New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 08:38 AM

Islamic World News ( 4 Aug 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘Verses on Jihad Added To the Syllabus of Pakistan to Appease the Americans: CII Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners

 

Spain Holiday Terror Threat: ISIS Fanatic Calls On Muslims to Target Clubs, Shops and Cafes

Muslim Couple Kicked Off Flight for 'Sweating', Saying 'Allah'

Bangladesh Shuts 32 'Objectionable' News Sites

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Pakistan

‘Verses on Jihad Added To The Syllabus Of Pakistan To Appease The Americans: CII Chairman

Indian Prisoner Attacked Thrice In Pak Jail: Report

Afghan Refugees Want Their Stay Extended For Two Years

25 Pakistani illegal immigrants caught inside flag-draped minibus in Turkey’s west

Pakistan approaches MSF for emergency service in Kashmir

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Europe

Spain Holiday Terror Threat: ISIS Fanatic Calls On Muslims to Target Clubs, Shops and Cafes

Danish Warplanes Drop First Bombs Against IS In Syria

Man arrested on suspicion of murder after London knife attack

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North America

Muslim Couple Kicked Off Flight for 'Sweating', Saying 'Allah'

US-Based Cleric Gulen Slams Turkey Judicial System Over Arrest Warrant

Delta Air Lines investigates Pakistani American couple's profiling claim

Afghan American police sergeant hailed as ‘Hero’ in New York

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South Asia

Bangladesh Shuts 32 'Objectionable' News Sites

Airstrike Kill 5 Pakistani Militants Fighting For ISIS In Afghanistan

Pakistani Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan, Occupants Feared Held By Taliban

Crashed Pakistani chopper crew safe, says Afghan envoy

Foreign tourists attacked in western Afghanistan: Officials

China pledges $2.2 million in fresh aid to Afghanistan

Foreign tourists attacked in West of Afghanistan, 4 wounded

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Arab World

Fatah al-Sham (Al-Nusra) Getting Crushed in Aleppo, Loses 3 More Commanders

Iraqi Forces Discover ISIL's Saudi Number Plates near Mosul

IS Captures 3,000 Fleeing Citizens In Iraq

Another Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in Aleppo

Terrorists' Strongholds Blown up by Syrian Army in Dara'a

Syrian Warplanes Smash Terrorists in Aleppo Countryside

Syrian Army, NDF Target Terrorists' Construction Machinery in Quneitra

Anbar Province: Iraqi Forces Seize 15 Chemical Missile Warheads in Ramadi

Strikes kill 10 in Syria's rebel-held Aleppo: monitor

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India

Missing Pakistan Pilgrim Clouds Tourism Ties

Rajnath Singh Should Be Praised For Exposing Pakistan On Its Own Soil: BJP

50 injured in fresh clashes across valley

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Mideast

Turkish FM Calls Austria ‘Capital of Radical Racism’ Over EU Bid Remarks

Turkish Intel agencies can be coordinated under same roof: Erdoğan

Erdoğan, three parties to hold joint democracy rally in Istanbul

UN deplores "mass executions" in Iran

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Foils Militant Plot To Attack Singapore

Malaysia confirms MH-370 course was on pilot's simulator

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Africa

Muslim World League to Hold Conference on Religious Tolerance in Nigeria

Egypt: Leader of Islamic State affiliate killed in Sinai

Egypt's former Grand Mufti survives assassination attempt

Gold Medals for Qubaa Muslim School Mombasa

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘verses-on-jihad-added-to-the-syllabus-of-pakistan-to-appease-the-americans--cii-chairman/d/108191

 

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‘Verses on Jihad Added To The Syllabus Of Pakistan To Appease The Americans: CII Chairman

August 5th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Quranic verses related to jihad were added to the syllabus of Pakistan to appease the Americans, who wanted recruits for their war against communism, Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani said on Thursday.

He also stopped short of terming the Tehreek-i-Taliban’s (TTP) fight against the state as an attempt to “spread anarchy”, saying that trying to force one’s wishes on the masses could not be classified as jihad.

Hailing from the Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Sheerani is also a member of the National Assembly (MNA).

Speaking to media persons after a three-day CII meeting, Maulana Sheerani also talked about the proposal to teach the Holy Quran in schools, saying that it was essential to teach students ethics and social norms, as envisaged in the Holy Quran.

Maulana Sheerani says US wanted to ‘rent manpower’ for Afghan war; stops short of calling Taliban ‘anarchists’

But when asked about the exclusion of verses related to jihad in the syllabus, he said that the emphasis on such verses was a recent phenomenon, claiming that these were included in the course because the US needed ‘rented manpower’.

“Look at older books, even in the seminaries; they used to promote ethics, social sciences and stories related to cultural norms and Islamic traditions,” he said.

On a question related to the actions of terrorist groups including the TTP, Maulana Sheerani recited a Quranic verse that translates to, “There is no compulsion in religion”.

While he did not explicitly term the TTP ‘terrorists’, he said that individuals had the right to choose whatever path they liked, explaining, “Almighty Allah has given individuals enough sense to understand the consequences of what they do.”

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman and several other party leaders, including Maulana Sheerani himself, have faced terrorist action including suicide attacks, which were later claimed by the TTP.

Explaining the concept of jihad, he said that there were two aspects to it; one related to faith and ideology and another related to the material side. But both aspects, he said, were contingent of the concept of “protection”.

“If I want to protect my faith, waging a jihad would entail fighting evil by not following that path,” he said, adding that the material side of jihad involved hard work.

“[Just like one can] fight poverty by working hard and not through snatching others’ money or land,” the CII chairman said, adding, “But if somebody tries to implement their wishes by force and pressure, that is not jihad, but fasad (anarchy), which is not right”.

When asked about verses dealing with jihad, he said that the Holy Quran and Islam provided a complete code of life and could not be understood in bits and pieces.

“The verses regarding jihad were mostly revealed in Madina, and after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had established the first Islamic state,” Maulana Sheerani said, adding, “These were to guide Muslims regarding the protection of their state from invaders, not to [advocate] spreading anarchy elsewhere. We must remember that the Islamic state of Madina was founded without violence.”

He also supported the idea of teaching religious texts of other religions in schools for students of other faiths, but complained that priests and pundits did not show up to CII meetings, hampering a decision in this regard.

dawn.com/news/1275526/verses-on-jihad-added-to-syllabus-at-us-behest

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Spain Holiday Terror Threat: ISIS Fanatic Calls On Muslims to Target Clubs, Shops and Cafes

Fri, Aug 5, 2016

The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners

Nightclubs, planes, cinemas and cafes and bars in Spain are also listed as suggested targets for militants sympathetic to the Jihadi cause.

An article published by Al-Wafa', a media company affiliated with ISIS, also predicts Spain will be conquered by the death cult, which is also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.

Author Abu Marya Al-Aseef said fighters should use explosives, machine guns and even trucks to avenge the "crimes committed by Spain against Muslims".

The call-to-arms comes a month after an ISIS extremist ploughed a lorry into crowds of spectators at a Bastille Day fireworks show in the French city of Nice.

In the latest warning of attacks on Europe, the extremist also urges people living in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya to kidnap Spaniards and either behead them or exchange them for Muslim prisoners.

The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners.

He wrote: "As their governments kill our brothers, so should we [seek] revenge and reprisal."

Spanish matador Pablo Belando is tossed by a bull during a bullfight at the Ventas bullring in Madrid

Bullfighter 'banderillero' David Peinado 'Chetu' is tossed and gored in the head by a Alcurrucen's fighting bull

The article, titled Spain [of] Fernardo, We Vow [to Seek] Revenge, which was seen by US-based terror monitoring organisation MEMRI, says Spanish troops killed 60,000 Muslims in the ancient battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, known in Islamic history as the battle of Al-Uqab.

Al-Aseef says Spanish soldiers are "still killing Muslims in the eastern and western parts of the earth, sometimes with bomb-carrying air jets and other times with the direct participation [of soldiers] on the ground".

He says Muslims should avenge those deaths by carrying out attacks on Spanish soil.

12 million Britons visit the country each year

The last major terror attack to hit Spain was the Madrid train bombings in 2004, when 192 people were killed by al Qaeda militants.

The Foreign Office advises the 12 million Britons who visit the country each year that there remains a "high threat" of terrorism.

The FCO says on its website: "In 2015, Spanish police disrupted a number of groups suspected of recruiting individuals to travel to Syria and Iraq.

"Some of them expressed an intention to carry out attacks in Europe. Several further police operations have taken place in 2016.

"Spanish authorities believe that a number of Spanish nationals have successfully travelled to Syria and Iraq."

express.co.uk/news/world/697016/Spain-holiday-terror-threat-ISIS-fanatic-calls-Muslims-target-clubs-shops-cafes

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Muslim couple kicked off flight for 'sweating', saying 'Allah'

PTI | Aug 5, 2016

CHICAGO: A Pakistani-American couple has claimed that they were removed from a US-bound flight as an on board crew member felt "uncomfortable" after noticing that they were "sweating", saying "Allah" and texting.

Nazia and Faisal Ali have accused Delta Air Lines of Islamophobia for throwing them off their flight from Paris to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nazia, 34, had removed her sneakers, finished sending a text message to her parents and was putting on headphones and settling into her seat for the nine-hour flight from Paris to Cincinnati when a Delta Air Lines crew member approached her and husband, Faisal.

A flight crew member had complained to the pilot that she was uncomfortable with the Muslim couple, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The woman was wearing a head scarf and using a phone, and the man was sweating, she allegedly told the pilot.

The flight attendant also claimed that Faisal tried to hide his cell phone and that she had heard the couple use the word 'Allah'.

The pilot contacted the ground crew and would not take off until couple was removed.

"We had been in our seats for 45 minutes," Nazia said on Thursday in the Cincinnati area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"The ground agent said, 'Can you step out with me? We'd like to ask you a few questions.' So I said, 'Do you want us to get our things?' And he said, 'Yes, please grab all of your personal belongings. You're not going to be on this flight'," Nazia said recounting the July 26 incident.

They were interrogated by a French police officer about their stay in Paris — the couple had been enjoying a brief holiday in the capital city for their 10th wedding anniversary, media reports said.

After the interrogation, the officer said he had no problem with them and there was nothing else he could ask the couple.

In the wake of the couple's removal from the flight, the Muslim advocacy group has filed a religious profiling complaint against Delta Air Lines to the US department of transportation.

"We call on the US department of transportation to conduct a thorough examination into the prevailing practices of major American air carriers, including Delta Air Lines, and to develop policy guidelines on the objective factors that are to be considered when determining that a passenger may legally be removed from a flight," CAIR-Cincinnati attorney Sana Hassan said.

The Delta Airlines, in a statement, said, "Delta condemns discrimination toward our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or gender."

"As a global airline that brings hundreds of thousands of people together every day, Delta is deeply committed to treating all of our customers with respect. Delta continues its investigation into this matter and will issue a full refund of these customers' airfare," it said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Muslim-couple-kicked-off-flight-for-sweating-saying-Allah/articleshow/53559218.cms

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Bangladesh shuts 32 'objectionable' news sites

Aug 5, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh has shut down dozens of online news services including those of pro-opposition media, an official said Friday, sparking accusations of government censorship.

The head of the national telecoms regulator said he ordered the closures late Thursday night, citing “objectionable contents”.

“We've shut down 32 news portals and websites following instructions from an intelligence agency,” Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, told AFP.

He said the list included Sheershanews.com, a popular website known for its fast news coverage, and amardeshonline, a news portal linked to a pro-opposition Bengali daily that the government shut down in 2013.

The crackdown comes after the government banned live television coverage of extremist attacks in the wake of last month's deadly assault on a cafe in which 22 people were killed including 18 foreigners.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina publicly criticised the coverage of the attack and told private broadcasters to be more responsible.

The head of Sheershanews Ekramul Hoque said he was stunned by the move, which would mean about 100 journalists losing their jobs.

“We think it's a direct assault on the country's freedom of press. The government is shutting down the news organisations they don't like. They want total control of the media,” Hoque said.

“By closing down these news portals, the government is sending a clear message to all media firms that they won't tolerate any news organisation that does not follow their line,” he said.

Sheershanews was drawing up to 200 million hits a month this year.

dawn.com/news/1275601/bangladesh-shuts-32-objectionable-news-sites

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Pakistan

‘Verses on Jihad Added To The Syllabus Of Pakistan To Appease The Americans: CII Chairman

August 5th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Quranic verses related to jihad were added to the syllabus of Pakistan to appease the Americans, who wanted recruits for their war against communism, Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani said on Thursday.

He also stopped short of terming the Tehreek-i-Taliban’s (TTP) fight against the state as an attempt to “spread anarchy”, saying that trying to force one’s wishes on the masses could not be classified as jihad.

Hailing from the Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Sheerani is also a member of the National Assembly (MNA).

Speaking to media persons after a three-day CII meeting, Maulana Sheerani also talked about the proposal to teach the Holy Quran in schools, saying that it was essential to teach students ethics and social norms, as envisaged in the Holy Quran.

Maulana Sheerani says US wanted to ‘rent manpower’ for Afghan war; stops short of calling Taliban ‘anarchists’

But when asked about the exclusion of verses related to jihad in the syllabus, he said that the emphasis on such verses was a recent phenomenon, claiming that these were included in the course because the US needed ‘rented manpower’.

“Look at older books, even in the seminaries; they used to promote ethics, social sciences and stories related to cultural norms and Islamic traditions,” he said.

On a question related to the actions of terrorist groups including the TTP, Maulana Sheerani recited a Quranic verse that translates to, “There is no compulsion in religion”.

While he did not explicitly term the TTP ‘terrorists’, he said that individuals had the right to choose whatever path they liked, explaining, “Almighty Allah has given individuals enough sense to understand the consequences of what they do.”

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman and several other party leaders, including Maulana Sheerani himself, have faced terrorist action including suicide attacks, which were later claimed by the TTP.

Explaining the concept of jihad, he said that there were two aspects to it; one related to faith and ideology and another related to the material side. But both aspects, he said, were contingent of the concept of “protection”.

“If I want to protect my faith, waging a jihad would entail fighting evil by not following that path,” he said, adding that the material side of jihad involved hard work.

“[Just like one can] fight poverty by working hard and not through snatching others’ money or land,” the CII chairman said, adding, “But if somebody tries to implement their wishes by force and pressure, that is not jihad, but fasad (anarchy), which is not right”.

When asked about verses dealing with jihad, he said that the Holy Quran and Islam provided a complete code of life and could not be understood in bits and pieces.

“The verses regarding jihad were mostly revealed in Madina, and after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had established the first Islamic state,” Maulana Sheerani said, adding, “These were to guide Muslims regarding the protection of their state from invaders, not to [advocate] spreading anarchy elsewhere. We must remember that the Islamic state of Madina was founded without violence.”

He also supported the idea of teaching religious texts of other religions in schools for students of other faiths, but complained that priests and pundits did not show up to CII meetings, hampering a decision in this regard.

dawn.com/news/1275526/verses-on-jihad-added-to-syllabus-at-us-behest

----------

Indian prisoner attacked thrice in Pak jail: Report

PTI | Aug 5, 2016

PESHAWAR: A 31-year-old Indian prisoner, sentenced by a military court for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card, was attacked at least thrice by inmates in recent months in a Peshawar jail, his lawyer told a court.

Hamid Nehal Ansari, a Mumbai resident arrested in 2012 for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online, suffered injuries after he was attacked by inmates in the Peshawar Central Prison.

His lawyer Qazi Mohammad Anwar told a Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday that his client had been kept in a death cell with a hardened criminal awaiting execution for a murder.

Ansari was attacked and injured three times over the last couple of months and shifted to the hospital for treatment, the counsel added.

He said even the head warden would subject him to brutality and slap him on a daily basis without any reason.

Anwar said that Ansari lodged a complaint about this with the superintendent.

Superintendent of the prison Masoodur Rehman confirmed the incidents, but insisted they are of minor nature and that such incidents did happen in prisons, the Dawn reported.

Rehman also told the bench that Ansari, who was serving three years jail term, had been kept in the death cell.

"He (Ansari) can't be kept in a normal barrack along with other prisoners for the sake of his security," he said.

The superintendent also pointed out that the facility had a capacity for 350 inmates, but was housing 3,000.

Ansari's lawyer said the superintendent should give an undertaking to the court that attacks won't happen against his client in future. The jailer, however, said he couldn't give a written guarantee in this regard, the paper said.

The counsel requested the bench to order the superintendent to shift Ansari to a safer part of the jail where there were no threats to his life.

After hearing the arguments, the court asked authorities to provide protection to Ansari and asked the superintendent to sit down with social activist Rakhshanda Naz and Ansari himself to come up with steps for the inmate's protection.

"It is your duty to maintain law and order. As a jailer, you are responsible for protecting the lives and property of inmates," the bench told the superintendent.

The bench also ordered Ansari to decide himself over steps for his protection, the Express Tribune reported. A copy of the recommendations is to be submitted before the court.

Ansari had gone missing after he was taken into custody by intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012 and finally in reply to a habeas corpus petition filed by his mother, Fauzia Ansari, the high court was informed on January 13 that he was in custody of the Pakistan Army and was being tried by a military court.

He was convicted by the military court for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-prisoner-attacked-thrice-in-Pak-jail-Report/articleshow/53558144.cms

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Afghan refugees want their stay extended for two years

August 5th, 2016

PESHAWAR: The elders of Afghan refugees residing in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday demanded of the government to extend their stay in the country for two years so that they could wind up their businesses and sell their properties.

The demand was made at a jirga held at Peshawar Press Club that was attended by more than 200 Afghan refugees and their elders belonging to nine refugee camps. The elders urged federal and provincial governments to help them resolve several issues including businesses and properties with their Pakistani partners before their repatriation to Afghanistan.

They also staged a demonstration near the Afghan Consulate, saying Afghan government was not making any effort for resettlement of repatriating refugees. The jirga was addressed by Haji Arsala Khan, Haji Sherzada, Qari Mehmood Shah, Mohammad Saeed Hashmi and others.

The speakers talked about increase in repatriation of Afghan refugees and the problems being faced by them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Seek govt’s help in winding up businesses, settling financial matters with hosts

Addressing the jirga, Haji Arsala Khan said that Afghan refugees were grateful to the government of Pakistan for its decades-long hospitality. He said that education, health and other facilities in Pakistan were available to Afghans without any discrimination. He said that they were also given opportunities to establish their businesses in Pakistan.

“Now the Afghans want to repatriate to their own country with dignity,” said Haji Arsala Khan. However, he said that Afghans wanted to wind up their businesses in Pakistan before leaving for their homeland but it was not possible in a short span of six months.

Haji Sherzada, another elder, said that the debtors had refused to pay them their money because they realised that Afghans were going back as extension in their stay would end in December 2016.

“On the other hand, creditors have started harassing us for returning their money as soon as possible,” he said. He demanded of the government to form a body to settle financial matters between Pakistanis and Afghans.

According to UN report, Haji Arsala Khan said, around 1.5 million people had become homeless owing to prolonged war in Afghanistan. He wondered whether Afghanistan would be able to absorb the huge population if they all went back within the stipulated timeframe.

He said that no proper health, education and job facilities were available in Afghanistan in the prevailing circumstances. He called upon the governments in Islamabad and Kabul to create conducive environment for return of Afghan refugees.

Haji Arsala Khan said that refugee camps were not sanctuaries of terrorists. He said that they had been residing there for decades in peaceful manner and contributed to development and progress of Pakistan.

He urged the government of Pakistan to extend Proof of Residency cards of registered Afghan refugees so that they could settle their issues and financial matters with their Pakistani hosts.

Haji Arsala Khan said that the process of their repatriation should be initiated after restoration of normalcy and stability in Afghanistan.

dawn.com/news/1275539/afghan-refugees-want-their-stay-extended-for-two-years

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25 Pakistani illegal immigrants caught inside flag-draped minibus in Turkey’s west

August/05/2016

Twenty five Pakistani-origin illegal immigrants were caught in the Aegean province of Aydın on Aug. 4 inside a jam-packed minibus draped with a Turkish flag, which recently has become a symbol to show solidarity against the failed coup attempt of July 15.

Police teams stopped a suspicious minibus with a Turkish flag on its front panel during a road check at the entrance of the İzmir highway.

The driver of the minibus, identified as M.S., said the 17-seat minibus belonged to another person, claiming he was told to carry the passengers from Istanbul to Bodrum.

M.S. also said that he did not know whether they were illegal immigrants.

Police started proceedings into the incident.

Meanwhile, the illegal immigrants were due to be transferred to the Aydın provincial immigration authority directorate after their proceedings.

After the failed coup attempt of July 15, drivers across the country have begun to adorn their vehicles with Turkish flags in a move to show their solidarity against the failed coup attempt.

hurriyetdailynews.com/25-pakistani-illegal-immigrants-caught-inside-flag-draped-minibus-in-turkeys-west.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102507&NewsCatID=341

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Pakistan approaches MSF for emergency service in Kashmir

PTI | Aug 5, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday said it has formally approached medical relief charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) for emergency health services in Kashmir.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz wrote a letter to MSF chief highlighting the emergency health situation in Kashmir, Foreign Office spokesperon said in a statement.

The advisor wrote about the state of "medical emergency" in Jammu and Kashmir that has developed as a result of "atrocious Indian brutalities against unarmed and defenseless civilians".

"The Advisor has requested Medecins Sans Frontieres to immediately provide medical assistance to the thousands of injured in Kashmir. The Advisor particularly emphasised the urgent need of eye surgeons, as hundreds of people are suffering from severe eye injuries caused by the use of pellet guns on peaceful protesters," it said.

Pakistan and India have been at loggerheads over the recent unrest in Kashmir.

The two sides exchanged barbs at SAARC security summit in Islamabad when Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Pakistan on Thursday.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-approaches-MSF-for-emergency-service-in-Kashmir/articleshow/53559713.cms

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Europe

Spain Holiday Terror Threat: ISIS Fanatic Calls On Muslims to Target Clubs, Shops and Cafes

Fri, Aug 5, 2016

The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners

Nightclubs, planes, cinemas and cafes and bars in Spain are also listed as suggested targets for militants sympathetic to the Jihadi cause.

An article published by Al-Wafa', a media company affiliated with ISIS, also predicts Spain will be conquered by the death cult, which is also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.

Author Abu Marya Al-Aseef said fighters should use explosives, machine guns and even trucks to avenge the "crimes committed by Spain against Muslims".

The call-to-arms comes a month after an ISIS extremist ploughed a lorry into crowds of spectators at a Bastille Day fireworks show in the French city of Nice.

In the latest warning of attacks on Europe, the extremist also urges people living in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya to kidnap Spaniards and either behead them or exchange them for Muslim prisoners.

The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners.

He wrote: "As their governments kill our brothers, so should we [seek] revenge and reprisal."

Spanish matador Pablo Belando is tossed by a bull during a bullfight at the Ventas bullring in Madrid

Bullfighter 'banderillero' David Peinado 'Chetu' is tossed and gored in the head by a Alcurrucen's fighting bull

The article, titled Spain [of] Fernardo, We Vow [to Seek] Revenge, which was seen by US-based terror monitoring organisation MEMRI, says Spanish troops killed 60,000 Muslims in the ancient battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, known in Islamic history as the battle of Al-Uqab.

Al-Aseef says Spanish soldiers are "still killing Muslims in the eastern and western parts of the earth, sometimes with bomb-carrying air jets and other times with the direct participation [of soldiers] on the ground".

He says Muslims should avenge those deaths by carrying out attacks on Spanish soil.

12 million Britons visit the country each year

The last major terror attack to hit Spain was the Madrid train bombings in 2004, when 192 people were killed by al Qaeda militants.

The Foreign Office advises the 12 million Britons who visit the country each year that there remains a "high threat" of terrorism.

The FCO says on its website: "In 2015, Spanish police disrupted a number of groups suspected of recruiting individuals to travel to Syria and Iraq.

"Some of them expressed an intention to carry out attacks in Europe. Several further police operations have taken place in 2016.

"Spanish authorities believe that a number of Spanish nationals have successfully travelled to Syria and Iraq."

express.co.uk/news/world/697016/Spain-holiday-terror-threat-ISIS-fanatic-calls-Muslims-target-clubs-shops-cafes

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Danish warplanes drop first bombs against IS in Syria

Fri, Aug 5, 2016

COPENHAGEN: Danish warplanes bombed Syria for the first time, its military said on Friday, as Denmark extended its fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group from neighbouring Iraq.

Four F-16 jets bombed the militants' stronghold city of Raqqa, targeting command and control facilities, weapons stocks and enemy personnel, Defence Command Denmark said.

Nato member Denmark is part of the US-led operation "Inherent Resolve" against IS, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Denmark's Chief of International Air Force Missions Jan Dam told Danish media the bombings had been an "important contribution" to the coalition's work.

Denmark has flown 67 missions and dropped 93 bombs in the two countries since deployment in mid-June, the military said.

dawn.com/news/1275619/danish-warplanes-drop-first-bombs-against-is-in-syria

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Man arrested on suspicion of murder after London knife attack

Reuters | Aug 4, 2016

LONDON: A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a knife attack in central London in which one woman was killed and five people injured, police said on Thursday.

"Early indications suggest that mental health was a factor in this horrific attack. However we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive," London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said in a statement.

Police used a Taser electric shock gun while arresting the 19-year-old suspect.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-murder-after-London-knife-attack/articleshow/53539243.cms

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North America

Muslim couple kicked off flight for 'sweating', saying 'Allah'

PTI | Aug 5, 2016

CHICAGO: A Pakistani-American couple has claimed that they were removed from a US-bound flight as an on board crew member felt "uncomfortable" after noticing that they were "sweating", saying "Allah" and texting.

Nazia and Faisal Ali have accused Delta Air Lines of Islamophobia for throwing them off their flight from Paris to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nazia, 34, had removed her sneakers, finished sending a text message to her parents and was putting on headphones and settling into her seat for the nine-hour flight from Paris to Cincinnati when a Delta Air Lines crew member approached her and husband, Faisal.

A flight crew member had complained to the pilot that she was uncomfortable with the Muslim couple, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The woman was wearing a head scarf and using a phone, and the man was sweating, she allegedly told the pilot.

The flight attendant also claimed that Faisal tried to hide his cell phone and that she had heard the couple use the word 'Allah'.

The pilot contacted the ground crew and would not take off until couple was removed.

"We had been in our seats for 45 minutes," Nazia said on Thursday in the Cincinnati area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"The ground agent said, 'Can you step out with me? We'd like to ask you a few questions.' So I said, 'Do you want us to get our things?' And he said, 'Yes, please grab all of your personal belongings. You're not going to be on this flight'," Nazia said recounting the July 26 incident.

They were interrogated by a French police officer about their stay in Paris — the couple had been enjoying a brief holiday in the capital city for their 10th wedding anniversary, media reports said.

After the interrogation, the officer said he had no problem with them and there was nothing else he could ask the couple.

In the wake of the couple's removal from the flight, the Muslim advocacy group has filed a religious profiling complaint against Delta Air Lines to the US department of transportation.

"We call on the US department of transportation to conduct a thorough examination into the prevailing practices of major American air carriers, including Delta Air Lines, and to develop policy guidelines on the objective factors that are to be considered when determining that a passenger may legally be removed from a flight," CAIR-Cincinnati attorney Sana Hassan said.

The Delta Airlines, in a statement, said, "Delta condemns discrimination toward our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or gender."

"As a global airline that brings hundreds of thousands of people together every day, Delta is deeply committed to treating all of our customers with respect. Delta continues its investigation into this matter and will issue a full refund of these customers' airfare," it said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Muslim-couple-kicked-off-flight-for-sweating-saying-Allah/articleshow/53559218.cms

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US-based cleric Gulen slams Turkey judicial system over arrest warrant

Aug 5, 2016

WASHINGTON: US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen has condemned Turkey's judicial system after a court issued an arrest warrant that accuses him of ordering last month's bid to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“It is well-documented that the Turkish court system is without judicial independence, so this warrant is yet another example of President Erdogan's drive for authoritarianism and away from democracy,” he said in a statement late on Thursday.

The arrest warrant, issued earlier in the day, accuses Gulen of “ordering the July 15 coup,” the Anadolu news agency reported.

Gulen strongly denies any involvement in the attempted putsch and the movement he leads insists it is a charitable network promoting tolerant Islam.

“The issuance of an arrest warrant from a Turkish court changes nothing about my status or my views,” Gulen said.

“I have repeatedly condemned the coup attempt in Turkey and denied any knowledge or involvement. “

dawn.com/news/1275603/us-based-cleric-gulen-slams-turkey-judicial-system-over-arrest-warrant

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Delta Air Lines investigates Pakistani American couple's profiling claim

Aug 5, 2016

CINCINNATI: Delta Air Lines says it's investigating an Ohio Muslim couple's claim that they were removed from a return flight from Europe after an airline employee singled them out because of their appearance.

A statement from Delta also says the company will issue a full refund of the couple's airfare for the July 26 flight from Paris to Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations Cincinnati chapter alleged Thursday that Delta removed the suburban Cincinnati couple from the flight because an airline employee wasn't comfortable having them on the plane.

Faisal and Nazia Ali are US citizens originally from Pakistan. They were returning home after visiting London and Paris to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The couple flew home the following day.

dawn.com/news/1275600/delta-air-lines-investigates-pakistani-american-couples-profiling-claim

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Afghan American police sergeant hailed as ‘Hero’ in New York

By Khaama Press - Thu Aug 04 2016

An Afghan American police sergeant has been hailed as a ‘Hero’ for his bravery by taking a suspicious device out of a crowded area in the city by putting his life on risk together with another fellow cop.

The incident took place on 20th July when police sergeant Hameed Armani was on duty together with Officer Peter Cybulski.

The suspicious device was tossed into the van by a man in a sport utility vehicle in Times Square.

Recalling the suspicious move by the man, Armani told Voice of America “I looked at Cybulski and at the device.The lights started flashing, and it started to make noise.”

“Cybulski goes, ‘Boss this is a bomb.’ I looked around. The first thing I saw was two little kids right in front of my van and looked to my left. The area was packed with people.”

Armani decided to take the device and go as far as possible from the crowd. He said Cybulski was on board with the decision.

Cybulski held the device as Armani drove to a more deserted location on Sixth Avenue. They put the device on the ground and called the bomb squad.

The experts determined the object was a dud, but the heroism of the police was real.

New York City Police Commissioner at the time Bill Bratton said the two officers were NYPD heroes and the heroes of New York City.

Amani is the second Afghan man hailed for his bravery to save thousands of people from a possible attack.

A young Afghan refugee was also hailed as a ‘champion’ following the Munich shooting that left at least 9 people dead, an attack that was carried out by a German-Iranian.

The 20-year-old Amir Najazada was hailed for saving nearly 200 people by shifting them to the underground of a shopping mall last month.

Najafzada was reportedly working as a security guard in the shopping mall and helped to shift around 200 people to the underground of the mall after hearing the gunshots that sparked panic among the people.

“All of a sudden around 150 to 200 people entered the mall as they were frightened,” he told an online newspaper in Germany, adding that three kids aged beetween 9 to 12 years of age were also among them.

Najafzada further added “I took the children and all other people into the underground and gave them water.”

He came out of the underground of the mall to inform the police regarding the incident and helped two injured people who were lying outside the mall by giving them water.a

khaama.com/afghan-american-police-sergeant-hailed-as-hero-in-new-york-01642

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South Asia

Bangladesh shuts 32 'objectionable' news sites

Aug 5, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh has shut down dozens of online news services including those of pro-opposition media, an official said Friday, sparking accusations of government censorship.

The head of the national telecoms regulator said he ordered the closures late Thursday night, citing “objectionable contents”.

“We've shut down 32 news portals and websites following instructions from an intelligence agency,” Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, told AFP.

He said the list included Sheershanews.com, a popular website known for its fast news coverage, and amardeshonline, a news portal linked to a pro-opposition Bengali daily that the government shut down in 2013.

The crackdown comes after the government banned live television coverage of extremist attacks in the wake of last month's deadly assault on a cafe in which 22 people were killed including 18 foreigners.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina publicly criticised the coverage of the attack and told private broadcasters to be more responsible.

The head of Sheershanews Ekramul Hoque said he was stunned by the move, which would mean about 100 journalists losing their jobs.

“We think it's a direct assault on the country's freedom of press. The government is shutting down the news organisations they don't like. They want total control of the media,” Hoque said.

“By closing down these news portals, the government is sending a clear message to all media firms that they won't tolerate any news organisation that does not follow their line,” he said.

Sheershanews was drawing up to 200 million hits a month this year.

dawn.com/news/1275601/bangladesh-shuts-32-objectionable-news-sites

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Airstrike kill 5 Pakistani militants fighting for ISIS in Afghanistan

By Khaama Press - Fri Aug 05 2016

At least 5 Pakistani militants were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan late on Thursday night, local security authorities said.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said the airstrike was carried out by the Afghan forces in Kot district.

The statement further added that the 5 militants were fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group and were targeted in Elyas Baba area.

Two of the militants hailed from Bajaur Agency and three others hailed from Orakzai Agency in the tribal regions of Pakistan, the statement.

The loyalists of the terror group have not commented regarding the report so far.

The ISIS loyalists are actively operating in a number of the remote districts of eastern Nangarhar province including the restive Kot and Achin districts.

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched a major operation against the loyalists of the terror group nearly two weeks ago to eliminate their presence from the province.

The operations were launched amid concerns that the terrorists are attempting to expand foothold in the country with the coalition officials saying the loyalists of the terror group has direct links with the main group in Syria and Iraq.

khaama.com/airstrike-kill-5-pakistani-militants-fighting-for-isis-in-afghanistan-01647

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Pakistani helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, occupants feared held by Taliban

Reuters | Aug 4, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani government helicopter crash-landed in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan on Thursday and all passengers and crew are feared captured by the insurgents, officials said.

The helicopter went down in Logar province, near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan's lawless and mountainous tribal areas.

"Those detained by the Taliban are Pakistanis," Sameem Saleh, spokesman for Logar's governor, said. "The chopper was not shot but made the landing because of technical failure."

A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that a helicopter belong to the Punjab provincial government had gone down, saying the fate of the crew was not yet clear.

"The Afghan authorities have assured they will investigate and know about the whereabouts of the helicopter and the passengers," spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.

He said seven passengers were on board, comprising six Pakistanis and one Russian, a technician. The pilot was Pakistani.

Hameed Khan, district governor of Azra district of Logar, said the helicopter landed in his border district.

"They were detained by the Taliban," Khan said.

A senior Pakistani military official said the Russian-made MI-17 transport helicopter was en route from Peshawar in northwest Pakistan to Uzbekistan for maintenance when it experienced technical failure and made an emergency landing.

He said there was no information about the occupants.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Pakistani-helicopter-crashes-in-Afghanistan-occupants-feared-held-by-Taliban/articleshow/53546218.cms

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Crashed Pakistani chopper crew safe, says Afghan envoy

IANS | Aug 5, 2016

ISLAMABAD: All crew members aboard a Pakistani helicopter that crashlanded in Afghanistan were safe, Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad Omar Zakhilwal said on Friday.

Six people, including a Russian national, aboard were taken hostage by the Taliban as the helicopter landed in Logar province while on its way to Russia via Uzbekistan for repair and maintenance, Xinhua news agency reported.

Afghan officials said the Taliban took the crew members along with them and efforts were underway to secure their release.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said he was seeking information about the incident.

"All crew members are safe," Zakilwal said on Friday. He confirmed the Taliban had taken the crew and President Ashraf Ghani has asked the security forces to assist in recovering the hostages.

"I am hopeful there will be a peaceful ending to this," Ghani said.

Pakistani officials said the helicopter belonged to Punjab province and permission to use the Afghan airspace had been sought.

Military spokesperson General Asim Bajwa has said army chief General Raheel Sharif had spoken to General John Nicholson, the Resolute Support Mission's commander, hours after the helicopter made a crashlanding.

"The army chief called Nicholson, asked him to help in recovery of crew of Punjab government helicopter," Bajwa said on his official Twitter.

Bajwa said the Afghan government and the National Army have also been contacted for their assistance in recovering the crew members.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Crashed-Pakistani-chopper-crew-safe-says-Afghan-envoy/articleshow/53557983.cms

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Foreign tourists attacked in western Afghanistan: Officials

AFP | Aug 4, 2016

HEART: Taliban militants attacked foreign tourists escorted by an Afghan army convoy in the western province of Herat on Thursday, officials said, with a military spokesman saying at least six people were wounded.

The Taliban have officially not claimed responsibility so far for the attack and the nationality of the tourists was not immediately known.

"The convoy was ambushed by the Taliban in Chesht-e-Sharif district. The tourists were on their way to Herat from Bamiyan and Ghor provinces," said Jilani Farhad, the spokesman for Herat's governor.

Military spokesman Najibullah Najibi said the ambush left at least five foreign tourists and their Afghan driver wounded, adding that they were being escorted to Herat city.

The attack comes as Taliban militants intensify their annual summer offensive after a brief lull during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which ended in early July.

Highways in Afghanistan passing through insurgency-prone areas have become exceedingly dangerous, with the Taliban and other armed groups frequently kidnapping or killing travellers.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Foreign-tourists-attacked-in-western-Afghanistan-Officials/articleshow/53539273.cms

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China pledges $2.2 million in fresh aid to Afghanistan

By Khaama Press - Thu Aug 04 2016

The government of China has pledged a fresh aid package of $2.2 million to Afghanistan as the country attempts to expand role in civilian and military aid to the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (MoFA) said the latest aid package was announced by the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan.

According to a statement by MoFA, the Chinese envoy to Afghanistan announced the aid package during a meeting with the deputy foreign minister for administrative affairs Nasir Ahmad Andisha.

The statement further added that the Chinese envoy also discussed regarding programs to train the Afghan diplomats.

The latest aid package announcement by Chian comes as the Afghan army chief of staff is in China to discuss Beijing’s military support to Afghanistan.

This comes as the Chinese envoy to Afghanistan met the Afghan National Security Adviser last month and informed regarding Beijing’s willineness to consider the military support request from the Afghan side.

Afghanistan received the first batch of military aid from China earlier this month which followed as the country has been attempting to increase role in supporting in Afghanistan amid deteriorating security situation.

Earlier China’s Chief of Army earlier pledged over $70 million to help support and equip the Afghan security forces.

During his visit to Afghanistan earlier in March, Chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army Mr. Fang Fenghui, announced the fresh military aid, saying the latest aid will follow besides Beijing’s ongoing cooperation in development and economic sector.

Gen. Fenghui also added that China will call a regional summit to implement the proposal by President Ghani during Shanghai conference for fight against terrorism.

Reiterating China’s commitment to fight terrorism in the region, Gen. Fenghui said Afghanistan is located in a strategic location and acts as an important economic belt, which is continuously threatened by the terror groups.

khaama.com/china-pledges-2-2-million-in-fresh-aid-to-afghanistan-01645

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Foreign tourists attacked in West of Afghanistan, 4 wounded

By Khaama Press - Thu Aug 04 2016

A group of foreign tourists were attacked in the western Herat province of Afghanistan earlier today with preliminary reports suggesting at least four of them were wounded.

There are no reports regarding the identity of the foreigners who were on a tour in Herat province.

An official in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed that the incident took place Chesht-e-Sharif district of Herat province earlier today.

The official further added that the tourists were on their way to Herat from the central Bamyan province when their vehicle was ambushed by unknown gunmen.

However an official in the 207th Corps of the Afghan National Army said at least six people were wounded in the attack.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

The Taliban militants and insurgents belonging to the other militant groups are actively operating in a number of the remote districts of Herat province, including Chesht-e-Sharif district.

Both Bamyan and the western Herat province are hosting scores of foreign tourists as the two provinces are among the historical sites of the country.

The Bamyan province is home to some of the oldest sites including the world’s largest Buddha statue which was destroyed by the Taliban in early 2001 while Herat is home to the oldest structures and monuments of the world.

khaama.com/foreign-tourists-attacked-in-west-of-afghanistan-4-wounded-01644

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Arab World

Fatah al-Sham (Al-Nusra) Getting Crushed in Aleppo, Loses 3 More Commanders

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Three other notorious commanders of Fatah al-Sham Front (newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as al-Nusra Front) were killed in Syrian government forces' attacks in the Southwestern districts of Aleppo.

Abu al-Leith, Abu Islam al-Ansari and Abu Omar al-Janoubi were killed in intense battle with Syrian army and their popular allies.

Reports said earlier today that Russian fighter jets launched fresh round of air attacks on positions of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the Southern districts of Aleppo city, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded.

The Russian jets pounded Jeish al-Fatah strongholds in al-Ameriyeh to prevent the Takfiri group's preparedness for launching the fourth phase of large-scale operation to lift army's siege on militant-held districts in Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000596

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Iraqi Forces Discover ISIL's Saudi Number Plates Near Mosul

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's joint military forces continued their military advances against the ISIL terrorists in Nineveh province, and discovered a large number of Saudi number plates in the newly-liberated hilltops near the city of Mosul.

"The Iraqi forces came across an area packed with number plates of Saudi Arabia in al-Baaj in Southern Mosul," the Arabic-language media outlets said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi forces cleaned up 50 kilometers of the highway which links al-Qayara air base to al-Baaj hills as well as al-Hazar Y-junction in Southern Mosul of militant groups.

The armored unit 9 of the Iraqi army and the anti-terrorism forces also liberated the villages on the two sides of the highway.

In a relevant development in June 2014, a sum of 100 four-wheel-drive vehicles with Saudi number plates were also destroyed during the air strikes on ISIL's positions.

The Iraq's air force pounded the positions of the foreign-backed militants near the borders with Syria, killing over a dozen terrorists and destroying tens of vehicles which had been supplied to the terrorists by Saudi Arabia.

Over 15 ISIL terrorists were killed in Iraq's air raids, the Iraq-based IMN news website reported at the time.

More than 350 ISIL terrorists have been killed in airstrikes in the Western province of al-Anbar, the Iraqi army's regional operations command said.

Warplanes attacked the ISIL militants as they appeared to be parading near Fallujah, a city that has been under the control of the terrorists since January.

One of the ISIL leaders, identified as Yasser Nayi, was among those killed in the airstrike, the army said.

About 400 militants hid in a four-story building in Fallujah when they saw the warplanes approaching, an army commander in the city told the official Iraquiya network.

Military aircraft fired rockets and machine guns at the building, killing about 270 Sunni extremists and destroying seven vehicles, officials said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000222

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IS captures 3,000 fleeing citizens in Iraq

IANS | Aug 5, 2016

GENEVA: The Islamic State (IS) terror group has captured thousands of fleeing civilians in northern Iraq, the UN announced on Friday.

The UN said it could confirm that up to 3,000 internally displaced Iraqis were captured on Thursday as they attempted to escape villages in the IS-held district of al-Hawija, EFE news reported.

"They were attempting to flee to Kirkuk," UN spokesperson, William Spindler said, referring to the Kurdish administered city, 66 km to the north-east of al-Hawija.

Between July 20 and 21, aerial bombings in the al-Hawija region triggered a massive displacement of people.

More than three million Iraqis have been displaced by the violence, with around 220,000 seeking refuge abroad.

The UN estimated that by the end of this year, some 11 million people in Iraq would require humanitarian assistance.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/IS-captures-3000-fleeing-citizens-in-Iraq/articleshow/53558164.cms

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Another Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in Aleppo

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious field commander of Faylaq al-Sham terrorist groups was killed in fierce clashes with the Syrian Army troops and their popular allies in the Southwestern districts of Aleppo on Friday.

Abu Hamza, the commander of Faylaq al-Sham in al-Amareh district, was killed in fighting with Syrian government forces.

Reports said earlier today that Russian fighter jets launched fresh round of air attacks on positions of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the Southern districts of Aleppo city, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded.

The Russian jets pounded Jeish al-Fatah strongholds in al-Ameriyeh to prevent the Takfiri group's preparedness for launching the fourth phase of large-scale operation to lift army's siege on militant-held districts in Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000569

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Terrorists' Strongholds Blown up by Syrian Army in Dara'a

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Positions of terrorist groups in Dara'a city and its countryside were badly targeted in the Syrian army troops' attacks.

The Syrian army men stormed terrorist groups' gathering centers in al-Ghariyeh al-Gharbiyeh in Dara'a countryside, destroying their machinegun-equipped vehicles.

In the meantime, bases of Fatah al-Sham Front (newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as al-Nusra Front) in al-Hammadin neighborhood and al-Nazeheen camp in Dara'a al-Balad came under the heavy attacks of the Syrian army troops, leaving scores of militant dead or wounded.

Reports said earlier today that 256 ex-militants, who have laid down arms and surrendered to the army forces in recent days, were pardoned by the Syrian government officials in the Southern city of Dara'a and returned to normal life.

The pardoned militants were from the city of Dara'a and the towns of Izraa, al-Sanamain and al-Mesmiyeh.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000513

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Syrian Warplanes Smash Terrorists in Aleppo Countryside

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists' centers near a key village in Aleppo countryside, inflicting major losses and casualties on the militants.

Terrorists' defense liens near the village of al-Sharafa were massively bombed by the Syrian army aircraft.

Terrorist groups suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware also sustained major damage in the bombardments.

Earlier reports said that Russian fighter jets launched fresh round of air attacks on positions of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the Southern districts of Aleppo city, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded.

The Russian jets pounded Jeish al-Fatah strongholds in al-Ameriyeh to prevent the Takfiri group's preparedness for launching the fourth phase of large-scale operation to lift army's siege on militant-held districts in Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000527

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Syrian Army, NDF Target Terrorists' Construction Machinery in Quneitra

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian soldiers and National Defense Forces (NDF) carried out joint attacks on terrorist groups' bases along a road in Northern Quneitra, inflicting major damage on the Takfiri group's road-building machinery.

The Syrian government forces that had monitored terrorist groups' activities to construct more strongholds along a road connecting al-Hamidiyeh to Jebbata al-Khashab launched joint offensive and targeted several bulldozers.

Several militants and drivers were also killed in the attacks. 

Also last week, the Syrian army repelled an offensive of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously know as al-Nusra Front) in Northeastern Quneitra.

Syrian soldiers fended off Fatah al-Sham's attacks on one of the army's bases in Tal Sahi in Western side of Khan Arnabeh, inflicting ten of casualties on the terrorists.

Also, a terrorist base near the village of al-Hamidiyeh in the Western side of al-Ba'ath was destroyed in the army attacks.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000475

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Syria: Jeish Al-Fatah Centers Hit Hard in Russian Airstrikes in Aleppo

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian fighter jets launched fresh round of air attacks on positions of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the Southern districts of Aleppo city, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded.

The Russian jets pounded Jeish al-Fatah strongholds in al-Ameriyeh to prevent the Takfiri group's preparedness for launching the fourth phase of large-scale operation to lift army's siege on militant-held districts in Aleppo.

In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, Syrian army troops and popular forces repelled the terrorists' massive offensive to regain control of the recently-freed al-Ramousiyeh region in the Southern parts of Aleppo city.

"The terrorist groups attempted to seize control of al-Ramousiyeh region after losing its control in an attempt to open a supply route towards the Eastern and Southeastern parts of Aleppo and close the main way of Syrian army and its allies in the Western districts of Aleppo but they were forced to withdraw and the Syrian forces retook full control of al-Ramousiyeh region," the sources said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000340

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Anbar Province: Iraqi Forces Seize 15 Chemical Missile Warheads in Ramadi

Aug 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's joint military forces seized over a dozen missiles with chemical warheads during their search operations in captured ISIL military positions in the city of al-Ramadi, a senior commander disclosed.

"The Iraqi army and popular forces seized at least 15 missiles with chemical warheads comprising very strong poison substances, including mustard gas which belonged to the ISIL in Street 20, al-Tamim, al-Qatana and al-Sharka regions of Ramadi city," Brigadier General Fauzi Farih al-Dailami said on Thursday.

He noted that the chemical warheads have been transferred to Baghdad labs where it was discovered that they contained poison substances like mustard gas.

In May, an intergovernmental organization warned of the “extremely worrying” signs that ISIL terrorist group could be developing chemical weapons of its own.

Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Uzumcu said that the Takfiri terrorist group might have already used them both in Iraq and Syria.

Uzumcu said fact-finding teams from The Hague-based watchdog have discovered evidence that suggest the use of sulfur mustard in attacks in the two crisis-hit Arab countries.

"Although they could not attribute this to ISIL... there are strong suspicions that they may have used" chemical weapons, Uzumcu said.

"Secondly, the suspicions are that they may have produced it themselves, which is extremely worrying,” he pointed out.

"It proves that they have the technology, know-how and also access to the materials which might be used for the production of chemical weapons,” Uzumcu said on the sidelines of a three-day conference in the Hague.

The OPCW director general also called for vigilance to prevent potential chemical attacks outside Syria and Iraq.

“The international community should be very vigilant to such threats and cooperate further to prevent such attacks from occurring elsewhere,” he said.

On April 7, 23 people were killed and over 100 others injured in a chemical attack by ISIL terrorists against members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Videos posted online purportedly show yellow gas rising over Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood in Aleppo, located some 355 kilometers North of the capital Damascus.

The development came only three days after al-Ikhbariyah Syria satellite television Network reported that ISIL had fired a barrage of rockets, carrying mustard gas, at a Syrian military airport in the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur.

According to a report by the Syrian-American Medical Society, ISIL has carried out more than 160 attacks involving “poisonous or asphyxiating agents, such as sarin, chlorine, and mustard gas” since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011. At least 1,491 people have been killed in the chemical attacks.

In August 2013, hundreds of people were also killed in a chemical attack in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus. According to reports, the rockets used in the assault were handmade and contained sarin.

According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond Syria’s borders.

Damascus accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming anti-Syria terrorist groups, including ISIL.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950515000261

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Strikes kill 10 in Syria's rebel-held Aleppo: monitor

AFP | Aug 5, 2016

BEIRUT: At least 10 people, including seven children, were killed in air strikes on the rebel-held east of Aleppo on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

The Britain-based group said it was unclear if the raids on Aleppo's Marjeh district were carried out by aircraft belonging to the Syrian government or its ally Russia.

The latest civilian deaths come as rebels press an assault intended to break a government siege of opposition-held Aleppo that began on July 17 and has raised fears of a humanitarian crisis.

In an audio message released on Friday, Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, the head of Al-Qaeda's former affiliate in Syria, pledged the operation would soon succeed.

The assault started on Sunday and is targeting the Ramussa district that contains the main supply route to the government-held west of the city.

Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the war that began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

After some initial advances, government forces backed by Russian air strikes have pushed back opposition fighters, which include jihadists from Jolani's faction, now known as the Fateh al-Sham Front.

According to the Observatory, at least 112 civilians, including 33 children, have been killed in Aleppo since the rebel assault began on Sunday.

The deaths include 65 people, among them 22 children, killed in rebel fire on government neighbourhoods, the Observatory said.

Another 42 people, including 11 children, have been killed in strikes on eastern Aleppo, the monitor said.

It reported five more deaths in rebel fire on the Kurdish-majority Sheikh Maqsud district of the city.

In an audio message, Jolani said God had granted fighters "a glorious victory in the battle to break the siege of Aleppo."

"This battle, the outcome of which will go beyond simply opening the road for the besieged, will change the balance of the conflict... setting the scene for a new stage of the battle," he pledged.

Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the monitor said an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters was advancing inside the Islamic State bastion of Manbij.

Observatory chief Rami Abdul Rahman said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) now held 70 percent of the town.

"The Islamic State has entered its final phase in the town of Manbij," he said, adding that IS was keeping a number of civilians there as human shields.

"The progress the SDF has made in the last week is more than it was able to achieve in previous weeks put together."

The SDF began an assault on Manbij in late May and entered the town on June 23, with support from the US-led coalition against IS.

Manbij sits on the route between the Turkish border and the eastern city of Raqa, the jihadists' de facto capital in Syria.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Strikes-kill-10-in-Syrias-rebel-held-Aleppo-monitor/articleshow/53558448.cms

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India

Missing Pakistan pilgrim clouds tourism ties

Sachin Parashar | TNN | Aug 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: As India and Pakistan seek to shore up religious tourism, their efforts received a setback with a Pakistan zaireen (pilgrim) going missing. Indian agencies have now launched a countrywide exercise to trace Mohammed Salim who was here last month as part of a group of 140 Pakistanis for the Urs of iconic Sufi musician and poet Amir Khusro, official sources said.

Despite the current impasse in ties, India and Pakistan have continued to facilitate tours by pilgrims, looking at the exercise as a way to build trust and confidence.

When PM Modi met his Pakistani counterpart counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa last year, they agreed to ensure a mechanism to facilitate religious tourism. The disappearance of a Pakistani national though is likely to force authorities to further strengthen the process for issuance of visas for such trips, said an official.

Salim's group arrived in Delhi on July 23 and returned on July 27, without Salim.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Missing-Pakistan-pilgrim-clouds-tourism-ties/articleshow/53548917.cms

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Rajnath Singh should be praised for exposing Pakistan on its own soil: BJP

By: ANI | Mumbai | Updated: August 5, 2016

Commenting on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s terse speech in Islamabad during the seventh SAARC Home Ministers meeting, BJP leader Prem Shukla has said Singh should be appreciated for the way he has unmasked the ill-intentions of Pakistan on its own soil.

The former executive editor of Shiv Sena’s Hindi language mouthpiece ‘Dopahar ka Saamna’, Shukla added India has a very clear stance that there can be no peace talks till Pakistan continues to support terrorism.

When asked about Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s comment that no country should try and hide behind the word ‘terrorism’ and divert attention from demands of freedom, Shukla said Kashmir is already free and there is a democratic process there.

“If Pakistan is making such statements then it should also answer why it is committing atrocities on its own people who are demanding freedom in Balochistan, North West Frontier and Karachi,” Shukla told ANI.

He further said that according to the law that was created after the freedom for the fusion of estates between India and Pakistan under the India Independence Act and according to the democratic process that exists there, Jammu and Kashmir is completely a part of India. However, Balochistan is not an internal part of Pakistan.

He alleged that Pakistan is now indulging in proxy war as it has already faced defeat in four wars so, it does not dares to incite a direct war with India. He said that Pakistan wants to pressurize India by veiling terrorism under movement for freedom.

Shukla said that Pakistan has nothing to do with Kashmir and the thing that needs to be done is that Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) needs to be freed from the control of Pakistan and integrated into Jammu and Kashmir to make it an internal part of India.

Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in an apparent attack on India has said on Thursday, “No country should try and hide behind the word terrorism and divert attention from demands of freedom.”

During his speech at the SAARC meet in Islamabad, Rajnath Singh also made veiled comments against Pakistan, saying mere condemnation of terrorism was not enough.

He categorically stated that there is no good or bad terrorist. Singh said strongest action should be initiated not only against terrorists but also against organisations, individuals and nations supporting terror.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rajnath-singh-should-be-praised-for-exposing-pakistan-on-its-own-soil-bjp-prem-shukla-2954967/

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50 injured in fresh clashes across valley

M Saleem Pandit | TNN | Aug 5, 2016

SRINAGAR: At least 50 people were injured during protests across Kashmir amid curfew restrictions and a separatist-called shutdown on Thursday. Over 50 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces after terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8.

Protesters offered prayers on to protest the killings, and raised anti-India slogans. At least 22 people sustained injuries in Shopian, and 10 were hurt in Anantnag. Another 17 people were injured in Kupwara. Banihal and Kishtwar in Jammu also remained shut to protest the killings.

Opposition National Conference said the centre's "deafening silence" on the killings in Kashmir was "immoral".

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/50-injured-in-fresh-clashes-across-valley/articleshow/53549019.cms

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Mideast

Turkish FM calls Austria ‘capital of radical racism’ over EU bid remarks

August/05/2016

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has described Austria as the “capital of radical racism,” as tension continues between the two countries over Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern’s remarks suggesting the European Union end talks with Turkey over the latter’s bid to become a full member of the bloc.

“Austria’s chancellor has to look at his country first. Austria is the capital of radical racism,” Çavuşoğlu said on Aug. 5, while speaking with private broadcaster TGRT Haber.

The foreign minister said Ankara denied all of the chancellor’s remarks, calling them “ugly.”

Meanwhile, his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, told Ankara to moderate its words and actions.

“I sharply reject the criticism of Austria by Turkey’s foreign minister. Ankara is called upon to moderate its choice of words and its course of action, as well as to do its homework,” a spokesman quoted Kurz as saying, as reported by Reuters.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-calls-austria-capital-of-radical-racism-over-eu-bid-remarks.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102511&NewsCatID=510

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Turkish Intel agencies can be coordinated under same roof: Erdoğan

August/05/2016

[Turkish Intel agencies can be coordinated under same roof: Erdoğan ]

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said all of Turkey’s intelligence agencies could be coordinated under the same roof, as he commented on the National Intelligence Agency’s (MİT) actions on the night of the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to be masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“All the intelligence agencies, the MİT, the police and the gendarmerie, can be coordinated under the same roof. There is a process to bring the police and the gendarmerie under the control of the Interior Ministry. Thus, we can coordinate intelligence under the same roof,” Erdoğan told state-run TRT television late on Aug. 4, adding that the aforementioned plan had already been presented to him.

“I will share and evaluate this with the Prime Minister [Binali Yıldırım]. We will discuss the steps to be taken,” he also said.

Previous reports stated that Turkey was planning to restructure the MİT after the failed coup attempt, amid criticisms against its shortcomings during the failed takeover. The move will involve splitting the MİT so that foreign espionage and domestic counter-intelligence work are handled by different entities.

A new “Coordination of Intelligence” unit responsible for coordinating between the two units will reportedly be formed under the Presidency, which will also conduct intelligence analysis.

The police and the gendarmerie will in the future report to the Interior Ministry and not the military.

Saying that the intelligence agency was not one that could be “corroded,” Erdoğan added there were no countries in the world which didn’t have intelligence shortcomings.

“I’ve always said from the beginning [of the failed coup attempt] that there was an intelligence shortcoming. However, is there a country in the world that doesn’t have it? Take the U.S., Russia, Europe, Germany, France, England, etc. for instance. You’ll see that in the terror attacks in all those countries there were intelligence failures,” he also said.

There has been huge pressure on MİT chief Hakan Fidan in the wake of the failed takeover, particularly following reports he learned about the planned putsch hours before the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was informed.

During his interview, Erdoğan also said that repeatedly criticizing the MİT for its actions during the failed takeover would be harmful to the agency.

“If we repeatedly criticize the MİT on TV programs, we will make it non-operational,” he said, referring to critical remarks about the MİT and Fidan made by him and AKP members.

Repeating his previous remarks on being in a “transition period,” Erdoğan said, “One doesn’t change horses halfway down the road.”

“We need to get through this process successfully,” he added.

Erdoğan also mentioned his inability to contact the MİT on July 15 as the coup attempt was unfolding, saying he wished he could have spoken to the agency.

“Me not being able to contact the MİT can be caused by the conditions that they were in. They are also saying that. They reached the manager of my guards. They asked him, ‘Is there a problem where you are now?’ I was resting at the time. I wish I could have contacted them,” he also said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-intel-agencies-can-be-coordinated-under-same-roof-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102512&NewsCatID=338

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Erdoğan, three parties to hold joint democracy rally in Istanbul

August/05/2016

A massive democracy rally in protest of the failed July 15 coup attempt will be held in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square on Aug. 7, drawing the president, prime minister, main opposition head and the leader of the country’s foremost nationalist party.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the country’s third biggest party, was not invited to the rally.

The “Democracy and Martyrs Rally” will be held as the latest in a series of meetings to protest the failed takeover, which is believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“I have an offer; let’s make a democracy meeting in Yenikapı on Aug. 7. Let’s be there with the Armed Forces’ command, artists and sportswomen and men who contributed to the process [after the coup plot]. Let the nation be there. Let’s invite all of the leaders of all the political parties,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Turkish broadcaster ATV on July 30, adding that the “normalization process is significant for Turkey.”

“Let’s be there with the leaders and give our message to all of Turkey from there altogether. It’s very, very important for the normalization process to speed up for our country,” he said, asking the leaders of the parties to deliver individual speeches.

Upon Erdoğan’s call, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım conducted a phone call with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who accepted the invitation.

“I will be with the people in Yenikapı upon the invitation I received as the leader of the MHP,” Bahçeli wrote on his Twitter account on Aug. 3, adding that the national ambition would be “crowned” at the meeting.

“The national will will give confidence to the friends and will spread fear to the enemy. I will stay on the side of Turkey against the traitors and centers of hostility,” he also wrote, which was retweeted by Erdoğan.

Yıldırım also held a phone call with Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who said the CHP would send a delegation to the joint rally. However, upon a second call from Yıldırım, the CHP leader decided to attend the rally.

“We will be in Yenikapı for the same reason that we were in the parliament on the night of the coup attempt. Kılıçdaroğlu will also be at the rally in Yenikapı. He will convey his decision to the prime minister by phone,” CHP spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke said Aug. 5, referring to the lawmakers who were in parliament when the jets used by coup plotters bombed the building early on July 16.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s decision to participate in the rally was welcomed by members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), with Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş thanking him.

“The AKP, CHP and MHP will participate in the rally on Aug. 7. Mr. Bahçeli had said he would come, as did Kılıçdaroğlu. We thank him. That was the right thing to do. We hope that we will shout our national unity hand in hand,” Kurtulmuş said.

Elsewhere, Erdoğan’s adviser Şeref Malkoç apologized to Bahçeli and MHP members over his comments on the joint meeting on Aug. 7 being an “opportunity for Bahçeli.”

“Bahçeli will address a crowd that he has never seen in his life,” Malkoç told Fox TV, which also drew criticism from Erdoğan, who asked Malkoç to apologize.

“You have no right to say that and you are not a politician,” Erdoğan told TRT on Aug. 4.

Meanwhile, the CHP held a “Republic and Democracy Rally” on Aug. 4 in the western province of İzmir, where Kılıçdaroğlu characterized the coup attempt as the “most bloody coup attempt in Turkey’s history.”

“We stood against all kinds of coups and we will continue to do so. The coup showed the importance of a secular system once again. Secularism is the cement that holds us together,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that FETÖ members did not infiltrate the state, but were “placed there step by step in a planned manner.”

Up to 1.5 million hats, 2.5 million Turkish flags and 5 million bottles of water have been prepared for the Yenikapı rally, while a team of up to 300 people will prepare the area for the rally.

Some 22 X-Ray machines, 165 doors with metal detectors will be erected in the area, while up to 13,000 people, excluding police officers, will be employed during the rally, which is expected to draw 3.5 million people. 

During the failed coup attempt on July 15, Erdoğan called on the people to go out to the streets and protest the attempted takeover. He and AKP members have repeatedly made similar calls for people to hit the streets and protest the attempt since then.

Supporters of the CHP and AKP held a joint rally in Istanbul’s Taksim on July 24 upon Kılıçdaroğlu’s call, where he read out a declaration including articles on democracy, rights and governance.

Erdoğan previously thanked the three party leaders for their united stance against the coup attempt and listen to their views on the ongoing fight against FETÖ within the state.

The HDP also opposed the coup, but has been excluded by the government on the grounds that it allegedly supports the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-three-parties-to-hold-joint-democracy-rally-in-istanbul-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102510&NewsCatID=338

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UN deplores "mass executions" in Iran

Reuters | Aug 5, 2016

GENEVA: The hanging of up to 20 people in Iran this week follows serious doubts about the fairness of their trials and respect for due process, leading to a "grave injustice", the United Nations' top human rights official said on Friday.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the men had been executed for "purported terrorism-related offences" and that reports suggested most if not all were from a minority group - Sunnis from the Kurdish community.

"The application of overly broad and vague criminal charges, coupled with a disdain for the rights of the accused to due process and a fair trial have in these cases led to a grave injustice," Zeid said in a statement.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-deplores-mass-executions-in-Iran/articleshow/53556968.cms

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia foils militant plot to attack Singapore

AFP | Aug 5, 2016

JAKARTA: Indonesian police on Friday arrested six suspected militants over a plot to launch a rocket attack on an up-market Singapore waterfront district from a nearby island, prompting the city-state to tighten security.

The six men, aged between 19 and 46, were detained on the Indonesian island of Batam, which lies just south of the affluent city-state, said national police spokesman Agus Rianto.

The alleged leader of the group, Gigih Rahmat Dewa, is accused of planning the attack with Bahrun Naim, a leading Indonesian militant who is believed to be fighting with the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, Rianto said.

It was the latest terror plot in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, where there has been a surge in attacks and attempted attacks this year due to the growing influence of IS.

The pair "planned a terror attack in Singapore. They wanted to attack Singapore with a rocket from Batam," the spokesman told reporters.

Another police spokesman, Boy Rafli Amar, said the target was Marina Bay. The district is home to Marina Bay Sands, a luxury complex that includes shopping malls, hotels and a casino.

Rianto added police had "preliminary data" and were still investigating the plot.

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement it was "aware that plans were being made by the six terror suspects arrested by the Indonesian authorities" and that its security agencies had been working with Indonesian officials.

"In response to this threat and the prevailing security situation, police and other agencies have been stepping up inland and border security measures," it said.

"This development highlights the seriousness of the terrorism threat to Singapore."

There have been signs of support for IS in the city-state. Singapore last month jailed four Bangladeshi workers accused of planning to join IS for between two and five years for raising money to fund attacks in their homeland.

Authorities last week detained a 44-year-old Australia-based Singaporean who allegedly glorified IS and backed the establishment of a caliphate in the city-state.

Police suspect Dewa, 31, received and distributed funds sent by Naim. Naim has been linked to several recent terror plots in Indonesia, including a suicide bomb attack on a police station in the city of Solo last month that left one police officer injured.

Dewa is also accused of previously harbouring two members of China's ethnic Uighur minority, some of whom have travelled to Indonesia to join militant groups, and of helping extremists on their journeys to Syria.

Indonesia has long struggled with Islamic militancy and has suffered a string of attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people.

A crackdown had weakened the most dangerous networks but IS has proved a potent new rallying cry for the country's radicals, and hundreds of Indonesians have headed to the Middle East to join the jihadists.

In January IS-linked militants launched a deadly gun and bomb attack in Jakarta which left four attackers and four civilians dead.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Indonesia-foils-militant-plot-to-attack-Singapore/articleshow/53556880.cms

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Malaysia confirms MH-370 course was on pilot's simulator

AP | Aug 5, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia acknowledged for the first time that one of the pilots of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had plotted a course on his home flight simulator to the southern Indian Ocean, where the missing jet is believed to have crashed.

Australian officials overseeing the search for the plane last month said data recovered from Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's simulator included a flight path to the southern Indian Ocean. Malaysian officials at the time refused to confirm the findings.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told local journalists that the flight path was found on the simulator.

He also cautioned there were "thousands" of destinations on the simulator and no evidence that Zaharie flew the plane in that area or deliberately crashed it.

A recording of the news conference was made available to The Associated Press today.

New York Magazine reported last month that an FBI analysis of the device showed Zaharie had conducted a simulated flight to the southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished along a similar route. The magazine cited the discovery as strong evidence that the disappearance was a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide at the hands of the captain.

"Until today, this theory is still under investigation. There is no evidence to prove that Captain Zaharie flew the plane into the southern Indian Ocean," Liow said. "Yes, there is the simulator but the (route) was one of thousands to many parts of the world. We cannot just base on that to confirm (he did it)."

Liow didn't say when the Indian Ocean path was flown on the simulator. He stressed that international experts and Australian officials have agreed that the most likely scenario was "uncontrolled ditching" of the plane.

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center which is overseeing the search for the plane off Australia's west coast

has also said that evidence of the route did not prove that Zaharie had planned to steer the plane off course and showed only "the possibility of planning" for such an event.

Malaysia's national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar has said investigations will not be conclusive until the black boxes the cockpit voice recorder and a data recorder are recovered. He did not rule out a pilot suicide.

Officials have been stymied in their efforts to explain why the Boeing 777 carrying 239 people veered so far off course during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. Theories have ranged from a deliberate murder-suicide plot by one of the pilots, to a hijacking, to a mechanical catastrophe.

Similarly, search crews have been unable to find the main wreckage of the plane despite a sweeping underwater hunt of a remote stretch of ocean off Australia's west coast.

Last month, officials from Malaysia, Australia and China announced that the underwater search will be suspended once the current search area has been completely scoured. Crews have fewer than 10,000 square kilometres left to scan of the 120,000-square-kilometres search area, and should finish their sweep of the region by the end of the year.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Malaysia-confirms-MH-370-course-was-on-pilots-simulator/articleshow/53557201.cms

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Africa

Muslim World League to hold conference on religious tolerance in Nigeria

August 5, 2016

A member of the Muslim World League, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko, said on Friday that the organisation would work towards strengthening religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.

Wamakko said in Sokoto that the League would encourage followers of the two major religions in Nigeria to work closely, to engender respect and understanding among them.

According to him, the organisation is bringing together Muslim and Christian scholars to a conference aimed at strengthening knowledge on the teachings of the two religions.

Wamakko added that the conference would address issues of religious extremism, violence in the name of religion and similar issues that tend to portray religion in bad light.

He stressed the need for religious leaders at all levels to do more in sensitising their followers on the importance of tolerance, understanding and mutual respect.

Wamakko, a former governor of Sokoto State and now a Senator, said Nigerians must live in peace and pray for their leaders in order to reap God’s abundant blessings.

punchng.com/muslim-world-league-hold-conference-religious-tolerance-nigeria/

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Egypt: Leader of Islamic State affiliate killed in Sinai

AP | Aug 5, 2016

CAIRO: Egypt's military said on Thursday that the leader of the Islamic State's affiliate has been killed in the Sinai Peninsula, along with several key aides and 45 other members of the extremist group.

Few details were immediately available and there was no word from the extremist group's branch in Egypt on what, if confirmed, would be a major setback for the Sinai-based militants.

A posting on the Facebook page of the Egyptian military's chief spokesman, Brig-Gen Mohammed Samir, said Abu Doaa al-Ansari was killed in an operation south of the coastal city of el-Arish. It said the operation was carried out by counterterrorism forces backed by warplanes and guided by ``accurate intelligence.''

The statement did not provide a total number of those killed or say when the operation took place, but two military officials with first-hand knowledge of the conflict in the turbulent northern part of Sinai said al-Ansari and his aides were killed in an airstrike that targeted a house located amid olive groves south of el-Arish.

Aerial images of the strike released by the military appeared to confirm the account given by the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the operation with the media.

The name of Abu Doaa al-Ansari is not widely known and had not been previously mentioned as that of the leader of the Sunni militant group, which was known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Soldiers of Jerusalem, before it swore allegiance to the Islamic State group fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Al-Ansari's name is likely a nom de guerre something militants typically take when joining groups such as IS. These names often allude to the country or city a militant hails from or the place he adopted as his home.

Mohannad Sabry, an Egyptian expert on the Sinai insurgency, said it was a ``seriously embarrassing situation'' that the military did not provide al-Ansari's real name, something he said casts doubts on the purported leader's identity and the report of his death.

``Even if someone with this nom de guerre exists, this will be one more time Egypt's military announces that it has killed the leader, or a leader of a group that never publicly named its leader,'' Sabry told The Associated Press.

The military's report could not be independently confirmed. Egypt has virtually banned independent media from northern Sinai while the pro-government press relies almost entirely on often brief army and police statements on the fighting there.

Also, an anti-terrorism law adopted last year places severe restrictions on media coverage of anti-government activity, with heavy fines and up to five years' imprisonment for publishing news that contradicts official statements or is perceived as promoting militant causes.

According to the Egyptian military officials, the airstrike that killed al-Ansari was part of an ongoing, intense air campaign that began more than a week ago and in which jet-fighters, helicopter gunships and drones are being used. The campaign of airstrikes, at least in part, were in response to the growing threat to ground troops posed by roadside bombs planted by the militants, they said.

The officials also suggested that the 45 who were mentioned in the military spokesman's statement as slain alongside al-Ansari, may have perished in a series of airstrikes earlier this week that targeted IS positions and ammunition depots near the border town of Rafah.

Egyptian forces have been battling Islamic militants in Sinai for years but the insurgency there has grown deadlier since the 2013 ouster by the military of Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist president whose one year in office proved divisive for the country.

Earlier this week, a 35-minute video released by the Islamic State's branch in Sinai purported to show IS attacks against Egyptian security forces, including roadside bomb blasts, gun battles and sniper fire.

The military officials dismissed the video as a compilation of heavily edited footage of past attacks.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypt-Leader-of-Islamic-State-affiliate-killed-in-Sinai/articleshow/53549994.cms

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Egypt's former Grand Mufti survives assassination attempt

CAIRO, August 5

Egypt's former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, once one of the country's top religious authorities, survived an assassination attempt on Friday, security sources told Reuters and state television later reported.

Two men on a motorcycle fired guns on Gomaa as he entered a mosque, the sources said. He was unharmed and one of his bodyguards received a minor injury to the foot. The gunmen immediately fled the scene.

"If Ali Gomaa dies there are millions who will take his place," Gomaa told state television shortly after news of the attempt was made public. "I gave my sermon right after my survival."

Like many of the top religious figures in the Egyptian state, Gomaa is an adherent of a mystical school of Islam known as Sufism whose practices have sometimes set them at odds with more puritanical Muslims, including hardline Islamist groups.

Gomaa is an outspoken critic of Islamist groups — including the Muslim Brotherhood, which the military ousted from power in 2013 after mass protests against former President Mohamed Mursi.

He is also close to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the military's ouster of Mursi, and campaigned for his election.

"I tell Sisi ‘Remember your God and pray to him and walk in his blessing. God will grant you victory. This proves you are on the right path’," Gomaa said.

The grand mufti is in charge of issuing religious edicts as well as issuing a non-binding opinion on all capital sentences.

No group claimed the attempt on Gomaa's life.

Egypt is facing an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State's local branch in North Sinai where hundreds of soldiers and police were killed. There have been attacks in Cairo and other cities as well.

The country's top prosecutor was assassinated by a car bomb in June last year. — Reuters

tribuneindia.com/news/world/egypt-s-former-grand-mufti-survives-assassination-attempt/276369.html

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Gold Medals for Qubaa Muslim School Mombasa

5 August 2016

Coastweek -- Qubaa Muslim School located in Mombasa County has managed to bring three gold medals and eight silver medals in International World Scholar Cup in Thailand to Kenya.

The success brought to Kenya by two Muslim girls made Mvita MP. Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir visit the school and award them certificates of merits for their exemplary performance.

World Scholar’s Cup is an international team academic tournament involving primary and secondary scholars with students participating from over 40 countries.

Qubaa Muslim School students achieved the thirteenth position countrywide and thus qualified for the global round in Thailand.

In the global round there were 1150 teams with more than 270 teams from Africa but after a vigorous competition, two sisters, Taheeya Mohammed and Tanweera Mohammed bagged 11 medals - three gold and eight silver medals and emerged 6th position in Africa.

The World Scholar’s Cup offered an incredible opportunity to these two amazing girls who emphatically discussed the theme of the year “an imperfect world” which fit well with the problems bedevilling today’s society.

Qubaa Muslim School is providing holistic education and thus making a whole round student ready to face the ever changing world.

This dynamism has made the school participate in this year world scholar’s cup in the Republic of Thailand.

Qubaa Muslim School has a pool of professionally trained caregivers with a vast of experience and teaching acumen ready to produce problems solvers.

Director, Mr. Fatih Akdogan says, “We believe that the each individual student possess the potential to make it in life and that’s why we have the different clubs such as debate and public speaking which have provided the base needed to produce refined speakers such as our very own Taheeya Mohamed and Tanweera Mohamed.

    “We support projects that nourish young minds. One of the recent clubs that is being initiated is “robotic club”.”

    Tanweera Mohamed says “The school’s curriculum is the reason for our success.

    “We are encouraged by the Project Office which most schools don’t have.

    “Therefore we managed to join the global round”.

coastweek.com/3932-extra-01.htm

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘verses-on-jihad-added-to-the-syllabus-of-pakistan-to-appease-the-americans--cii-chairman/d/108191

 

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