New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 23 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Waves of Disinformation and Confusion Swamp the Truth in Libya

Did NATO help pave the way for Shariah law in Libya?

Taliban commander stoned to death by angry villagers in Afghan

Turkey reports heavy PKK losses after week of bombing

Mistaken identity? 2 women forced to marry in Indonesia

Libyan rebels hunt Gaddafi, try to secure Tripoli

Libyans Face a New Challenge: Expelling the Fear That Qaddafi Instilled in Them

Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 7 at a Ramadi Checkpoint

No indication that Gaddafi left Libya: US

Syrians have the right to democracy too: Sarkozy

After Arab Revolts, Reigns of Uncertainty

Times Journalists Briefly Held by Loyalists in Tripoli

Europe Accuses Iranian Force of Aiding Syrian Crackdown

Army scores iftar point as J& K eats out of its hand

Images Show Mass Graves in Sudan, Group Says

Grave tragedy! J& K vows to dig out truth

Twenty people subjected to enforced disappearance in Pakistan controlled Gilgit

Swat’s 1st female lawyer pledges to work for women

Pakistani woman police officer bags international award

Landmines kill 10 militants in Tirah

Five killed in restive central Iraq province

Woman killed under torture in Syria

Local Afghan government officials killed in south

Taliban’s threats force some nurses to wear veils

China criticises foreign pressure on Syria

Pakistan, China ties are unique: Hina Rabbani Khar

Libyan rebel council offers $1.7m for Col Gaddafi killed or capture

Frenzied rebels run riot in the “Mad Dog's lair”... but Gaddafi is nowhere to be found

Gaddafi in 'death or victory rant' after his bunker is stormed...

Hezbollah asks Libya rebels to help solve Moussa Al-Sadr case

Post-uprising, Libyan rebels face a struggle for unity

Papers blast ‘wait-and-see’ Algeria over Libya upheaval

Qaddafi Defiant After Rebel Takeover

Muslims demand Shariah student loans

Coastal cities under threat from pan-Islamic terror groups: Govt.

Islamic Rebels Reject “genuine autonomy” Plan for Filipino Muslims

Pregnant cradles her bump at funeral for Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan

Israel says it killed Islamic Jihad militant in airstrike

Journalists trapped in Libya's Rixos hotel wait ... and hope

3 arrested in American's kidnapping in Pakistan

Amnesty urges Bangladesh to stop unlawful killings

Western powers target Assad with UN sanctions

US envoy defies Syrian bar to meet opposition

Six Al Qaeda gunmen killed in south Yemen

Nato loses its ‘fuel’ to fight!

Pakistan says it doesn't want to be used by others

Tajik extremist sentenced to 18 years

Al-Zawahiri's message ignored by media

Iranian pleads guilty to scientist's assassination

Cuts in US aid to Pak will send negative signal: Zardari

Syrian embassy in Berlin vandalised

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/waves-of-disinformation-and-confusion-swamp-the-truth-in-libya/d/5313

 

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Waves of Disinformation and Confusion Swamp the Truth in Libya

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and ROD NORDLAND

24th August 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Truth was first a casualty in Libya well before this war began, and the war has not improved matters at all, on any side.

Libya has long been a republic of lies or, in the words of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, “the only democracy in the world.” Colonel Qaddafi was the absolute dictator who claimed years ago to have stepped down from all public posts. He said he was more of a sage, or guide, to Libya’s six million citizens.

In Libya, as with authoritarian governments generally, leaders are accustomed to dictating how people should think; no matter how outrageous the lie or how obviously bizarre (as was often the case in Libya), it is often received as reality by a public numbed by isolation and oppression. So it may not be surprising that the rebels now challenging Colonel Qaddafi sometimes sound like him, because he is the only leader they ever knew. Many of the rebels’ leaders were in Colonel Qaddafi’s top echelons, helping defend and promote his vision, and version, of reality.

A case in point was the rebels’ claim on Sunday that they had arrested Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the leader’s son who is often talked of as the heir apparent. The claim was issued with such authority, even setting off a debate among rebels over what to do with the younger Mr. Qaddafi, that the International Criminal Court said he should be transported to The Hague.

By the wee hours of Tuesday morning, however, Mr. Qaddafi was squiring journalists around neighborhoods filled with Qaddafi sympathizers, saying the rebels who had rolled into the city had fallen into a trap.

Information, or rather truthful information, is often difficult to come by in any war zone. Disinformation is a powerful tool that can be used to mislead the enemy, hide tactics, instigate fear or win public support. There is also the fog of war, the confusion in communications and the chaos of the battlefield that can obscure any objective understanding.

But in Libya, with so many competing factions and overlapping agendas — Qaddafi loyalists, competing tribes, western guerrillas, eastern rebels, NATO allies — all of that is true, to an exceptional degree.

By sunrise, it seemed that the younger Qaddafi’s claim of having sprung an elaborate trap was just another lie, as rebels poured into Colonel Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound.

“It’s a timely reminder that Twitter, 24-hour rolling news channels and satphones are still useless against the fog of war,” Rob Crilly of The Daily Telegraph of London wrote on Tuesday.

During the six months of fighting, both the rebels and Colonel Qaddafi’s forces repeatedly overstated or misrepresented their battlefield abilities and accomplishments. The rebels said they had seized cities, only to be pushed back hours or days later; on Tuesday, Colonel Qaddafi’s forces insisted that they controlled Tripoli. In the early days of the NATO intervention, optimistic claims about the rebels’ capacities and battlefield gains seemed intended to reassure queasy domestic audiences that a quick victory was possible.

One day before rebels invaded Colonel Qaddafi’s compound, a NATO spokesman, Col. Roland Lavoie, was asked where the Libyan leader might be hiding.

“I don’t have a clue,” he said at a news conference in Italy, offering an answer with the ring of truth.

Then he added, perhaps less convincingly, “I’m not sure it really does matter.”

The examples of spin from all sides provide one of many echoes in Libya of the war in Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein. For months after Mr. Hussein slipped into hiding, the American military had insisted that his capture was unimportant — until, of course, they captured him and promptly distributed images of him having lice picked from his hair. Officials were jubilant.

When the Americans rolled into Baghdad, they did so with what turned out to be a false justification — that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction.” That claim was so deeply accepted by the troops that they packed gas masks and spent much of the critical first weeks looking for unconventional weapons, rather than controlling looters, which was one of the Iraqi grievances that later fed an insurgency.

Sometimes it is hard to tell if the people spreading the information believe it themselves. “There are no American infidels in Baghdad — never,” Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf, Mr. Hussein’s prevaricating minister of information, said long after American troops had entered the city.

Was this disinformation? Self-deception?

When it was no longer possible to deny their presence, after American troops had reached the center of the city, Mr. Sahhaf had a ready reply. “They’re coming to surrender or be burned in their tanks,” he said.

Those Iraqi troops who took him seriously — and there were some — died.

Unlike Iraq, the misinformation in Libya has sometimes taken on the feel of a comic opera.

When the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi began, he blamed Al Qaeda and youths “fueled by milk and Nescafé spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.” When that did not get enough traction, he said of the rebels: “They feel trigger happy, and they shoot especially when they are stoned on drugs.”

His maladroit spokesmen at one point showed journalists what they said were 36 million doses of confiscated hallucinogens — which proved to be Tramadol, a common painkiller.

Still, the rebels have offered their own far-fetched claims, like mass rapes by loyalist troops issued tablets of Viagra. Although the rebels have not offered credible proof, that claim is nonetheless the basis of an investigation by the International Criminal Court.

And there is the mantra, with racist overtones, that the Qaddafi government is using African mercenaries, which rebels repeat as fact over and over. There have been no confirmed cases of that; supposedly there are many African prisoners of war being held in Benghazi, but conveniently journalists are not allowed to see them. There are, however, African guest workers, poorly paid migrant labor, many of whom, unarmed, have been labeled mercenaries.

Both sides, of course, pronounce victory as a certainty.

In the case of Mahmoud Jibril, the rebel prime minister, it is just a little late. “The total collapse of the regime could materialize in the next few weeks,” he said during a visit to Washington in May.

David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Tripoli, and Rod Nordland from Kabul, Afghanistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/world/africa/24fog.html

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Did NATO help pave the way for Sharia law in Libya?

24th August 2011

A reprodution of a leaflet dropped by NATO forces over the Libyan capital Tripoli. The leaflet reads in Arabic, ' Warning: You are not a match or equal to the superior weapons systems and airpower of NATO and pursuing your deed will lead to your death.'

It’s just a few short lines in a draft of the new Libyan constitution that is circulating around on the internet but it’s enough to have some people worry about the shape and ideology of the new Libyan government that will ostensibly soon be taking over the country. The draft constitution says “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence,” and that’s enough to raise fears of Islamic law, or Sharia, being the foundation for a new Libyan government and legal system once Muammar Qaddafi’s regime falls. Before we all get carried away it’s worth noting that several Middle Eastern countries, with democratic governments, have similar language deferring to Islamic law principles in their constitutions—among them are Indonesia, Turkey and even Iraq. It’s also important to point out that there are no obviously Islamist elements in Libya’s transitional government, and indeed representatives of the rebel group have gone to great pains to play down any fears of a new religious theocracy taking over in Tripoli. But as street battles rage in the Libyan capital we should be looking ahead to the formation of a new government and the consideration challenges that government would face, from rebuilding a shattered economy to pulling together a very fractured country. What will a new Libyan government look like and will it have an Islamist bent to it?

http://www.scpr.org/programs/patt-morrison/2011/08/23/20400/nato-libya

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Taliban commander stoned to death by angry villagers in Afghan

By RAY RIVERA and TAIMOOR SHAH

24th August 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — Angry villagers stoned to death a local Taliban commander and his bodyguard in southern Afghanistan Sunday after the militants killed a 60-year-old man accused of aiding the government, Afghan officials said.

It was a rare reversal of brutality aimed at the Taliban and, some Afghan officials believe, suggests a growing sense of security in an area where the insurgency has lost ground to NATO forces in the last two years. The stoning happened in the Nawa District of Helmand Province, a verdant agricultural area along the Helmand River Valley, now considered one of the safest places in the volatile south as a result of a heavy influx of American troops and aid dollars.

“People won’t tolerate the Taliban’s barbaric actions anymore,” said Dawoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand Province. “They will stand against them whenever they are harmed.”

The stoning occurred a day after insurgents in the northeastern province of Kunar stoned, hanged and shot two Afghan National Army soldiers returning from leave, Afghan officials said. The attacks were unrelated and happened far away from each other, but they underscored the grisly nature of the insurgency even as NATO officials say overall violence in the country is beginning to show a sustained downward trend for the first time in five years.

Enemy-initiated attacks were down in 12 of the last 16 weeks compared with the same periods last year, Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said Monday. Over all, levels of violence are higher than last year, NATO officials said, but the recent declines, coming in what is supposed to be the Taliban’s prime fighting season, have led to hope among the officials that violence by the end of 2011 will fall below 2010 levels, which were the worst since the war began almost 10 years ago.

The Helmand episode began Sunday evening when two armed insurgents roared up on a motorcycle to a mosque in the village of Trekh Zaber, where Yaar Muhammad, a local farmer, and his two sons were waiting to celebrate Iftar, the evening breaking of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The men ordered Mr. Muhammad to come to them, and as he did, they fired their weapons, killing him instantly, said Hajji Hayatullah, a district council member. As Mr. Muhammad fell, his sons jumped the two gunmen and pulled them off their motorcycle. Other villagers joined in, officials said, beating the men to death with stones.

Officials said Mr. Muhammad had received threats but, apart from being friends with a former provincial governor, had no official role in the government.

“The Taliban dislike people who have sympathy with the government, that might be the reason,” Mr. Hayatullah said.

Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, denied that Taliban were involved. “This must be a personal issue among the villagers themselves,” he said by cellphone from an undisclosed location.

Hajji Abdul Manaf Kan, the district governor, said the stoning showed that fear of the Taliban is waning as security has improved in the area. “When the people feel secure, they will definitely rise up against the Taliban,” he said.

But some simply viewed it as an act of vengeance.

“I don’t think people feel secure in Nawa,” said Hajji Ahmad Shah Khan, a tribal elder there. “I myself don’t feel secure, because the armed men are so cruel against the people. It is hard to raise voices against them. But when someone kills someone’s father or brother in front of you, it makes you retaliate.”

While violence has dropped with the surge of American troops in some parts of the province, the Taliban have been asserting themselves in Gereshk, a market town on the ring highway that circles the country.

A bomb hidden in a metal shop in the bazaar blew up early Monday, killing the shopkeeper as well as a child sitting in a car parked outside, Afghan officials said. Over the weekend, armed men on motorcycles gunned down a district council member and a local prosecutor.

It was part of a campaign of assassinations that have plagued the south in recent months, singling out not only high-ranking officials but also low-level civil servants. Among those assassinated was Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai’s half brother and the influential leader of the Kandahar provincial council. He was killed in July.

Violence, meanwhile, has continued to shift from the south to the east, where, in Kunar Province, the two Afghan Army soldiers returning to base from home leave on Saturday night were yanked from their taxi by insurgents in Ghaziabad District, said Col. Sheren Aqa of the army’s 201st Corps.

“Then, the armed men and some of their other local friends started stoning them brutally and then hanged them,” Colonel Aqa said.

As a final measure, Colonel Aqa said, they shot the men. “This was a horrible and sad incident,” he said. “No one would kill detainees like this, as they did.”

Officials found the mutilated bodies on Sunday and returned them to their families, Colonel Aqa said.

Ray Rivera reported from Kabul, and Taimoor Shah from Kandahar, Afghanistan. An employee of The New York Times contributed reporting from eastern Afghanistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/asia/23afghanistan.html?gwh=F8E32950175FECA849D2889496552FCA&pagewanted=print

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Turkey reports heavy PKK losses after week of bombing

24th August 2011

The Turkish army says it has killed up to 100 Kurdish rebels in a week of air and artillery strikes on suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq.

A statement on the army website said that, according to its estimates, between 90 and 100 were killed and more than 80 wounded.

The PKK has confirmed three deaths, while local reports say a family of seven were killed by the bombing.

Turkey began the strikes after deadly PKK attacks on its soldiers.

Carried out between 17 and 22 August, they are believed to be the first major strikes on rebel bases in northern Iraq in over a year.

They came shortly after PKK fighters ambushed a troop convoy last Wednesday, killing nine soldiers and injuring 14.

The PKK launched its armed insurrection in the Turkish south-east in 1984. At least 40,000 people have been killed since then.

The group is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the US.

Hopes of negotiations raised before the recent Turkish general election appear to have been dashed by the upsurge in fighting.

'Civilians targeted'

Most of the 132 targets reportedly hit were described by the army as "shelters" but they also included nine anti-aircraft sites and one arms dump.

Kurdish sources often give very different figures and accounts from the Turkish military and it is often impossible to verify such figures independently.

On Monday, PKK spokesman Ahmed Denis said three fighters had been killed during initial strikes on Dohuk province in northern Iraq.

The spokesman added that if Turkey continued its attacks, the PKK would "go to war with Turkey".

Officials in northern Iraq say a family of seven was killed in its car on Sunday.

Barham Ahmed Hama Rasheed, mayor of the town of Rania, said those killed included three children and a baby aged three months.

Kardo Mohammed, a member of the Iraqi Kurdish parliament, said the shelling constituted a breach of international conventions and agreements between the two countries.

"The Turkish shelling targeted civilians basically, and the proof is the killing of these seven civilians, including children," he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

"We do not believe that the planes cannot differentiate between civilian and military, or a child and a fighter carrying a rifle," the Iraqi Kurdish MP added.

The Turkish military insisted that all targets were repeatedly assessed and only attacked "after it was established with certainty that they were not areas inhabited by civilians".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14629046

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Mistaken identity? 2 women forced to marry in Indonesia

Aug 25, 2011

BANDA ACEH (INDONESIA): Islamic police in Indonesia's Aceh province are stumped about how to handle a case of two women who married at the urging of neighbours concerned that one of the roommates was a man and therefore a couple living in sin.

Aceh is the only province in the country that applies Shariah, Islamic laws.

The women, Nuraini and Rohani, came under pressure as neighbours assumed Rohani was a man because of her appearance and male nickname, Ranto. But after marriage, suspicions grew that Rohani was actually a woman and local residents turned them in to the police on Sunday. "In the Prophet's book, people committing such a thing should be beheaded or thrown into the sea, but we don't have that in our regulations," Muddasir, head of Aceh's religious police, said.

Muddasir said his office had failed to find any article regulating same-sex marriages. The couple has been detained, with police and religious figures considering ways to separate them forever. This mirrors a wider conflict between those pushing for an Islamic state and a moderate, youthful population.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Mistaken-identity-2-women-forced-to-marry-in-Indonesia/articleshow/9728680.cms

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No indication that Gaddafi left Libya: US

Aug 25, 2011

WASHINGTON: There is no indication that the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has left the country but the recent developments have shown that power is slipping away from him, the White House has said.

"There's still no evidence to indicate that he has left," White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters travelling with the US President Barack Obama in his summer vacation.

What I can tell you is that the developments that we're seeing are an indication that the Gaddafi regime's 42-year grip on power in Libya is slipping, Earnest said.

"That is frankly a testament to the resolve and courage of the Libyan people, over the course of the last six months that they have been able to make significant progress on that front. That progress has no doubt been aided by the efforts of Nato and our partners in the region who have provided some pretty significant support on that front," he said, adding that the US is monitoring the situation in Libya.

He said that efforts were being made to free up some of the Libyan assets that were frozen as a part of the embargo that the US had put in place several months ago.

"So they're working to free up about $1.5 billion in those funds, in those resources, to provide some humanitarian assistance and to provide some support to the TNC that's sort in the early stages of trying to put some governmental infrastructure in place there," Earnest said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/No-indication-that-Gaddafi-left-Libya-US/articleshow/9728446.cms

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Syrians have the right to democracy too: Sarkozy

Aug 25, 2011

PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday the Syrian people “have the right to democracy too” following a meeting with a leader of the Libyan rebel movement that toppled Muammar Qadhafi’s regime.

“Syrians have the right to democracy too, and they are not condemned to being suppressed by a regime that does not understand we are living in a new century,” Sarkozy said, while nevertheless ruling out military intervention.

The French leader was speaking after talks with Mahmud Jibril, prime minister of the National Transitional Council, the rebel movement that overthrew Qadhafi’s Libyan regime with the aid of Nato airstrikes.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is facing a similar pro-democracy revolt, but his opposition is largely unarmed and he has so far been more successful than Kadhafi in carrying out a brutal crackdown on the streets.

“Let’s be clear, France will not intervene without an international mandate, that’s the baseline,” Sarkozy said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/syrians-have-the-right-to-democracy-too-sarkozy.html

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Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 7 at a Ramadi Checkpoint

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and OMAR AL-JAWOSHY

Aug 25, 2011

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives attacked a police checkpoint west of Ramadi on Wednesday night, killing seven people, including five police officers, and wounding four other officers and a civilian, according to local officials.

The attack, coming four days after Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia released a statement saying it was in the midst of a 100-attack campaign in Iraq to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden, underscored the country’s tenuous security situation as the United States prepares to withdraw its roughly 48,000 remaining troops by the end of the year.

The head of the police in Anbar Province, Maj. Gen. Hadi Rizaich, said that security officials had some warning that there was going to be a car bomb attack in Ramadi on Wednesday night, but had been unable to find the car.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/middleeast/25ramadi.html

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Libyan rebels hunt Gaddafi, try to secure Tripoli

Aug 25, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyans hunting Muammar Gaddafi offered a $2 million bounty on the fallen dictator's head and amnesty for anyone who kills or captures him as rebels battled Wednesday to clear the last pockets of resistance from the capital Tripoli.

While some die-hard loyalists kept up the fight to defend Gaddafi, his support was crumbling by the hour. His deputy intelligence chief defected, and even his foreign minister said his 42-year rule was over.

A defiant Gaddafi vowed from hiding to fight on "until victory or martyrdom," in an audio message early Wednesday.

He may have little choice. Asked by the British broadcaster Channel 4 if a negotiated settlement or safe passage for Gaddafi from Libya was still possible, foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi said: "It looks like things have passed this kind of solution."

Rebel leaders were beginning to set up a new government in the capital. Their interim administration, the National Transitional Council, has been based in the eastern city of Benghazi, which fell under rebel control shortly after the outbreak of widespread protests in February.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libyan-rebels-hunt-Gaddafi-try-to-secure-Tripoli/articleshow/9727546.cms

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After Arab Revolts, Reigns of Uncertainty

By ANTHONY SHADID

Aug 25, 2011

DJERBA, Tunisia — The idealism of the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, where the power of the street revealed the frailty of authority, revived an Arab world anticipating change. But Libya’s unfinished revolution, as inspiring as it is unsettling, illustrates how perilous that change has become as it unfolds in this phase of the Arab Spring.

Though the rebels’ flag has gone up in Tripoli, their leadership is fractured and opaque; the intentions and influence of Islamists in their ranks are uncertain; Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi remains at large in a flight reminiscent of Saddam Hussein’s; and foreigners have been involved in the fight in the kind of intervention that has long been toxic to the Arab world.

Not to mention, of course, that a lot of young men have a lot of guns.

No uprising is alike, but Libya’s complexities echo in the revolts in Bahrain, Syria and, most of all, Yemen, suggesting that the prolonged transition of Arab countries to a new order may prove as tumultuous to the region as Egypt’s moment was stirring.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25arab.html?gwh=683A9C19659E50EB699BA4E27A9D6656&ref=world&pagewanted=print

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Libyans Face a New Challenge: Expelling the Fear That Qaddafi Instilled in Them

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Aug 25, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — When rebels broke through the gates of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s compound this week, Abdul Rahman Sharif was so moved that despite the gunfire he took his daughters, ages 11, 15 and 18, with him to see it for themselves. Then after dark he returned with his wife. And the next day, as more bullets flew, he visited the compound with his 90-year-old mother.

Looking back at the dizzying collapse of Colonel Qaddafi’s terrifying power as he and his mother drove home, he said, Libyans now face a more subtle challenge. “We need to get rid of the little Muammar el-Qaddafi inside each of us,” he said, describing a combination of anxiety, lawlessness and cynicism he attributed to four decades under Colonel Qaddafi’s arbitrary authoritarianism. “Some people hated him, some people would die for him, but even if you did not like him he affected you,” Mr. Sharif, 56, said.

Residents of Tripoli keep venturing out in the still-contested streets to gawk as jubilant rebels overrun the iconic backdrops of Colonel Qaddafi’s theatrical rule — his barracks and mansion at the Bab al-Aziziya compound, the old city square he named after his “green” revolution. And they reflected on the unexpected brittleness of his hold on the city. Many said that his power, like that of so many tyrants, was rooted mainly in the fear he had instilled in Libyans, until a few rebel victories kicked it away.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25voices.html

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Times Journalists Briefly Held by Loyalists in Tripoli

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Aug 25, 2011

A New York Times reporter and photographer, along with their Libyan driver, were briefly detained at gunpoint in Tripoli on Wednesday, after their car approached a luxury hotel controlled by loyalists to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The loyalists were holding more than 30 other foreign journalists inside the hotel, the Rixos.

The reporter, David D. Kirkpatrick, the newspaper’s Cairo bureau chief on assignment to cover the Libya conflict, said that two armed guards ordered all three men out of the vehicle, which was displaying the rebel flag. He said the guards placed the driver on the ground, threatened to kill him, and then ordered all three to go inside the hotel. Once inside, other journalists helped Mr. Kirkpatrick persuade their captors that they were not part of the larger group of detained journalists at the hotel. The journalists argued that the hotel did not have enough drinking water for its other occupants already.

After about 10 minutes, Mr. Kirkpatrick said, the guards allowed the three to leave the hotel, but kept their vehicle. All three made their way to safety, he said.

Later in the day, the loyalist guards allowed the other journalists at the Rixos to go free, and the car was recovered near Tripoli.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25tripoli.html

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Europe Accuses Iranian Force of Aiding Syrian Crackdown

By NADA BAKRI

Aug 25, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The European Union announced on Wednesday that it was leveling sanctions against Iran’s Al Quds military force, saying it had given technical and material support to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in his efforts to crush the five-month-old uprising against his rule.

The move adds the European Union’s imprimatur to charges that Iran has aided Mr. Assad in carrying out a brutal crackdown of pro-democracy activists that the United Nations says has killed 2,200 people since March.

There was no immediate reaction from the Syrian or the Iranian governments about the sanctions, which are the first to single out Iran in connection with the Syrian uprising. The decision was welcomed by activists in Damascus, Syria, who have refused to back down in the face of the crackdown.

“The sanctions are great and very needed,” said an opposition figure from Damascus who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisal. “But I don’t know how much they will help us on the ground to get rid of this regime. It is going to be a long battle.”

The European Union said in a statement published in its official journal that Al Quds, an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, “provided technical assistance, equipment and support to the Syrian security services to repress civilian protest movements.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/middleeast/25syria.html

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Army scores iftar point as J& K eats out of its hand

By Arjun Sharma

Aug 25, 2011

THE Indian Army has many detractors in Jammu and Kashmir.

It has drawn flak over its high handedness. There are also allegations of human rights violations against it.

However, this Ramzan, the army has decided to reach out to the people in a bid to allay fears of its repressive nature.

Since the start of the holy month of Ramzan, the army has been organising a series of iftar parties for the minority population living in far flung areas of the state.

The parties are held daily after sunset.

Army units stationed in Muslim- majority areas like Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar arrange the parties daily in which a large number of people, including women and children, take part.

During the course of these iftar parties, army doctors also provide free medical check- ups and distribute medicines.

S. N. Acharya, the Jammu- based army spokesperson said: “ People are delighted to attend the iftar parties. They wholeheartedly appreciate the gesture of goodwill and bonhomie extended by the army.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Images Show Mass Graves in Sudan, Group Says

By JOSH KRON

24th August 2011

KAMPALA, Uganda — A satellite imagery project monitoring parts of Sudan says it has found new evidence of mass graves in the troubled Nuba Mountains region, where the government has recently waged a fierce campaign to stamp out rebels.

In a report scheduled to be published Wednesday, the Satellite Sentinel Project contends that as many as eight mass graves have been dug in the area since June, including two new sites discovered in the past week. It says the images show body bags, vehicles and machinery used to dispose of the dead.

The information and images provided by the project follow multiple allegations by residents and human rights advocates that the Sudanese government and its aligned forces have carried out widespread killings and other abuses against civilians in the region this summer. The Sudanese government rejects the assertion, saying it has taken aim solely at the rebels, not at civilians.

“The pictures do not show the truth,” Rabie A. Atti, a Sudanese government spokesman, said Tuesday. “Behind them I think it is the rebels that falsify such rumors, to bring the international community to intervene in this domestic crisis.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/world/africa/24sudan.html?pagewanted=print&gwh=

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Grave tragedy! J& K vows to dig out truth

24th August 2011

THE issue of a large number of unmarked graves in Kashmir has finally been exhumed.

The J& K government’s unified command council decided to examine a State Human Rights Commission ( SHRC) report on the matter at a meeting chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday.

In February 2008, M AIL T ODAY was the first national newspaper to break the story. Details about the presence of unmarked graves in north Kashmir’s Uri area were given in the article titled ‘ Tragedies buried in Kashmir graves’. The latest SHRC report mentions that 2,730 people were buried in 38 unmarked graveyards in the border districts of Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora in north Kashmir. The document has not been submitted to the state government so far.

While the police claimed that they were bodies of unknown militants and handed them over to locals for burial, 574 were later identified as local residents. The SHRC said there was every possibility of the interred unidentified bodies being those of people subjected to forced disappearance.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Twenty people subjected to enforced disappearance in Pakistan controlled Gilgit

Senge H Sering

24th August 2011

At around 3 AM on August 20, 2011, hundreds of law enforcement personnel entered Altit, Nasirabad, Aliabad, Karimabad and Murtazabad towns of Hunza district. While the residents were preparing midnight meals to observe the Holy month of Ramadan, the forces barged into the neighborhoods and detained more than twenty youth. The detainees were later charged for sedition and terrorism and taken to unknown location by the secret service agents.

Reports have come of influential leaders including Tahir Jan, Irfan Hunzai and Afsar Jan being taken in custody while the security personnel continue their search for Babajan Hunzai, the Chairperson of Progressive Youth Front. Local dignitaries including the president of Gilgit-Baltistan High Court Bar Association have condemned these extra judicial arrests.

Later the same day, the Royal heir of Hunza and his wife presented themselves to the police authorities in protest of the arrests of innocent and peaceful internally displaced persons (IDPs) who became victim of the flashfloods and landslides a year ago and continue to languish in makeshift tents without proper health and educational facilities.

Full report at:

http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/Twenty_people_subjected_to_enforced_disappearance_in_Pakistan_controlled_Gilgit,201137437.aspx

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Swat’s 1st female lawyer pledges to work for women

By M. Ibrahim

Aug 24 2011

SWAT – In May, 26-year-old Saima Anwar – like many other lawyers – began practicing law. But Saima’s case is unique because she is Swat’s first female lawyer.

“I liked this profession from my very childhood, and it was my passion to become a lawyer, even though there was a taboo on female education in our family,” Saima told Central Asia Online while sitting alongside her male colleagues in the lawyers’ lounge in Mingora, Swat.

Her parents encouraged her even though her uncles and male in-laws put up resistance, she said.

“The resistance grew more intense when I completed my school-level studies and got admission to a local college,” she said. “(But) the plight of Pashtun women pushed me to take up this profession,” she said, explaining that in Pashtun society, women lack legal rights and are blocked from pleading their cases properly in all forums.

Saima’s determination was evident as she continued her legal studies even when though the Taliban banned females from school during its 2007-2009 rule of Swat.

“Those were very trying times for all of us,” she said, recalling how the Taliban publicly flogged Swat women for perceived crimes and executed Shabana, the dancer, in a Mingora square in 2009 for defying their ban on dancing.

When the military launched its operation in Swat, she and three classmates were appearing for their LL.B. final-year written exam, Saima said.

“Everybody, even the management of our institution, advised us against appearing in the exam as curfew was imposed and the Mingora streets ... reverberated with heavy gunfire,” she recalled.

Full report at:

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/features/pakistan/main

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Pakistani woman police officer bags international award

24th August 2011

UNITED NATIONS: A Pakistani woman police officer, currently working for a UN peacekeeping operation, has received the 2011 International Female Police Peacekeeper Award in recognition of her outstanding performance.

Shahzadi Gulfam, a deputy superintendent of police, is the first Pakistani woman officer to receive the prestigious award. She is deployed with the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) as the UN Police (UNPOL) team leader posted in the Timor-Leste National Police Vulnerable Persons Unit in Dili, the capital.

Ms Gulfam was selected for the award by the United Nations Police Division in the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) International Scholarship Committee.She joined the Punjab police in March 1985. During her career, she performed equally well at the national and international level, according to an UNPOL press release. She was the first Pakistani woman to be deployed with the UN Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997 and subsequently served in UN missions in Kosovo in 1999 and Timor-Leste in 2007.

“Shahzadi Gulfam has shown enthusiasm, diligence and zeal in her work with the Vulnerable Persons Unit in Dili,” UNMIT Police Commissioner Luis Carillho said. “Sadly in post-conflict Timor-Leste domestic violence is a common crime and victims often find it difficult to file complaints,” she said.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/pakistani-woman-police-officer-bags-international-

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Landmines kill 10 militants in Tirah

By Ibrahim Shinwari

24th August 2011

LANDI KOTAL: Ten militants were killed when landmines planted in a bunker exploded in the Tirah valley, sources said.

The sources said the Taliban militants affiliated with the Tariq Afridi group planted the landmines on Monday before vacating one of their important bunkers at Zeeg hilltop overlooking Mehraban Kali in the valley.

Armed activists of banned Lashkar-i-Islam had been laying siege to the bunker for one week, cutting all supplies to more than a dozen Taliban holed up at the hilltop.

The sources said the Lashkar men entered the bunker after receiving information that the Taliban had fled the area. Ten activists were killed on the spot.

With the capture of the Zeeg hilltop, the Lashkar has strengthened its position in Mehraban Kali and surrounding areas which are mostly inhabited by members of Kukikhel tribe.

The sources said the Taliban had earlier been forced to vacate their bases in Dwa Thoe and Serhai areas after local tribesmen revolted against them. In retaliation, the Taliban attacked a mosque in the Kukikhel area in Jamrud on Friday, killing 51 innocent tribesmen.

MINERS FREED: The Kukikhel elders claimed to have recovered four miners who were kidnapped several weeks ago by the Taliban from Darra Adamkhel.

A local elder told Dawn that coalminers Fazal, son of Mohammad Hanif; Rahimullah, son of Abdul Hamid; Bakhtzada, son of Mohammad Zahir; and Qaimooz Khan, son of Abdul Alam; all residents of Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were recovered when the Taliban vacated their bases in the Kukikhel area a few days ago.

He said the families of the kidnapped miners had been contacted and they would be brought to Peshawar as soon the area was cleared of militants.

Earlier this month, the Taliban had released 12 miners after receiving a huge ransom when the Darra Adamkhel administration brokered a deal between the kidnappers and coalmine owners.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/landmines-kill-10-militants-in-tirah.html

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Five killed in restive central Iraq province

Aug 24 2011

BAGHDAD: At least five people, including a woman and a child, were killed and nine wounded in a series of attacks in Iraq’s restive central province of Diyala on Wednesday, security and hospital officials said.

In the worst attack, four people were killed and seven wounded when insurgents detonated bombs at the homes of three town criers whose job was to awaken people for the Ramazan pre-dawn meal, at around 3:00 am (0000 GMT) in the town of al-Hudaid, west of provincial capital Baquba, according to an Iraqi army colonel in Diyala’s security command centre.

“Among the dead were a woman and a child, and two women and a child were among the wounded,” the colonel said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that rescue workers were still searching the rubble of the houses, and warned the toll could rise.

Firas al-Dulaimi, a doctor at Baquba general hospital, also said four people had died and seven were injured.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/5-killed-in-restive-central-iraq-province.html

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Woman killed under torture in Syria

Aug 24 2011

NICOSIA: A woman died under torture in western Syria and more than 150 people were arrested over the past 24 hours in a Damascus suburb, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday.

The Britain-based group said that a 28-year-old woman who was arrested a week ago died under torture in the city of Khan Shehoun on Wednesday.

Military and security forces arrested 27 people in the Harasta suburb of Damascus Wednesday morning, after sealing off the district and arresting 120 people the previous day, the Observatory added.

The industrial district, 10 kilometres (six miles) northeast of Damascus, has been the scene of protests since anti-regime protests broke out in mid-March.

Rallies erupted Tuesday night in Douma and Daraya in the southwest, and around the capital in Kanaker, Zabadani, Madaya and Kisweh, witnesses said.

European nations and the United States pressed Wednesday for UN sanctions against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his entourage for their deadly crackdown on opposition protests.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/woman-killed-under-torture-in-syria.html

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Local Afghan government officials killed in south

24th August 2011

KABUL: A local government official was assassinated in southern Afghanistan — the third official killed in Helmand province in a week.

The governor’s office in Helmand said two gunmen on a motorcycle fired at a member of the Nawa district council Tuesday evening in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. The councilman was rushed to a hospital but died of his wounds.

Insurgents have responded to heavy pressure from US and Nato coalition forces by targeting officials and others aligned with the Afghan government.

In two incidents Sunday, militants killed a councilman and chief prosecutor from Gereshk district.

On Friday, a man with a bomb hidden in his turban blew himself up outside the Helmand governor’s compound. One policeman was injured in the blast.

New York Times

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Taliban’s threats force some nurses to wear veils

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

Aug 24 2011

PESHAWAR – Nurses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) hospitals have resorted to wearing veils because of Taliban threats, but caregivers say veils affect the quality of care.

“We have received complaints from at least 20 nurses who were warned by the Taliban to cover themselves from head to toe while coming to the hospital,” said Muhammad Javid, deputy medical superintendent of the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar.

Veils hamper nurse communications with patients and doctors, Javid said.

“More often, doctors complained that their orders were not followed by nurses,” Javid said. “Upon inquiries into such complaints, we came to the conclusion that the doctors didn’t know which nurse they had instructed regarding certain patients.”

For patients – especially those in the intensive care unit (ICU), cardiology wards and operating rooms, recognising attending nurses by sight is important so they can contact them in an emergency.

Sometimes, the consequences can be lethal.

Javid Bilal went to the Hayatabad Medical Complex for severe abdominal pain May 3 and was put on a glucose IV.

Full report at:

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/features/pakistan/main

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China criticises foreign pressure on Syria

Aug 24 2011

Beijing : China's foreign ministry on Tuesday decried foreign pressure on Syria following calls from the United States and Europe for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, saying the country's future should be decided internally.

All sides in Syria should exercise maximum restraint and abandon violence, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on the ministry's website, repeating Beijing's standard line.

Syria's future should be decided by Syria itself, Ma said.

The international community's relevant actions ought to be conducive towards pushing the Syrian government's promises of reform, and encourage all sides to constructively participate in the political process, to help an early return to stability.

The UN Human Rights Council launched an international commission of inquiry on Tuesday into Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters, including possible crimes against humanity, despite objections by Russia, China and Cuba.

The escalating bloodshed in Syria has led Arab states to break months of silence and call for an end to the violence, while the United States and Europe have expanded sanctions against Syria and called on Assad to step down.

While China generally avoids entanglement in the domestic affairs of other nations, it has actively engaged with the rebels in Libya as well as the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

On Syria, although China has on several occasions called on the world not to get involved and has kept a relatively modest profile in the tumult sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

Analysts have said that China will carefully foster ties and trade with new governments across the region, presenting itself as a steadfast friend, and oil customer, of governments that ride out the unrest.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china-criticises-foreign-pressure-on-syria/835887/

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Pakistan, China ties are unique: Hina Rabbani Khar

Aug 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is on a visit to Beijing, has said Pakistan and China enjoy a unique relationship and dialogue was an ongoing process between the two countries.

Talking to mediapersons on arrival in Beijing, Khar said the leadership of both countries had invested immensely for the enhancement of existing strong bonds of friendship.

Khar arrived late Tuesday evening on a two-day visit at the invitation of her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

She said president Asif Ali Zardari was carrying forward the ties to new heights by frequently visiting China, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also paid several visits, she added.

She pointed out that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan in December last year was historic as it helped in further enhancing the bilateral relations.

The foreign minister said the visit of Premier Wen played an important role in further deepening the the strong relationship.

Khar said: "The relationship strongly exists among peoples and governments of two countries and now we want to commensurate these ties with trade, economic and investment cooperation."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-China-ties-are-unique-Hina-Rabbani-Khar/articleshow/9718013.cms

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Libyan rebel council offers $1.7m for Col Gaddafi killed or capture

24th August 2011

Benghazi , 24 August (AKI) - The chairman of Libya's Transitional National Council said a businessman has offered a 1.3 million dollar bounty for information leading to the capture of Muammar Gaddafi, Arab-language satellite news channel al-Arabiya reported on Wednesday, citing a member of the Council.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday said an unnamed Benghazi businessman offered the two million Libyan dinar reward - equal to around $1.3 million, for Gaddafi's capture.

He also said an amnesty would be offered to any part of Gaddafi's entourage who kills or captures him.

The Transitional National Council in Benghazi is the political body that represents the rebel movement that overthrew Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule.

After five months of fighting, rebels on Tuesday stormed Gaddafi's large compound in Tripoli but he has yet to be located.

More than 400 people were reportedly killed and at least 2,000 injured in the three-day fight to seize control of Tripoli.

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Libya-Rebel-leaders-offer-$13mln-bounty-for-Gaddafi_312381526305.html

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Frenzied rebels run riot in the Mad Dog's lair... but Gaddafi is nowhere to be found

By VANESSA ALLEN and PAUL HARRIS

24th August 2011

Their boots atop the severed head of a bronze statue of Colonel Gaddafi, this was the moment  the world witnessed a once-unimaginable scene – rebel Libyan fighters running riot in the heart of the Mad Dog’s lair.

Brandishing the head aloft, one rebel screamed that they were coming to get the dictator.

The backdrop for the display of contempt – especially strong in the Muslim world, where it is considered a particular insult to direct the soles of your feet towards an enemy – was the symbolic sculpture of a giant gold fist crushing a U.S. jet.

The rebels were yelping with glee, celebrating their triumph – and racing to track down the man who created a living hell for millions of ordinary Libyans.

After so many hours of fighting, a series of Nato air strikes and a baying mob at his gates, ‘the hated one’ was of course long gone by the time hundreds of heavily armed fighters managed to blast their way in.

Some reports suggested he fled through a specially built tunnel leading directly to the airport.

But even in his absence, the symbolism of overthrowing the compound that became Gaddafi’s castle could hardly have been more powerful.

In every part of the compound, the deafening noise of celebratory gunfire drowned out every other sound

They clambered all over the iconic ‘golden fist’ sculpture – which he commissioned to demonstrate his defiance against the West and its 1986 bombing raid – trashed a row of his official BMWs and emerged with countless spoils from his house inside the compound, including a golden rifle and a golf buggy Gaddafi had used to get around the compound.

One man wore Gaddafi’s gold-braided cap, waved the tyrant’s golden staff and defiantly draped a stolen gold chain around his neck.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029400/Libya-Frenzied-rebels-run-riot-Mad-Dog-Gaddafis-Tripoli-compound.html#ixzz1VwFwAnzK

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Gaddafi in 'death or victory rant' after his bunker is stormed...

By VANESSA ALLEN and DAVID WILLIAMS

24th August 2011

-Rebels also attack symbolic statue of American warplane

-Looters steal TVs and joyride in the dictator's golf buggies

-Libya will be reduced to 'volcanoes, fire and lava', vows Gaddafi

-'There's no danger, I drove through Tripoli yesterday', he claims

-William Hague says these are 'difficult and dangerous days'

-Fighters preparing to enter network of tunnels under compound

-400 people killed in the three day battle for Tripoli, rebe

Runaway dictator Colonel Gaddafi last night made a defiant speech from his hideout in which he vowed that the fight against Libyan rebels would end in 'death or victory'.

In a desperate attempt to dent the rebels’ morale after they had ransacked his compound earlier in the day, he also claimed the withdrawal from his Bab al-Aziziya fortress was merely a 'tactical move'.

In a second statement, Gaddafi made a chilling threat in which he pledged to turn Libya into ‘volcanoes, lava and fire’ - echoes of Saddam Hussein's parting shot in 1991 which he set fire to oil fields in Kuwait.

There were even fears that Gaddafi could launch an arsenal of hidden chemical weapons to destroy the country which has so dramatically turned on him.

The hunted dictator is understood to have told another Arab television station that he had made a discreet tour of Tripoli yesterday  and felt the city was not in danger.

Gaddafi also told residents they must 'cleanse' Tripoli of the rebels and free it from the 'devils' who have overrun it. The beleaguered tyrant vowed victory or martyrdom in his fight to remain in power.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029384/Libya-Gaddafis-bust-stamped-rebels-scream-theyll-him.html#ixzz1VvwdXRD4

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Hezbollah asks Libya rebels to help solve Moussa Al-Sadr case

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY

24th August 2011

BEIRUT: The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group has called on Libyan rebels to help uncover the fate of Moussa Al-Sadr, a charismatic Shiite cleric who disappeared during a trip to Libya more than 30 years ago.

Many in Lebanon have blamed the disappearance on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

The mystery of the missing imam remains a burning issue for Shiites in Lebanon, including leaders of the powerful Hezbollah. Framed photos of Al-Sadr adorn the shops and homes of Lebanese Shiites, and the day he was last seen, on Aug. 31, 1978, is annually marked in Lebanon.

The Lebanese Shiite leader had flown to Tripoli for a week of talks with Libyan officials. He was never seen or heard from again, along with his two traveling companions.

Al-Sadr was regarded as a moderate who urged cooperation with other faiths. His biggest success may have been that his preaching for Shiite dignity changed the way the sect’s members thought of themselves in Lebanon.

Most of Al-Sadr’s followers are convinced Qaddafi ordered him killed in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militias, but the imam’s family argues he could still be alive in a Libyan jail. He would be 83 years old, if alive.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article492648.ece

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Post-uprising,Libyan rebels face a struggle for unity

David D Kirkpatrick & Steven Lee Myers

24th August 2011

Tripoli: With rebels on the verge of ending Muammar Gaddafis reign,the character of their movement is facing its first real test: Can they build a new government of unity and reconciliation,or will their own internal rivalries create divisions in the new Libya

The anti-Gaddafi struggle never masked latent divisions between east and west,between political leaders and fractious militias,and,some say,between liberal public faces and Islamists.

The rebels from the western mountains who stormed into Tripoli often roll their eyes at their ostensible political leadership,the Transitional National Council,which is based in Benghazi.Many complained that their national leaders did not give them enough support,even after Western governments began allowing them access to the frozen assets of the Gaddafi regime.

The NTC did not work so hard to bridge the gap between what western rebel forces had and what they needed to subdue Tripoli,said Youssef Mohamed,a management consultant working as an adviser to one of the rebel units charged with securing the capital.

US and European officials said that they have been working to foster cohesion in the rebel ranks and to avoid a repeat of the sectarian strife that gripped Iraq in 2003 after US invasion.

Officials said they thought one reason Tripoli fell as quickly as it did,was that rebel groups closed ranks and came up with a coherent strategy to invade Gaddafis last stronghold.

Even so,rivalries began emerging on Monday well before Tripoli was fully subdued,along with questions about the rebels credibility.

Times of India

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Papers blast ‘wait-and-see’ Algeria over Libya upheaval

24th August 2011

ALGIERS: Algerian newspapers on Tuesday were critical of what they said was their government’s “lethargic” attitude to the changes taking place in Libya and other North African countries.

“History is in the making and where is Algeria? Absent, lethargy-stricken!” the French language El Watan daily said.

“The map of North Africa is changing fast and Algeria is just observing, groping and shilly-shallying,” it said.

Following a major military push on Sunday, Libya’s Western-backed rebels seized control of most of Tripoli, leaving Muammar Qadhafi’s 42-year-old rule hanging by a thread and world leaders urging him to admit defeat.

The Quotidien d’Oran newspaper predicted Algiers would pay the price for its undecisive attitude towards the six-month-old conflict in neighbouring Libya.

“Algiers was static and non-committal. It should now expect stormy relations with the new rulers of Libya,” it said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/23/papers-blast-wait-and-see-algeria-over-libya-

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Qaddafi Defiant After Rebel Takeover

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

24th August 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Backed by NATO airstrikes and seasoned reinforcements, rebel fighters crashed through the gates of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s fortresslike compound Tuesday, running madly across its sprawling lawns, ransacking its barracks for weapons and carting off mementos of his 42-year dictatorship.

The victory was by no means complete, however. Colonel Qaddafi and his family were nowhere to be found. And as crowds cheered into the night in the city’s Green Square, now Martyrs’ Square, some Qaddafi militiamen were still fighting around the city, and the rebels acknowledged that even the compound, Bab al-Aziziya, was not yet under their full control.

As a reminder that he remained on the loose, Colonel Qaddafi, in an address broadcast early Wednesday over a local Tripoli radio station, called his retreat from Bab al-Aziziya “tactical,” Reuters reported. He blamed months of NATO airstrikes for bringing down his compound and vowed “martyrdom” or victory in his battle against the alliance. It was the second such address by Colonel Qaddafi, 69, since his forces lost control of Tripoli.

Still, the storming of the compound represented the fruition of an oft-repeated rebel vow: “We will celebrate in Bab al-Aziziya,” the ultimate seat of power in the Qaddafi government. The conquest was spearheaded by hundreds of experienced fighters from the port city of Misurata, who developed into some of the rebels’ best organized and most effective units after months of bitter fighting with elite loyalist forces.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/world/africa/25libya.html

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Muslims demand Sharia student loans

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

24th August 2011

Muslim groups are calling for a separate student loan system because the interest due to be charged will conflict with rules of Sharia law.

The changes to tuition fees, which come into force next year, will see students charged higher rates of interest on the loans they take out to pay for university.

Until now they have paid the market rate of inflation but the reforms mean students who go on to earn more than £21,000 will have to pay interest of up to 3 per cent.

But in some interpretations of Sharia law, which is Islam's legal system and governs every aspect of Muslim life, loans are forbidden.

The National Union of Students has said it could be two years before an alternative system is worked out, leaving some Muslims fearing they cannot go on to further education.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies told The Independent that the rate increase was a 'pressing issue'.

A spokesman said: 'Because the rate of interest is above the rate of inflation, it is quite blatant usury.'

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2028782/Muslims-demand-Sharia-student-loans-paying-goes-Islamic-law.html#ixzz1VviUm9gt

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Coastal cities under threat from pan-Islamic terror groups: Govt

24th August 2011

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said terror threats to coastal cities still existed and it was reviewing security arrangements to face emerging challenges.Inputs received by security agencies show threat to coastal cities from pan-Islamic terrorist outfits, the home ministry told Lok Sabha in reply to a written question.

The ministry said police forces in coastal states and Union Territories were well trained,adequately equipped and prepared to deal with terrorist threats.The government has been,on continuing basis,reviewing the security arrangements in the light of emerging challenges,including terrorist incidents and a number of significant steps have been taken to enhance the level of preparedness to counter terror attacks,to strengthen the intelligence and security apparatus and to strengthen legislative and investigative provisions to counter terrorism, it said.

Full report at: Times of India

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Islamic Rebels Reject Plan for Filipino Muslims

By CARLOS H. CONDE

24th August 2011

MANILA — Islamic rebels in the southern Philippines have rejected a government offer of “genuine autonomy” for Filipino Muslims, saying Tuesday that it “does not address the real issues” that have fueled the separatist rebellion in the country’s south over the past 40 years.

The government’s chief negotiator, Marvic Leonen, speaking at a televised news briefing in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, where peace talks were cut short on Tuesday after resuming on Monday, said the negotiators for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front would recommend the rejection to the front’s central committee. He said, however, that the talks had not collapsed.

“They had expected something more than our proposal,” Mr. Leonen said, pointing out that the government’s 20-page draft did not include any reference to the “substate” for Muslims that was in the front’s own draft proposal issued in February.

Although the front is no longer seeking a separate state for Muslims, a minority in the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, its leaders say they should have something better than the present Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, which President Benigno S. Aquino III has described as a “failure.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/world/asia/24philippines.html

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Pregnant cradles her bump at funeral for Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan

By CHRIS PARSONS

24th August 2011

Nearly 1,000 mourners today paid a tearful goodbye to an 'incredible Marine' and father-to-be who died in Afghanistan.

Among those at the funeral Royal Marine James Wright was his pregnant partner Shelley Robertson, who gently cradled her baby bump as she attended the service in Weymouth, Dorset, for the 22-year-old who died in August 5.

Marine Wright, who served with the Plymouth-based 42 Commando, was killed when his patrol came under fire from insurgents in Helmand Province.

The father-to-be died in hospital after a grenade was thrown into his patrol's checkpoint in the Nad-e Ali district.

The service for Marine Wright was attended by so many people wanting to pay their respects that hundreds stood outside the church as the service was relayed on speakers.

Marine Wright's nickname was 'Big Reach', because he once befriended a gangster on the streets of New York who used that name.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2029265/Pregnant-girlfriend-cradles-bump-

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Israel says it killed Islamic Jihad militant in airstrike

August 24, 2011

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli aircraft were in action Wednesday morning in at least three strikes against militants who targeted Israelis, the country's military said.

The Israel Defense Forces claimed a "direct hit" on Zadi Ismail Asmar, whom it said was a weapons smuggler affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

They said he "operated with terror elements in the Gaza strip" that had tried to carry out terror attacks in Sinai.

Hamas security and ambulance services confirmed that Asmar was killed while traveling in Rafah.

The Israeli air force also fired at two separate militants who shot rockets at Israel, hitting both, they said.

The Palestinians said two men were badly injured when their motorcycle was hit in Deir el Balah refugee camp in Gaza, but it is not clear whether they were talking about the same incident.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/24/israel.violence/index.html

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Journalists trapped in Libya's Rixos hotel wait ... and hope

By Faith Karimi

24th August 2011

CNN) -- In its halcyon days, the Rixos hotel in Tripoli boasted of going the extra mile to make guests "feel privileged." It sent flowers and cooled towels to their rooms, and made Porsches and Jaguars -- even helicopters -- available at a moment's notice.

But by early Wednesday, the remaining guests at the luxury hotel in the Libyan capital were reduced to raiding cabinets for cheese and fruit.

About 35 journalists who were allowed into the North African country to cover the conflict with the blessing of the Moammar Gadhafi regime are trapped at the hotel for a fifth day.

Armed Gadhafi loyalists ring the hotel's perimeter and patrol its corridors, barring them from leaving. It's for their protection, the guards say.

Libya: Urban warfare? Opposition controls airport in Tripoli Who are the rebels in Libya? Africa after Gadhafi

So, as battle rages outside for control of Tripoli between pro-regime and rebel forces, the reporters -- including CNN's Matthew Chance and Jomana Karadsheh -- can do little but sit and wait.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/24/libya.trapped.journalists/index.html?iref

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3 arrested in American's kidnapping in Pakistan

24th August 2011

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Police have arrested three suspects in the kidnapping of Warren Weinstein, a development expert from the United States who was snatched this month from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, a police official said Tuesday.

The official asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said she was not aware of any arrests.

Weinstein was abducted August 13 when gunmen, posing as neighbors offering food, pistol-whipped him and his driver and tied up his guards, U.S. Embassy and Pakistani officials said.

Weinstein works for J.E. Austin Associates Inc., a U.S. consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia, a Pakistani official said. He is a world-renowned development expert, with 25 years of experience, according to his company's website. The site says he was heading what the company described as the "Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness."

As Weinstein's security guards prepared for the meal before the Ramadan fast, three men knocked at the front gate and offered food for the meal -- a traditional practice among Muslims during the Ramadan holy month, according to senior Lahore police official Tajamal Hussain.

Once the gate was opened, the three men forced their way in, while five other suspects entered the house from the back, Hussain said. The men tied up the three security guards and duct-taped their mouths, he said. They pistol-whipped the driver and forced him to take them to Weinstein's room where the men hit Weinstein in the head with a pistol, and forced him out of the house and into a waiting car, Hussain said. He said Weinstein is in his 60s.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/08/23/pakistan.american.kidnapped/index.ht

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Amnesty urges Bangladesh to stop unlawful killings

24th August 2011

DHAKA: Human rights group Amnesty International accused Bangladesh of unlawful killings by its special police force, urging the government to keep its promise of ending illegal executions.

The watchdog also called on countries to refrain from supplying arms to Bangladesh that can be used by the elite force.

Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have killed at least 200 people since 2009, when the current government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office, despite her pledge to end extrajudicial executions, the rights group said in a report.

“Hardly a week goes by in Bangladesh without someone being shot by RAB with the authorities saying they were killed or injured in ‘crossfire’ or a ‘gun-fight’,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh researcher.

“However the authorities choose to describe such incidents, the fact remains that they are suspected unlawful killings.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/24/amnesty-urges-bangladesh-to-stop-unlawful-

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Western powers target Assad with UN sanctions

24 August 2011

UNITED NATIONS - European nations and the United States pressed Wednesday for UN sanctions against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his entourage for their deadly crackdown on opposition protests.

A draft resolution circulated to the 15 nation Security Council on Tuesday by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal also calls for a total arms embargo against the country.

Assad leads a list of 23 individuals and four entities named in the draft document who would be subject to an asset freeze. The president is not on the 22-name list for a proposed travel ban however.

While western diplomats said they hope to see a vote soon on the resolution, it will face opposition from Russia and China, which have a veto of any resolution as permanent members of the council.

Brazil, India and South Africa could also raise strong reservations, diplomats predicted.

Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said ahead of Tuesday’s council meeting that it was not the right time to impose sanctions.

China said that it believed there should be more dialogue.

“The parties involved should seek to peacefully and properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultations,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu in Beijing. “The future of Syria should be decided by Syria itself.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August560.xml&section=middleeast

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US envoy defies Syrian bar to meet opposition

24 August 2011

DAMASCUS - The US ambassador to Syria met members of the opposition on a visit to the south of the country without government approval, as European powers ramped up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

US officials said Robert Ford made the visit Tuesday to Jassem, which lies beyond a 25-kilometer (15-mile) limit from Damascus that the Syrians set after they were angered by a trip he made last month to the flashpoint city of Hama.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Ford informed the Syrian foreign ministry only after he returned to Damascus because three of his previous requests to travel beyond the limit were denied.

Nuland said Ford went to Jassem, some 65 kilometres (42 miles) south of Damascus, because there had been peaceful protests there.

“He had a chance there to talk to a number of Syrians, including those in the opposition. And then he drove back to Damascus,” Nuland said.

A large number of security forces accompanied him and the foreign ministry was not surprised to learn of his visit, she said.

An embassy spokesman in Damascus who asked not to be named said Ford visited Jassem “as part of his routine diplomatic duties.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August559.xml&section=middleeast

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Six Al Qaeda gunmen killed in south Yemen

24th August 2011

Six suspected Al Qaeda gunmen have been killed in the south Yemen province of Abyan in an air raid by Government forces, a local official and a witness said.

The official said the six militants were killed on Mondayas Yemeni forces raided several Al Qaeda posts in the area of Arkub, which was overrun on Sunday by armed men suspected of belonging to the jihadist network.

“I saw six bodies on the side of the road, half-an-hour after the raid,” said a witness.

Al Qaeda gunmen have seized control of several areas in the lawless Abyan province, including the provincial capital Zinjibar, Jaar, and Shaqra.

Meanwhile, the body of a suspected suicide bomber was torn into pieces when a booby-trapped motorbike he was riding exploded early today in Lawder, according to tribal sources.

Tribesmen siding with Government forces are battling Islamist militants in Abyan, mainly in Zinjibar, where militants have besieged the army’s 25th Mechanised Brigade base since May. The international community has expressed fears that the power vacuum in the impoverished country could play into the hands of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the local branch of the network.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/362844/Six-Al-Qaeda-gunmen-killed-in-south-Yemen.html

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Nato loses its ‘ fuel’ to fight!

24th August 2011

AS BLACK clouds of smoke billowed from the charred remains of at least 19 Nato tankers and flames licked the dark sky near the Afghanistan border, agog locals observed the wreckage following an ambush.

Gunmen atop motorbikes on Monday opened fire on the narrow main highway at Kolpur village in Pakistan, 25km south of Quetta, the capital of the Baluchistan province.

The tankers, carrying tonnes of fuel, were heading through the southwestern Pakistan region en route to Nato forces in Afghanistan when they were fired upon in an attack that has become all too familiar to coalition forces.

Much of the non- lethal supplies for the US- led operation in Afghanistan are trucked through Pakistan after arriving by sea in Karachi, and are sitting duck targets. On this occasion the gunmen fired at the tankers as they were waiting for a police escort on the main highway at Kolpur village, police said.

And violence continued on Monday in Karachi, the country’s largest city, where gunmen killed four more people; at least 85 people have been killed in Karachi in the past week.

A suspected US missile strike also killed four alleged insurgents on Monday in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border.

Mail Today

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Pakistan says it doesn't want to be used by others

Aug 24 2011

Beijing : Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that her country did not want to be used by militant groups and sought the world's understanding as it tries to handle its problems.

Khar hold talks with her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on a host of issues, including bilateral, regional and international.

On her arrival here, Khar had told media that China and Pakistan have strong bonds of multifaceted friendship between covering all areas including defence, economic and trade relations.

"We have strategic and robust relations with China," she said. The relations between the two countries can not be bracketed with other countries, Khar said.

Her visit came ahead of proposed visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to take part in as trade fair at Xinjiang in the coming weeks.

Also this is the first visit by any Pakistani minister after China in an unusual move on Aug 1 blamed terror camps in Pakistan for training militants of the separatist East Turikistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), who took part in the two day attacks last month at Kashghar in Xinjiang.

Twenty two people mostly from the mainland Chinese Han community were killed in the attacks. Xinjiang has been witnessing periodic tensions after 2009 riots by Uyghurs resting the Han settlements.

Over 200 people were killed and several hundreds injured at that time.

Subsequent reports after Kashghar attacks ISI Chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha visited Beijing around the same time to discuss steps address Chinese concerns.

The allegation came as a surprise as it was for the first time that China every openly blamed terror camps in Pakistan, considering the close and strategic relations between the two.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-says-it-doesnt-want-to-be-used-by-others/836496/

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Tajik extremist sentenced to 18 years

24th August 2011

DUSHANBE – The Tajik Supreme Court has sentenced former insurgent Boimurod Khodzhayev to 18 years’ imprisonment in a maximum-security colony, AsiaPlus.tj reported August 23.

The court convicted him of involvement in the murders of 19 Russian troops, four Vakhdat police investigators, and the Tajik minister of industry and the kidnapping of the deputy chairman of the National Bank between 1997 and 2001, media reported. Charges against him included banditry, seizure of hostages, robbery and extortion, Interfax reported.

Khodzhayev was one of the unreconciled insurgents who refused to lay down arms after the 1992-1997 civil war, Interfax reported. He served as a bodyguard to United Tajik Opposition leader Khodzhi Akbar Turadzhonzoda in 1997-2001, Russia’s Novyi Region reported.

He received sabotage training in Afghanistan and may have been involved in terrorist acts in Bishkek and Osh, Kyrgyzstan, Novyi Region added.

Russian police captured Khodzhayev in Cheliabinsk Oblast April 2010, where he had been living and working under a false name for several years, and extradited him to Tajikistan.

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/caii/newsbriefs/2011/08/23/newsbrief-07

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Al-Zawahiri's message ignored by media

24th August 2011

Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's new leader, issued a new message on August 14 in which he addressed the situation in a number of Arab countries and confirmed his organisation's adherence to the continued pursuit of "jihad," as he describes his group's operations.

Al-Zawahiri's message however, did not garner much media interest, and was largely ignored. This rarely happened when Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda leader, issued the organisation's messages.

While the media's disinterest in al-Zawahiri's message may be linked to its preoccupation with the bloody confrontations in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, it could also be attributed to a fact that even al-Qaeda's advocates now admit to: the organisation's message has become marginalised and does not reflect the aspirations of the majority of Arabs who are staging revolts against their regimes.

Al-Qaeda has been trying for some time to attach itself to demonstrations during the "Arab Spring" and attempting to take advantage of the political instability that follows the fall of regimes, as was the case in Tunisia and Egypt, or bloody conflicts between protesters and security forces as occurred in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

This belated attempt at breaking into the revolutionary movement is attributable to the fact that the peaceful protest movements in Arab countries apparently surprised al-Qaeda as much as they did various Arab regimes. Neither al-Qaeda nor these regimes expected that powerful governments would fall after protestors voiced their demands in a peaceful manner in streets and public squares.

Full report at:

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/features/pakistan/main/2011/08/23/feature-01

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Iranian pleads guilty to scientist's assassination

24th August 2011

TEHRAN: An Iranian man pleaded guilty to the murder of a scientist that prosecutors said was an assassination ordered by Israel to halt Tehran’s race for nuclear technology.

Majid Jamali-Fashi, a man who looked to be in his mid-20s, appeared in court to confess the murder of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2010, the first of several attacks on scientists which Iran has blamed on foreign agents, state television said.

Ali-Mohammadi, an elementary-particle physicist, was leaving his Tehran home to go to work on Jan. 12, 2010, when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded and killed him.

Two similar attacks on one morning in November killed nuclear scientist Majid Shahriyari and wounded another, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who has since become Iran’s atomic energy chief.

Iran blamed Israel and the United States for the attacks, saying the aim was to derail its nuclear program. Tehran denies Western accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons.

Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi told state TV the prosecution was a blow to Israel, which has not ruled out military action against Iran to stop it getting the bomb.

“We managed to make a good penetration into Mossad’s intelligence system which bore very good results for us,” he said, referring to the Israeli spy service.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article492657.ece

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Cuts in US aid to Pak will send negative signal: Zardari

Aug 24 2011

Islamabad : Pakistan asked the US to avoid making any cuts in financial aid for the country, saying such a move would impact the country's fragile economy and send a "negative signal" about the American government's commitment to the Pakistani people.

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed Pakistan's concerns about reported plans to slash US assistance in the wake of strained ties during a meeting with an American delegation led by Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Pakistan was concerned about reports of a proposed slash in US assistance for the country, Zardari said.

"Any cut in assistance would not only impact our existing economic conditions at this critical moment but also send a negative signal to the public about the commitment of US government towards the people of Pakistan," he said.

Emphasizing the need to avoid all such "uncalled for moves", Zardari hoped that such steps would be avoided by the US, an official statement said.

Pakistan-US relations have hit a new low due to mistrust and diplomatic rows in the wake of the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2.

The US administration withheld USD 800 million in military aid after Pakistan expelled dozens of American military trainers.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cuts-in-us-aid-to-pak-will-send-negative-signal-

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Syrian embassy in Berlin vandalised

24th August 2011

Berlin: Police say vandals threw scores of red paint bombs at the Syrian Embassy in downtown Berlin and scrawled "Free Syria" on its facade. A police spokeswoman, speaking anonymously in accordance with department policy, said on Tuesday there were currently no suspects in the attack, which occurred on Monday morning.

Police say a total of 26 paint bombs were thrown at the embassy building, and the damage was discovered at 4:20 a.m (local time).

Syrian President Bashar Assad has tried in vain to crush a five-month-old uprising against his rule.

Police say a total of 26 paint bombs were thrown at the embassy building on Monday morning.

About 2,200 people have died as a result of the crackdown, with 350 reportedly killed since the beginning of the month.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/syrian-embassy-in-berlin-vandalised/178003-2.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/waves-of-disinformation-and-confusion-swamp-the-truth-in-libya/d/5313


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