be looking for a way to potentially withdraw from it.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723000377

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Turkish Military Column, Scores of Terrorists Arrive in Northwestern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A long convoy of the Turkish Army's vehicles along with Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) arrived in the Western territories of Aleppo province, an Arab media outlet reported on Sunday.

The Arabic-language al-Ahd news website reported that the army convoy along with Al-Nusra terrorists entered Mount Sheikh Barakat overlooking the town of Afrin.

Al-Ahd further said that the newly-arrived forces are about to fortify new positions in the region.

Relevant reports said last week that several vehicles of the Turkish Army crossed the border into Syria and entered Idlib province following clashes between the Turkish soldiers and Ankara-backed militants with Al-Nusra Front.

The militant-affiliated websites reported that the Turkish army units and Al-Nusra fighters engaged in sporadic clashes near the town of KafrLoseen in Northern Idlib along the border between Syria and Turkey.

The websites quoted eye-witnesses as saying that several vehicles of the Turkish army, carrying Turkish soldiers, entered Idlib province via Atmah passageway.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723000544

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Russia: US Trying to Destroy Syria's Vital Infrastructure, Residential Areas

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday that the US is trying to deliberately destroy critical infrastructure in Syria, accusing the US-led collation of bombing residential areas in Northeastern and Eastern Syria.

"The US and coalition bombings of residential neighborhoods and the deliberate destruction of all natural sources of water supply in Raqqa have so far resulted in nothing but many thousands of victims of the population which is being 'liberated'," Konashenkov said.

The Russian military also accused the coalition of "incompetent planning" of the military operation to face ISIL in Raqqa.

Konashenkov noted that such actions show that the leadership of the international coalition led by the US is "in a deadlock" in contrast with the successful offensive of the Syrian government troops in al-Mayadeen.

Relevant reports said earlier this month that the US-led coalition's airstrikes against Raqqa city in Northeastern Syria killed and wounded several other civilians.

The US fighter jets pounded a residential block in al-Kahroba region in Raqqa city, killing at least 15 civilians and wounding a number of others.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960723001014

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Iraqi troops in armed standoff with Kurd forces

October 15, 2017

BAGHDAD: Thousands of Iraqi troops were locked in an armed standoff with Kurdish forces in the disputed oil province of Kirkuk on Saturday as Washington scrambled to avert fighting between the key allies in the war against the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

The clock was ticking down to a 2300 GMT Saturday deadline that the Kurds say Baghdad has set for their forces to surrender positions they took during the fightback against the militants over the past three years.

Armoured cars of the Iraqi army bearing the national flag were posted on the bank of a river on the southern outskirts of the city of Kirkuk, an AFP photographer reported.

On the opposite bank, Kurdish peshmerga fighters were visible behind an earthen embankment topped with concrete blocks painted with the red, white green and yellow of the Kurdish flag.

“Our forces are not moving and are now waiting for orders from the general staff,” an Iraqi army officer told AFP, asking not to be identified.

The two sides have been at loggerheads since the Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a Sept 25 referendum that Baghdad rejected as illegal.

Polling was held not only in the three provinces of the autonomous Kurdish region but also in adjacent Kurdish-held areas, including Kirkuk.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said there can be no further discussion of the Kurds’ long-standing demands to incorporate Kirkuk and other historically Kurdish-majority areas in their autonomous region until the independence vote is annulled.

He insisted on Thursday that he was “not going... to make war on our Kurdish citizens”.

‘AT ANY COST’: But thousands of heavily armed troops and members of the Popular Mobilisation Force (PMF) — paramilitary units largely made up of Iran-trained Shia militias — have massed around Kirkuk.

They have already retaken a string of positions to the south of the city after Kurdish forces withdrew.

The Kurds have deployed thousands of peshmerga fighters to the area around Kirkuk itself and have vowed to defend the city “at any cost”.

Just hours before the deadline, a peshmerga commander on the western front said Kurdish fighters had “taken all the necessary measures” and were “ready for a confrontation” if necessary.

If “the other side makes the mistake of advancing, we’ll give them a lesson they won’t forget in a hurry”, Kamal Kirkuki said.

So far the front lines have been quiet but the Kurds said they had received an ultimatum to withdraw.

“The deadline set for the peshmerga to return to their pre-June 6, 2014 positions will expire during the night,” a senior Kurdish official told AFP, asking not to be identified.

Asked at what time, he said 2300 GMT on Saturday.

The official’s comments came as Iraqi President FuadMasum, who is himself a Kurd, was holding crisis talks in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah.

The June 2014 lines are those that the Kurds held before IS militants swept through vast areas north and west of Baghdad, prompting many Iraqi army units to disintegrate and Kurdish forces to step in.

The Kurds control the city of Kirkuk and three major oil fields in the province which account for a significant share of the regional government’s oil revenues.

dawn.com/news/1363972/iraqi-troops-in-armed-standoff-with-kurd-forces

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Africa

Death toll from blast in Somalia's capital rises to 231

Oct 15, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia: The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia's capital rose to 231 with more than 275 injured, making it the deadliest single attack ever in this Horn of Africa nation, said a senator.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

Saturday's blast is the single deadliest attack ever in this Horn of Africa nation.

Doctors struggled to assist horrifically wounded victims, many burned beyond recognition. Officials feared the toll would continue to climb from Saturday's truck bomb that targeted a busy street near key ministries.

Ambulance sirens still echoed across the city throughout Sunday as bewildered families wandered in the rubble of buildings, looking for missing relatives. "In our 10 year experience as the first responder in (hash)Mogadishu, we haven't seen anything like this," the Aamin Ambulance service tweeted.

Grief overwhelmed many.

"There's nothing I can say. We have lost everything," wept Zainab Sharif, a mother of four who lost her husband. She sat outside a hospital where he was pronounced dead after hours of efforts by doctors to save him from an arterial injury.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate," he said.

"The hospital is overwhelmed by both dead and wounded. We also received people whose limbs were cut away by the bomb. This is really horrendous, unlike any other time in the past," said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, the director of Medina hospital.

Overnight, rescue workers with flashlights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia's foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

Somalia's government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for the attack it called a "national disaster." However, al-Shabab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to comment.

"They don't care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. "They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians."

Somalia's information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. "It's a sad day. This how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them," he said, speaking to the state-run radio station.

The United States joined the condemnation, saying "such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism."

The US military has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabab, which is also fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country.

Saturday's blast occurred two days after the head of the US Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president, and two days after the country's defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/death-toll-from-blast-in-somalias-capital-rises-to-231/articleshow/61091873.cms

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Europe

Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

October 15, 2017

VIENNA: Wrapping up a bruising political campaign season, Austrian political parties were counting down to an election on Sunday that could turn the country to the right amid voter concerns over immigration and Islam.

The vote is coming a year ahead of schedule after squabbles led to the break-up last spring of the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the People’s Party. A total of 16 parties are vying for 183 seats in the national parliament and will be chosen by Austria’s 6.4 million eligible voters. But less than a dozen parties have a chance of getting seats.

The People’s Party, which has shifted from centrist to right-wing positions, is leading in the pre-vote polls after an image make-over by its leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz.

Austria’s traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Freedom Party is expected to come in second and the centre-left Social Demo­crats are thought to be trailing in third place.

Others that may clear the four per cent hurdle needed to get into parliament seats are the Greens, the liberal NEOS, and ListePilz, led by former Greens politician Peter Pilz. Favouring the People’s and Freedom parties is distrust of migrants and Musl­ims among many Austrian voters.

The 2015 influx of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the war in Syria and poverty elsewhere into the EU’s prosperous heartland left Austria with nearly 100,000 new and mostly Muslim migrants. That has fuelled fears Austria’s traditional Western and Christian culture is in danger. As a result, voters are receptive to the anti-migrant platforms of both the People’s Party and the Freedom Party.

dawn.com/news/1363953/austrian-voters-concerned-about-immigration-islam

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German interior minister proposes Muslim holidays be put on regional calendars

Sun Oct 15, 2017

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has suggested that Germany introduce Muslim public holidays in its official regional calendars, upsetting fellow conservative members of the government.

There are millions of Muslims concentrated in several regions of Germany.

Speaking on the campaign trail ahead of an election in the northern state of Lower Saxony, de Maiziere, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said he was open to having Muslim public holidays being put on the calendars of those regions of Germany where there were large numbers of Muslims.

He said All Saints’ Day was only a public holiday in Germany's Catholic regions. “In places where there are many Muslims, why can’t we think about introducing a Muslim public holiday?” he asked.

His proposal prompted strong reactions from fellow conservatives.

Senior CDU member Wolfgang Bosbach told the newspaper Bild that everyone in Germany could celebrate whatever religious festivals they wanted but added, “Whether the state should also protect non-Christian holidays with legal regulation in the future is a different issue entirely.”

Alexander Dobrindt, a senior figure in the Christian Social Union (CSU) — the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s CDU — told the same newspaper that Germany’s Christian heritage was non-negotiable.

“We won’t consider introducing Muslim public holidays in Germany,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry said de Maiziere remained of the view that Germany’s public holidays were of a Christian nature “and don’t have any other roots.” However, she said the northern city states of Hamburg and Bremen and other states had signed agreements with some Muslim organizations so that Muslim pupils could have such time off school and workers could take holidays for festivals important to Islam, seeming to suggest that there would be nothing wrong with the introduction of holidays on official local calendars.

The German constitution states that Germany’s individual states decide on religious public holidays so the federal interior minister has no influence on whether there should be Muslim public holidays, the spokeswoman added.

Meanwhile, the CDU is set to start three-way coalition talks with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green Paert next week.

The conservatives won a September election but suffered their worst result since 1949 as they lost some support to the far-right.

presstv.com/Detail/2017/10/15/538651/Germany-Interior-Minister-Thomas-de-Maiziere-Muslim-holidays-regional-calendars

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Southeast Asia

Army says battle for Philippine city to end soon, 1,000 dead

October 15, 2017

Philippine troops on Sunday bombed fighters loyal to the militant Islamic State (IS) group who have held out for over four months in a southern city and the military said the conflict would be over “very soon”.

The army previously set a target of Sunday to end the fighting in Marawi, which it said has killed more than 1,000 people. Troops have missed previous deadlines to flush out the militants whom authorities said intended to establish a local IS caliphate.

On Sunday FA-50 fighter jets flew over Marawi as soldiers fought the militants house-to-house in an area which has now shrunk to about five acres, a military spokesman said.

“We are hoping that we will end this Marawi siege very soon,” Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the task force battling the militants, told reporters.

Pro-IS gunmen occupied parts of Marawi, the Islamic capital of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23.

Since then 822 militants, 162 government forces and 47 civilians have been killed, Brawner said.

The insurgents have withstood a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with troops that have left large parts of Marawi resembling devastated cities in war-torn Syria and Iraq.

Military commanders last week set a target of October 15 to end the fighting and President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the battle was “almost over”.

Twenty soldiers were wounded on Saturday in a sign troops were pushing hard to end the battle, Brawner said.

He said 40 militants remained in the conflict area including leaders IsnilonHapilon, who is on America's list of most wanted terrorists with a $5 million bounty, and OmarkhayamMaute, whose group had pledged allegiance to IS.

There were also 100 civilians in the zone including hostages and families of the militants, he added.

“Women and children are now forced to fight together with the Maute-ISIS fighters. These are desperate measures the Maute-ISIS are doing. This is their last defensive stand,” Brawner said, using another acronym for IS.

Duterte on Thursday warned against celebrating the eventual liberation of Marawi, citing the deaths and devastation there.

“When we leave Marawi, we go quietly. We do not want to show any kind of celebration or happiness,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1363988/army-says-battle-for-philippine-city-to-end-soon-1000-dead


URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/uae-planned-to-invade-qatar-with-us-trained-mercenaries/d/112888


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