New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 22 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

West Bank strike over Israeli tomb heritage claim

Muslim student group explores Sunni-Shiite division

Suicide Bomber Kills 12 in Pakistan's Swat Valley

Troubled for a year, J&K cops nab ‘kingpin’ of stone-pelters

Sikh beheaded by Taliban wanted to bring mother to Golden Temple

Pakistani Sikhs want to flee to India

Paksitan Asked To Take "Effective Action" Against Anti-India Militant Groups

17 Years for Supporting Terrorism

EU slams Dubai killing

Tribal chief among 14 killed in Afghan bomb attack

Egypt calls for confronting extremism in Islamic world

Iran arrests Jundallah chief Abdolmalek Rigi

Sudan to sign ceasefire deal with Darfur rebel group

Iran threatens flight ban over 'Persian' Gulf name row

Australia to face-scan visitors from 'terror-risk' countries

Iran: Terrorism State Or Victim Of Terrorism?       

Militant on trial over funding Jakarta bombings

Indonesian Hotel Bombings Trial Begins

“Talks with Pakistan will be restricted to core concerns over terrorism”

Eyeing Israel, EU condemns identity theft in Dubai assassination

Shahzad exchanged e-mails with IM men

Punjab calls for diplomatic pressure, Sikh groups seek security from Pak

Hours after ceasefire offer, Maoists attack CRPF camp

 ‘Pak nabs another Taliban top gun’

NYC terrorism suspect pleads guilty to conspiracy

No sensitivity in Prez speech: BJP

Saudi King Abdullah to open Shoura session

Past year saw fewer crimes in Jeddah

Emirates vows to punish killers of Al-Mabhouh

Dangerous negligence

Dubai murder an 'Israeli act of terror': Iran

Progress slower than expected in Afghan offensive: Mullen

World has obligation to support Pakistan, Zardari tells US

Iraq war drama ‘The Hurt Locker’ shines at BAFTAs

Pakistan goes to Delhi talks with enhanced image in US

Two Greek women arrested, released

PPP’s Sajida Mir to ‘commit suicide’ today?

Afghan police say Tora Bora commander killed

NATO plans next big combat in Kandahar

India will talk, but Pakistan must curb ‘terror’: Patil

No more schools in the Safi subdivision of Mohmand Agency

‘Beheaded, my brother became a Sikh martyr’

Petraeus warns 'disjointed' Taliban of long campaign

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Palestinians have complained they are denied access to Rachel's Tomb

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/west-bank-strike-over-israeli-tomb-heritage-claim/d/2495

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West Bank strike over Israeli tomb heritage claim

23 February 2010

A strike has been called by the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem in protest at Israel's move to claim two West Bank shrines as heritage sites.

Businesses, schools and universities remained closed as people observed the first day of the three-day walk-out.

Local TV stations broadcast the PA's call following Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's addition of the shrines to Israel's heritage list at the weekend.

The PA also called for a rally to be held on Friday in Bethlehem.

Israel's prime minister announced on Sunday that Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron would be included in an Israeli-funded $107m (£69m) restoration plan.

Bethlehem residents said businesses were shuttered and universities and schools empty as the strike began.

Staffs at Bethlehem University were told on Monday not to report for work for three days because of the strike.

Separation

Rachel, the biblical matriarch holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, is believed to be buried in a tomb near the entrance to Bethlehem.

Some Muslims say the tomb is also a mosque.

The shrine is on the Israeli side of the separation barrier. The Israelis say this is for security reasons, but Palestinians say it constitutes a land grab, illegal under international law.

On Monday there were clashes between protesters and police in Hebron, near the site of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where the Bible says Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried with three of their wives. It is known to Muslims as the al-Ibrahimi mosque.

Palestinians said they feared their access to the sites - important to Muslims and Jews - would be limited.

This was denied by Israeli officials.

Close to 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem.

The settlements are illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8530335.stm

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Muslim student group explores Sunni-Shiite division

By Shira Poliak

23 February 2010

Internal debates within student religious groups are not always public at Columbia, but as part of last week’s Islam Awareness Week, the Muslim Student Association openly reflected upon the relationship between Islam’s Sunni and Shiite sects.

Internal debates within student religious groups are not always public at Columbia, but as part of last week’s Islam Awareness Week, the Muslim Student Association openly reflected upon the relationship between Islam’s Sunni and Shiite sects.

The MSA hosted religious scholar Imam Ammar Nakshawani, a British lecturer of Islamic studies who presented on the importance of uniting Sunni and Shiite Muslims to a packed crowd on Thursday, Feb. 18.

The event touched upon some of the larger issues of Muslim identity that MSA students sometimes contend with.

Islam is divided into two main sects, Sunni and Shiite. Sunnis believe that Muslim communities should choose their leaders, while Shiites believe that religious clerics should descend from the prophet Muhammad. There are also slight variations in some of the prayer services and rituals. Around 85 percent of the world’s Muslims are Sunni and 15 percent are Shiite.

Though the religious differences are minor to some, the Sunni-Shiite divide has been a major source of tension in contemporary Middle Eastern politics.

Haroon Moghul, Ph.D. candidate in the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department and former director of public relations at the Islamic Center at NYU, described the modern conflicts in a recent interview.

The religious and political tensions, he said, have erupted into a violent “Sunni and Shiite tug-of-war between Saudi Arabia [a Sunni state] and modern Arab states, and Iran [a Shiite state] and its allies.” He added, “A lot of the [Sunni-Shiite] conflicts are between states vying for Islamic authority.”

On campus, students say the issue is often an unspoken one that does not affect groups. For some, though, the divide is still a religious question that must be confronted.

Full report at:

http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/02/23/muslim-student-group-explores-sunni-shiite-division

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Suicide Bomber Kills 12 in Pakistan's Swat Valley

A Muhammad and Rezaul H Laskar

Feb 23, 2010

A suicide bomber blew himself up today in a crowded square in the restive Swat valley in northwest Pakistan, killing at least a dozen persons and injuring over 30 others, months after the Army claimed to have flushed out the militants from the region.

The attacker detonated his explosives when a security forces van was passing though Nishat Chowk, a congested square in Mingora, the main city of Swat district.

Seven persons were killed instantly while five more succumbed to their injuries in hospitals.

Two security personnel and three women were among the dead. Officials at a state-run hospital said they had received over 30 injured.

This was the first suicide attack in Swat in eight months, said Deputy Inspector General (Malakand range) Muhammad Idrees Khan.

Authorities imposed curfew soon after the blast and launched a search operation. Eight shops and six vehicles caught fire after the blast.

Footage on television showed the smouldering remains of several cars and auto-rickshaws in the square as police personnel scoured the site for clues.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The security forces had claimed they had cleared the Swat valley of militants following an operation launched last year.

The central leadership of the Taliban in Swat has gone underground and the local militant commander, Maulana Fazlullah, has fled to Afghanistan.

Fazlullah's second-in-commander Shah Dauran was killed in the anti-militancy operation while local Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan is in the custody of security forces.

Schools and health centres that were closed by the Taliban had begun functioning smoothly again.

Observers said today's blast has raised fears about security in the region, which had improved over the past few months.

The fear-stricken local residents had heaved a sigh of relief as a semblance of normalcy had returned to the area.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack, saying such incidents would not affect the government’s resolve to combat militancy.

Gilani said the people of Swat and Malakand division had rendered great sacrifices in fighting militants and restoring peace.

"Such inhuman acts of terrorism would not be able to shatter the determination of the people of Pakistan, and the people of Swat in particular, to curb this menace and fight the insane extremists," Gilani said.

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?675084

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Troubled for a year, J&K cops nab ‘kingpin’ of stone-pelters

Feb 23, 2010,

SRINAGAR: Jammu & Kashmir police claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in its campaign against stone-pelting in the Valley with the arrest of a former militant and the alleged kingpin of a gang of stone-pelters in Srinagar on Monday.

Near-daily incidents of stone-pelting have become a major headache for the cops at several places in the Valley, particularly around Maisuma in downtown Srinagar. Motley crowds, comprising mainly youth, believed to be part of the gang regularly resort to stoning in a bid to keep the pot boiling as the violence has dipped to an all-time low since 1989.

A police officer said Irshad Ahmed Zargar, a former member of now defunct al- Jehad outfit, was responsible for ‘‘every stone-pelting incident on the Valley’s streets’’. He said Zargar was picked up from his Srinagar residence following a tip-off from ‘‘some law-abiding citizen’’. Police said another 50 stone-pelters were also arrested. ‘‘The gang gets money from some businessmen and separatist groups,’’ the officer said.

He said Zargar was arrested after cops received an e-mail on the gang’s modus-operandi and source of funding.

Srinagar SSP Javid Riyaz Bedar said police were investigating the issue. ‘‘It would be premature to accuse any individual of funding the gang,’’ he said. Bedar said police were trying to get Zargar’s past militant record.

A group of five masked boys, who assailed the Hurriyat, had recently appeared before the media and asked youth to stone cops ‘‘to divert world attention towards the Kashmir issue’’. Bedar said the police have identified the five and would take action against them. More than 2,000 people have been injured in stone-pelting incidents in last one year.

A group of around 60 policemen, with another 100 in the backup team, are dedicated to control Maisuma’s stone-pelters and have mastered the art of shielding themselves and preventing the youth from disturbing life in the neighbouring areas.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Troubled-for-a-year-JK-cops-nab-kingpin-of-stone-pelters/articleshow/5605216.cms

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Sikh beheaded by Taliban wanted to bring mother to Golden Temple

Dharmendra Rataul

Feb 23, 2010

Days before he was taken captive by the Pakistani Taliban, Jaspal Singh, whose beheading near Peshawar on Sunday has shocked and outraged Sikhs on both sides of the border, had been issued a visa to India. He was excited and had been drawing up plans because he had promised his mother that he would take her to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

But that pilgrimage was never to be, said his cousin Taranjit Singh who today cut short his own trip to Amritsar and returned to Pakistan to be with the grieving family.

Reports emanating from Pakistan say Taliban militants, after executing Jaspal Singh for refusing to convert to Islam, sent his severed head to the Bhai Joga Singh Gurdwara in Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sikh-beheaded-by-taliban-wanted-to-bring-mother-to-golden-temple/583145/2

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Pakistani Sikhs want to flee to India

Feb 23, 2010

ISLAMABAD/CHANDIGARH: Hundreds of fear-stricken Sikhs clamoured to escape to India after the Pakistani Taliban beheaded one of three Sikh men they abducted over a month ago. The killing was condemned in India by the government and political parties.

The body of Jaspal Singh was found in Pakistan's restive tribal region Sunday, triggering panic in the small community that has faced the ire of the Taliban for some time.

Jaspal Singh was kidnapped along with two other Sikhs from Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency near the provincial capital Peshawar, DawnNews and other Pakistani media reported.

BBC, however, said two Sikhs had been done to death, and identified the second man as Mastan Singh.

The two companions of Jaspal Singh, identified by a Pakistani website as Gurvinder Singh and Gurjit Singh, are reportedly still being held captive by the militants.

The abducted Sikhs -- their number varying from three to four -- were seized 34 days ago. The Taliban demanded Rs.3 crore as ransom for their release, media reports said.

According to arzePakistan.com, the kidnapping occurred in an area where the Pakistan government has virtually no control.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-Sikhs-want-to-flee-to-India/articleshow/5604045.cms

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Paksitan Asked To Take "Effective Action" Against Anti-India Militant Groups

2/23/2010

(RTTNews) - Ahead of Thursday's Foreign Secretary-level talks, India has sent a clear message to Pakistan to the effect that the process of normalization of relations between the two neighbors can be sustained only if Islamabad takes effective action against groups in that Islamic country calling for "jihad" (religious war) against it (India).

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said Monday that calls for jihad, hostility and aggression continued to be made openly against India, reflecting the real and tangible difficulties that India was facing in dealing with Pakistan.

Delivering the keynote address at the Third International Institute of Strategic Studies-MEA Dialogue in New Delhi, she emphasized that "effective action against such groups" by Pakistan was an "absolute must" if normalization that India desired to have with Pakistan was to come about.

The Indian Foreign Secretary noted that India had repeatedly taken initiatives to improve its relations with Pakistan, and was making "another sincere attempt" to initiate dialogue. As a sequel, she said, it was essential that Islamabad cracked down on anti-India militant groups and got rid of the terror infrastructure in that country.

On her forthcoming talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, she said they would be restricted to India's "core concerns" over cross-border terrorism, but New Delhi would move slowly and deliberately on all issues.

"We hope we can build, in a graduated manner, better communication and a serious and responsive dialogue to address issues of concern between our two countries," she added.

http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1218570&SMap=1

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17 Years for Supporting Terrorism

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid

the general manager of Al -Arabiya television. Mr. Al Rashed is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

In an important step on the path toward combating terrorism, a Saudi court sentenced a Saudi national convicted of inciting terrorism to seven years in prison, and sentenced another to 10 years in prison for financing acts of terrorism. Finally, the picture has become clear to everyone after years of controversy over responsibility for crimes committed under religious and political labels. The punishment for such crimes has now become heavy, and individuals are now incarcerated if they deliver speeches or write articles inciting terrorism, or alleged jihad, or donate funds to terror organizations. In the past, punishment was limited to actual perpetrators and terrorists who committed crimes. Most of the militants of Al-Qaeda were in fact victims of inciters and financiers while these and the rest of individuals in the chain of terror crimes were far from being held to account.

For over 10 years, we have urged and recommended the eradication of inciters and the pursuit of funding organizations and other facades which were active in the field and which acted openly under religious, political, and jihadist slogans. When the fire reached our cities in 2003 and terrorists targeted residential complexes with their explosives, the picture became somewhat clearer. And even though fighting terrorism became official policy, the view of terrorists remained confused in the minds of the majority of people. The fall of many terrorist cells revealed a great deal of information confirming what we had been saying. Many of the calls for donations were not innocent. They were organized and a link in a long chain of terrorist crimes committed under religious and humanitarian disguise. They raised sincere calls and pictures but their purposes were far from what appeared to ordinary observers.

Full report at:

http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=19973

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EU slams Dubai killing

By Luke Baker

Feb 22, 2010

BRUSSELS: The European Union condemned on Monday the use of fraudulent EU passports and credit cards by assassins who killed a Palestinian fighter in Dubai, but did not directly link Israel to the killing.

In a short statement, which EU diplomats said was intended to increase pressure on Israel after last month’s killing, EU foreign ministers said the assassination raised “profoundly disturbing” issues and said citizens’ rights were violated.

Dubai has accused Israel of involvement in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in a hotel in Dubai last month. Israel has declined to confirm or deny it had any role.

“The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action (the assassination) used fraudulent EU member states’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities,” the ministers said in a declaration agreed at talks in Brussels.

“The EU welcomes the investigation by the Dubai authorities and calls on all countries to cooperate with it.” Diplomats said no direct reference was made to Israel in the statement because there was no proof Israeli agents carried out the assassination.

“I don’t want to put forward allegations against Israel — on what basis can I do that?” Austria’s foreign minister, Michael Spindelegger said.

“I see no context that it really was an assassination and that the Israeli government is involved — all those are assumptions but there are no proofs.” Dubai authorities say at least 11 assassins traveled on forged British, Irish, French and German passports to carry out the killing on the orders of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Al-Mabhouh was involved in smuggling weapons from Iran to the Gaza Strip, the Hamas resistance group has said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article21010.ece

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Tribal chief among 14 killed in Afghan bomb attack

Feb 23, 2010,

JALALABAD: An influential Afghan leader was among 14 people killed in a suicide bomb attack targeting a gathering of tribal elders in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, police said. “There was a suicide bombing today in which 14 people, including Haji Zaman Ghamsharik, were killed,” Colonel Abdul Ghafour, a police spokesman, told AFP. “The bomber, on foot and wearing an explosives-packed vest, hit a tribal gathering in Nangarhar province’s Khogyani district,” he said. “At least another 15 people were wounded in the attack.” Ghamsharik was a former jihadi commander during the anti-Soviet resistance of the 1980s, and an influential tribal leader in the province, a cross-border trading hub with Pakistan. The attack took place as news broke of a NATO air strike in central Daykundi province where, according to the Afghan government, 27 civilians, including women and a child, were killed when they were mistaken for militants. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\23\story_23-2-2010_pg7_2

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Egypt calls for confronting extremism in Islamic world

Anne Tang

2010-02-23

CAIRO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Monday called for confronting all elements of division and extremism which threaten security and stability in the Islamic world and distort the image of Islam.

In his address at the inaugural session of the 22nd conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs read out by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Mubarak warned that the spread of extremism and bigotry among youths not only obstructs the Islamic world's development but also distances Muslims from working for the progress of their nation.

"We (Muslims) need an enlightened religious discourse based on Sharia in terms of tolerance and acceptance of the other," he said.

He called on the Islamic nation to seek progress armed by science and knowledge in a race against time to provide its people a decent life and contribute to the stability and security of the world.

"The regrettable criminal acts committed in some Islamic nations every now and then under the banner of Islam affirm the pressing need for an enlightened religious discourse based on the Sharia and backed by the media and the system of education," Mubarak said.

The four-day conference was held in Cairo, attracting religious leaders and some representatives from 80 countries.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-02/23/c_13183977.htm

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Iran arrests Jundallah chief Abdolmalek Rigi

23 Feb, 2010

TEHRAN: Iran has arrested top Sunni militant leader Abdolmalek Rigi who has been accused of masterminding a series of deadly bombings and killings, local media reported on Tuesday.

Tehran based Arabic news channel Al-Alam said that he has been arrested in the “east of the country”, while the Fars news agency is quoting the Iranian intelligence ministry saying the arrest did take place for the “Jundallah leader along with two of his group members.”

No further information has been forwarded so far.

Rigi heads a shadowy Sunni militant group called Jundallah (Army of God) which has been accused by Iranian officials of carrying out several attacks in the Sistan-Balochistan province.

The province, which houses a significant population of Sunni Baloch, is a hotbed of Sunni insurgency against Shia rule in Iran.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-rigi-arrested-qs-01

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Sudan to sign ceasefire deal with Darfur rebel group

23 February 2010

Sudan's president is due to sign a ceasefire with Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem).

Omar al-Bashir will sign a framework agreement which includes an outline deal on power sharing "at all levels".

It is being seen as an important step towards peace, though the other main rebel group has refused to enter talks.

But Jem was reported to have warned that it was unlikely to sign a final peace accord by mid-March, ahead of national elections in April.

"After the agreement is signed, the rest will come through more negotiations," Adrees Mahmoud, a Europe-based representative of the group, was quoted as telling Reuters news agency.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8530033.stm

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Iran threatens flight ban over 'Persian' Gulf name row

By Richard Spencer in Dubai

23 Feb 2010

This is likely to be met with fierce resistance by the other countries which surround it, all of which are Arab and for which it is the Arabian Gulf.

It may also pose problems for other countries who have no vested interest in what it is called - and as a result have given no thought to how it is described in on-board maps and diagrams.

 The conventional compromise for those not involved - just calling it "The Gulf" - may no longer be enough to avoid offence.

The battle over the name has escalated since the countries of the Islamic world, often in dispute with each other as much as with non-Islamic countries, decided to hold a friendly mini-Olympics this coming April.

The "Islamic Solidarity Games" were cancelled after the Iranian hosts used the term "Persian Gulf" on the medals and, when the Arab states objected, refused to back down.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/7293430/Iran-threatens-flight-ban-over-Persian-Gulf-name-row.html

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Australia to face-scan visitors from 'terror-risk' countries

Talek Harris

SYDNEY — Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from about 10 high-risk countries in a bid to combat extremism, which is now a "permanent" threat, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Tuesday.

Rudd said Australia was also concerned about the rising threat from home-grown militancy, just a week after five Sydney men received long jail terms for planning a violent jihad attack.

"Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat and a serious challenge to Australia's security interests. That threat is not diminishing," Rudd said, unveiling a counter-extremism white paper.

"In fact, the government security intelligence agencies assess that terrorism has become a persistent and permanent feature of Australia's security environment. These agencies warn that an attack could occur at any time."

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia would delay naming the countries where visa applicants will need to give fingerprints and face-scans, admitting that "diplomatic effort" may be needed with their governments.

But Rudd said Somalia and Yemen had been identified as two countries where the threat of Islamic extremism was growing.

He added that Australia will spend 69 million dollars (62 million US) on the new biometric facilities and will set up a national control centre to coordinate efforts to fight extremism.

Full report at:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h7FYLqi2gsDEWEOIOoGGHU0mRAUg

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Iran: Terrorism State Or Victim Of Terrorism?

Ivan Simic

23February 2010

Iran, a founding member of the United Nations, has a population of over 74 million and is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilisations. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran has been accused by a number of states, including the United States, Israel and some European countries, of funding, providing equipment, weapons, training and giving sanctuary to terrorists. Particularly, the United States broke diplomatic ties with Iran in 1981, after the Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran, where they held 53 Americans hostage for 444 days. According to the US officials, the US Government objects to Iran's sponsorship of terrorism, its nuclear weapons ambitions, and its violations of human rights. The US Department of State lists Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism.

In addition, Iran has been accused of using its Ministry of Intelligence and Security to plan terrorist attacks, give weapons and support to the Iraqi insurgents and the Taliban in Afghanistan, murder and kidnap the US Colonel William Higgins in Lebanon, among other things. We are more or less aware of accusations against Iran and current public opinion concerning Iran, but there are many things about Iran which are less known to the public.

We can sum the reasons for Iran's isolation from the rest of the world, and Iran's classification as a terrorist state through Iran's defying "policy" and its ties to Hezbollah. Other reasons are its relationship to the Islamic Jihad (Palestinian Islamic Jihad), which are more or less speculations, rather than the real deal. Concerning links with Hamas, the Hamas is not politically tied to Iran and it is mostly financed from Saudi Arabia. Hamas and Iran's connections are subject to deeper debate.

Full report at:

http://leadershipnigeria.com/index.php/columns/views/perspective/12285-iran-terrorism-state-or-victim-of-terrorism

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Militant on trial over funding Jakarta bombings

23/02/2010

An Indonesian militant went on trial on Tuesday accused of helping to finance deadly attacks on luxury hotels in Jakarta last year, charges that risk up to 15 years in jail.

Dozens of women covered from head-to-toe in black chanted "God is greater" as Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman, 25, who went by the online moniker "Prince of Jihad", appeared in court.

The July bombings killed seven people as well as two suicide bombers and marked the bloody end of a four-year hiatus in attacks attributed to late terror leader Noordin Mohammad Top and Al-Qaeda-linked regional network Jemaah Islamiyah.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/169388/prince-of-jihad-on-trial-over-indonesia-bombings

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Indonesian Hotel Bombings Trial Begins

Brian Padden

23 February 2010

Alleged militant Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman

An alleged Indonesian militant has gone on trial for his role in the suicide attacks on two Jakarta hotels that killed seven and injured more than 50 people.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman tried to raise money to fund the bombings at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta last July.

His went on trial Tuesday on charges of violating the country's Anti-Terror Law. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Jibril has denied any involvement in the bombings.

Terrorism analyst Sidney Jones says while not a significant player in the bombings, Jibril has long ties to the Indonesian militant group Jemaah Islamiah and al Qaida.

"It is interesting that Jibril himself was in Karachi as part of a JI cell from 1999 till 2000 or 2001, and at that time the cell was being used as a service center for Southeast Asians who wanted to go al Qaida camps inside Afghanistan," said Jones.  "So Jibril himself must have had some communication with al Qaida during that period, and the big question is whether he maintained those links, number one, and secondly whether his efforts to or his alleged efforts to obtain funding in late 2008 played on any of those existing contacts."

Full report at:

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Indonesian-Hotel-Bombings-Trial-Begins-85031297.html

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“Talks with Pakistan will be restricted to core concerns over terrorism”

Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Monday made it clear that talks with Pakistan later this week would be restricted to India’s “core concerns” over cross-border terrorism.

Asked whether India would be willing to discuss Kashmir if Pakistan brought up the issue, she evaded a direct reply saying: “We have to move slowly and deliberately on all issues.”

Ms. Rao, who was speaking at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), declined to answer specific questions about the talks except to say that it was a “sincere” attempt by New Delhi to initiate dialogue with Islamabad despite the fact that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks had still not been punished and terrorist groups continued to use “safe havens” in Pakistan to target India.

“We hope we can build, in a graduated manner, better communication and a serious and responsive dialogue to address issues of concern between our two countries,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/23/stories/2010022363141000.htm

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Eyeing Israel, EU condemns identity theft in Dubai assassination

By Ben Quinn

February 22, 2010

The European Union (EU) on Monday denounced the forgery of European passports used to set up the Dubai assassination of a senior Hamas militant. The EU stopped short of admonishing Israel

While stopping short of directly admonishing Israel, the European Union (EU) issued a statement today denouncing the forgery of European passports used in last month's Dubai assassination of a senior Hamas militant.

“The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action used fraudulent EU member-states’ passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens’ identities,” EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said in the joint statement, adding public pressure on Israel, whose spy agency, Mossad, is widely believed to have carried out the Jan. 20 killing.

Full report at:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0222/Eyeing-Israel-EU-condemns-identity-theft-in-Dubai-assassination

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Shahzad exchanged e-mails with IM men

Bhupendra Pandey

23 February 2010

Delhi blast accused and alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmed exchanged emails and had online chats for a month with two wanted IM men after the Batla House encounter of September 2008.

Sources said this has come to light from the examination of Shahzad’s laptop, which was recovered from his native place in Azamgarh after his arrest last month. Shahzad had been in touch with Ariz Khan alias Junaid and Asadullah Akhtar till October, 2008, it has been found.

Both Ariz and Asadullah are wanted in the Delhi serial blasts and the Batla House encounter cases. While Ariz carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh, Asadullah carries a reward of Rs 1 lakh — both announced in December, 2008.

The e-mails and chats contain references to other IM men, including Mohammad Saif of Sanjarpur, who was caught at Batla House, Arif Badr and Sadiq Sheikh, both of whom were among the six persons arrested in Mumbai on September 26 last year.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shahzad-exchanged-emails-with-im-men/583038/2

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Punjab calls for diplomatic pressure, Sikh groups seek security from Pak

Dharmendra Rataul

Feb 23, 2010

The killing of at least two Sikhs by the Taliban in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province caused shock and outrage in the community on Monday, with Sikh groups from India demanding attention of the international community and “justice” from the Pakistan government.

They requested the Pakistan government to provide security to the lives and properties of the minority community there, especially in Peshawar and nearby areas where the Taliban are active.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the killings were a cowardly act and the international community should raise its voice against it. He said they had appealed to the Pakistani and Indian governments earlier to take steps to ensure safety of their community members but nothing was done.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Avtar Singh Makkar said the “dastardly killing” showed the disregard Pakistan has for minority communities and their earlier pleas for their safety and security had fallen on deaf ears.

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SGPC members called up Sikh leaders in Pakistan and condoled the deaths.

The community leaders in Pakistan on Monday called on the government to negotiate with the Taliban for the safe release of other Sikh traders who were abducted. Pakistan Minority Council chairman Sardar Bishon Singh and Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Sardar Sham Singh said the federal and NWFP governments should hold talks with the Taliban for the release of the Sikhs still in their captivity.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/punjab-calls-for-diplomatic-pressure-sikh-groups-seek-security-from-pak/583114/3

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Hours after ceasefire offer, Maoists attack CRPF camp

Feb 23, 2010,

MIDNAPORE (WB): Hours after offering a conditional 72-day ceasefire to the Centre and West Bengal government, Maoists attacked the Kantapahari camp of the Central Reserved Police Force camp in West Midnapore district, leaving one person dead.

The attack took place late last night in the Naxalite stronghold of Kantapahari.

Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said Maoist-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) members assembled near the Kantapahari camp of the forces and fired, prompting the jawans to challenge them.

In the ensuing gunbattle, one person, believed to be a PCPA member, was killed.

"The PCPA members, with a number of Maoists among them, obviously had plans to attack the Kantapahari camp but the jawans were alert and repulsed them," Verma said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hours-after-ceasefire-offer-Maoists-attack-CRPF-camp/articleshow/5605827.cms

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‘Pak nabs another Taliban top gun’

Feb 23, 2010,

WASHINGTON: Police in northwest Pakistan arrested Mulvi Kabir, one of the top 10 most wanted Taliban leaders and former governor of Afghanistan’s Nanghar province, Fox News reported on its website.

The network, citing two unnamed senior US officials saying on Sunday that Pakistani police captured Kabir in the Nawshera district of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province. The capture is a “significant detention”, a senior US military official in Afghanistan told Fox.

According to Fox, the information leading to Kabir’s capture was obtained from Mullah Baradar, the Taliban second in command, whose arrest was announced on February 18 following a joint US-Pakistani operation. Baradar’s capture has resulted in the arrests of several Taliban leaders.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-nabs-another-Taliban-top-gun/articleshow/5604845.cms

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NYC terrorism suspect pleads guilty to conspiracy

Feb 23, 2010,

NEW YORK: Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi has pleaded guilty in New York City to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

The 25-year-old former Denver airport shuttle driver also pleaded guilty Monday to counts of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization.

He faces a life prison sentence without parole in the plea deal. He was arrested in the fall after arousing authorities' suspicions by driving cross-country from Denver to New York around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Authorities say he received al-Qaida training in Pakistan, bought beauty supplies in Colorado and tried to use them to cook up homemade bombs in a Colorado hotel room.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/NYC-terrorism-suspect-pleads-guilty-to-conspiracy-/articleshow/5605199.cms

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No sensitivity in Prez speech: BJP

23 February 2010

NEW DELHI, Feb. 22: The main Opposition BJP on Monday described Presidential address to the joint sitting of Parliament as "lacking sensitivity" and "more like a DAVP advertisement giving compilation of government’s schemes". The party also accused the presidential address of not indicating the Centre’s policy to resolve the problem of price rise.

"The address lacks in giving a direction on major challenges facing the country," deputy leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mr S.S. Ahluwalia said.

The BJP leader asserted that terrorism and Left-wing extremism, which were Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3536:no-sensitivity-in-prez-speech-bjp&catid=35:india&Itemid=60

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Saudi King Abdullah to open Shoura session

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Feb 23, 2010

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will officially open this year’s inaugural session of the Shoura Council on March 7, said Chairman of the Shoura Abdullah Al-Asheikh on Monday.

Al-Asheikh said King Abdullah would deliver a keynote speech on the occasion that would outline the Kingdom’s internal and foreign policies. The king will also issue guidelines and directives to members of the Shoura. “We are extremely happy over the king’s inauguration of the second year sessions of the fifth Shoura Council,” the chairman said, adding that the king’s speech would cover a number of important topics.

He highlighted the 150-member Shoura’s role in providing judicious views on various domestic and international issues. “It has immensely contributed to expanding the base of decision-making in the country.” Last year the Shoura held 77 meetings and issued 111 resolutions on various issues, most importantly laws related to legal proceedings and criminal procedures as well as a railway law and a cooperative health insurance law.  Al-Asheikh said the Shoura would undergo further reforms, which includes developing its mode of operation and strengthening its regulatory and monitoring roles.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article21033.ece

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Past year saw fewer crimes in Jeddah

By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN

Feb 23, 2010

JEDDAH: The number of crimes in Jeddah declined in 2009 as a result of growing public awareness, said Abdullah Al-Qarni, head of the Department for Investigation and Public Prosecution in Jeddah.

Al-Qarni made this important disclosure during a meeting with Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed. He also spoke about the good performance of the judicial system as a result of reforms in criminal procedures, legal proceedings and the lawyers system.

“Now every individual enjoys his rights as a result of guarantees provided by the new regulations,” Al-Qarni said. He added that the fingerprinting system that prevents known criminals from entering the Kingdom and also played a big role in reducing crimes. He also presented a report to the governor on the plan to train more than 2,000 security officers to monitor crimes and arrest criminals.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article21094.ece

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Emirates vows to punish killers of Al-Mabhouh

By K.T. ABDURABB

Feb 23, 2010

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates vowed on Sunday to bring the killers of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh to justice and urged European countries to thoroughly investigate the abuse of passports of its citizens by the assassins. Al-Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas' military wing, was found murdered Jan. 20 in a hotel room in Dubai.

A report in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper implicated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the murder. It said Netanyahu met members of the hit squad at Mossad headquarters shortly before they went to Dubai.

Netanyahu was welcomed to Mossad by its chief Meir Dagan and briefed on plans to kill Al-Mabhouh, the paper said, quoting unnamed sources with knowledge of Mossad.

The prime minister reportedly authorized the mission, which was not seen as complicated or risky. "Typically on such occasions, the prime minister intones: 'The people of Israel trust you. Good luck,'" the paper added.

It also quoted a source as saying burns from a stun gun were found on the body of Al-Mabhouh and that there were traces of a nose bleed, possibly from being smothered.

Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, summoned EU ambassadors on Sunday to brief them on developments and seek their cooperation on the issue that breached the sovereignty of the country.

"The UAE is deeply concerned by the fact that passports of close allies, whose nationals currently enjoy preferential visa waivers, were illegally used to commit this crime," said a Foreign Ministry statement, carried by the official WAM news agency.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article20600.ece

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Hazardous spots in Jeddah: Dangerous negligence

Feb 23, 2010

There are a number of dangerously hazardous spots in Jeddah.

They are so easily noticeable that it is difficult to understand how highway authorities or traffic police are able to neglect them. One such criminally ignored area is a five-kilometer piece of highway road right before the signboard of Yutama driving from Jeddah to Madinah.

There are no road lines, no cat-eyes and no other guide to keep the driver on a track. While on that span of road, with beams of car lights coming from the opposite road at night, one feels adrift in an ocean under the dark sky. A perfect place that could also be captioned as "an accident waiting to happen". My thanks to Roger Harrison.

http://arabnews.com/opinion/letters/article20972.ece

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Dubai murder an 'Israeli act of terror': Iran

February 23, 2010

TEHRAN: The murder in Dubai of top Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh last month was an act of Israeli "state terrorism," Iran said on Tuesday.

"The Dubai assassination is an act of state terrorism on the part of Israel," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a report by state-run TV.

"Israel's existence is itself based on terrorist activities," Mehmanparast said at his weekly news conference, according to the channel, which translated his comments into English.

The spokesman described the assassination of the Palestinian militant as an "embarrassment for Europe."

Dubai has accused Israel of sending agents of its Mossad secret service to the Gulf state to carry out the murder

http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=99327

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Progress slower than expected in Afghan offensive: Mullen

February 23, 2010

WASHINGTON: The US-led offensive in southern Afghanistan is progressing at a slower pace than expected due to Taliban resistance and deadly roadside bombs, US defense chiefs said on Wednesday.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates also expressed condolences over the deaths of Afghan civilians in a NATO air strike, saying it underlined the risks associated with any allied military action.

"As you've all been seeing, we're making steady, if perhaps a bit slower than anticipated, progress," Mullen told a news conference.

He said the operation in Marjah, which entered its ninth day on Monday, was a reminder that war "is bloody and uneven."

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=99287

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World has obligation to support Pakistan, Zardari tells US

February 23, 2010

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said the US should realise that a stable and democratic Pakistan was necessary for peace and for that the international community had a great role to play with a well-structured economic development agenda for Pakistan.

He was talking to Commander of the US Central Command (Centcom) General David H Petraeus, who called on him, at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday. Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and other members of the visiting delegation were also present during the meeting.

Matters relating to security situation in the region, drone attacks, fight against militancy, rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons, strengthening of the law-enforcement agencies and coalition support funds arrears were discussed in the meeting.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27437

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Iraq war drama ‘The Hurt Locker’ shines at BAFTAs

February 23, 2010

Iraq war drama “The Hurt Locker” swept 3-D blockbuster “Avatar” aside at the BAFTA British film awards on Sunday, picking up best film and best director among its six prizes and laying down a marker for the Oscars.

The movies, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and ex-husband James Cameron respectively, were both nominated for eight awards at the BAFTAs, and also lead the field heading into next month’s Academy Awards with nine nominations apiece.

Bigelow became the first woman to win the best director BAFTA, and said she hoped she would not be the last. “Women’s struggle for equity is a constant struggle, so if this can be a beacon of light, then wonderful,” she told reporters backstage after receiving her BAFTA in the gilded splendour of London’s Royal Opera House.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225759

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Pakistan goes to Delhi talks with enhanced image in US

By Anwar Iqbal

23 Feb, 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb 22: As Pakistan goes to New Delhi on Thursday for crucial talks with its larger neighbour, there’s a realisation in the US capital that India alone cannot bring stability to South Asia.

The change in Washington’s attitude happened slowly but by the time India signalled its willingness to resume talks with Pakistan, it had become obvious that the Americans had once again developed a new respect for Islamabad.

The change in US tone has not gone unnoticed in India.

A report published on Monday, quoted former Indian foreign secretary Salman Haider as saying that “Pakistan is riding the luck of the devil. In fact, Afghanistan has helped Pakistan time and again to become relevant to the international community”.

“The change in tack by the US and Nato forces, articulated in both Istanbul and the London conference, has given Pakistan the opportunity they need to once again become an important political player,” writes Seema Guha, a prominent Indian journalist.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/pakistan-goes-to-delhi-talks-with-enhanced-image-in-us-320

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Two Greek women arrested, released

Feb 23, 2010,

FAISALABAD: Police arrested two women of Greek nationality on Sunday but released them after a couple of hours.

A man called a police station and told officers on duty that two suspicious-looking women were moving about in the city. Policemen approached the two women — Sophia and Alezbina — when they were on Jhang Road and asked them to accompany them to a police station.

Once there, the two women were interrogated for about two hours. They produced their travel documents which showed they had Greek nationality.

They said they were on vacation. The policemen later allowed them to proceed to Islamabad.

Meanwhile, sources said law-enforcement personnel raided a house and captured a man called Qari Javed and two other men whose identity could not be ascertained. They were suspected of having links with militants.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-two-greek-women-arrested%2C-released-220-hh-08

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PPP’s Sajida Mir to ‘commit suicide’ today?

By Rana Kashif

 Feb 23, 2010,

LAHORE: Member of Punjab Assembly MPA Sajida Mir announced on the floor of the Punjab Assembly on Monday that she would “commit suicide at the PA” today (Tuesday) to protest against the registration of a case against almost 250 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) members and workers.

During Monday’s proceedings, Sajida said on a point of order that it was shocking for her to know that a case had been registered on the request of the Supreme Court registrar against those who had faced hardships and remained in prisons for the revival of democracy in the country.

Pointing to the discriminatory treatment meted out the party, she said a case had been registered against PPP workers and leaders for burning the effigy of a former prime minister, but no case was registered against those who burnt the effigy of the sitting president of Pakistan.

Criticising the judiciary, she said that it was awful that cases were being registered against political workers and leaders who had rendered numerous sacrifices for the cause of democracy.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\23\story_23-2-2010_pg13_1

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Afghan police say Tora Bora commander killed

Feb 23, 2010,

KABUL—Police say a suicide bomber has killed 15 people in eastern Afghanistan, including a key tribal leader who played a major role in a failed attempt to capture al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001.

Police Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi says the bomber set off his explosives in Khogyani district next to a small group of tribal elders and government workers as they were meeting Monday with a few hundred Afghan refugees who had recently returned from Pakistan.

Among the dead was Mohammad Zaman Ghamsharik, better known as Haji Zaman. He and another warlord from the Jalalabad area, Hazrat Ali, commanded Afghan forces who cornered the al-Qaida leader in the mountains of Nangarhar province but allowed him to slip away.

Full report at:

 http://dailymailnews.com/0210/23/FrontPage/FrontPage13.php

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NATO plans next big combat in Kandahar

 Feb 23, 2010,

KABUL (Afghanistan)—The current U.S.-led military operation in Helmand province is a trial run for what could be the decisive clash with the Taliban in Afghanistan this summer in the area that is its spiritual home — Kandahar .

Officials at the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force say that the focus of the coalition will shift from Helmand to Kandahar — the big prize for both the Taliban and the coalition. Kandahar city is home to around 1 million people, while Marjah, the target of the massive ongoing offensive in Helmand, is an obscure dusty town of 85,000 inhabitants that had turned into a Taliban stronghold.

Full report at:

 http://dailymailnews.com/0210/23/FrontPage/FrontPage7.php

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India will talk, but Pakistan must curb ‘terror’: Patil

23 Feb, 2010

NEW DELHI, Feb 22: India said on Monday that any meaningful relationship with Pakistan required Islamabad to crack down on “terrorism” -- as the rivals prepared for their first official talks since the Mumbai attacks.

In a speech to the opening session of parliament, President Pratibha Patil left the door open for improved relations between the two countries.

“India is ready to explore a meaningful relationship with Pakistan if Pakistan seriously addresses the threat of terrorism and takes effective steps to prevent terrorist activities against India,” said Patil.

Indian concerns

Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said that Indian concerns about militant groups based in Pakistan would form the main focus of her talks with her Pakistani counterpart.

Ms Rao meets Salman Bashir in New Delhi for talks to try to end a diplomatic freeze which followed the November 2008 attack on Mumbai.

“Our core concerns about terrorism will find essential focus (in Thursday’s talks)”, she told a conference in London. She added, however, that “obviously we would like to keep the door to dialogue open. Effective action against such groups by the government of Pakistan is an absolute must,” Ms Rao said.—AFP/Reuters

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/india-will-talk%2C-but-pakistan-must-curb-terror-patil-320

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No more schools in the Safi subdivision of Mohmand Agency

February 23, 2010

There is now no remaining high school in the Safi subdivision of Mohmand Agency. On February 21, the militants blew up the last two that remained intact. As a result, some 20,000 pupils now have no means to learn. It means that they have less opportunity to better their prospects in life or escape the hold of militants. Reports from various parts of the tribal areas tell us how young men with no way to occupy their time are recruited by the Taliban. It is not entirely far-fetched to believe that this could be one purpose behind their onslaught on schools.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=225728

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 ‘Beheaded, my brother became a Sikh martyr’

Yudhvir Rana,

Feb 23, 2010,

ATTARI: ``I am proud of my brother, he has not been killed, he has attained martyrdom for the honour of Sikh religion. He refused to convert to Islam and preferred to lay down his life,'' an inconsolable Taranjit Singh told TOI here on Monday, a day after his cousin's beheaded body was found.

Pakistani Taliban had ruthlessly beheaded Jaspal Singh and Mahal Singh while two others - Gurjit Singh and Gurvinder Singh - are still in their custody. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Sham Singh, however, said only Jaspal Singh had been killed.

Jaspal's cousin, Taranjit, who lives in Lahore, has been in India for the past three weeks on a pilgrimage. He revealed that the kidnapping of Sikhs by Taliban was not only for money, but also to threaten the small Sikh community of Pakistan to embrace Islam.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Beheaded-my-brother-became-a-Sikh-martyr/articleshow/5605015.cms

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Petraeus warns 'disjointed' Taliban of long campaign

Feb 23, 2010,

Top US general David Petraeus described on Sunday the Taliban resistance to a major offensive in southern Afghanistan as "a bit disjointed" and warned the insurgents that this was just the start.

The first main offensive since President Barack Obama escalated the conflict in December entered its second week with gunfights and land mines bogging down attempts to secure the Nad Ali and Marjah areas of Helmand province.

But Petraeus said that, while "formidable," the Taliban resistance had so far been "a bit disjointed," as he framed the offensive as only the initial burst of Obama's revised strategy for combating the Afghan insurgents.

"The way the operation was conducted leaped over some of them (the Taliban). But there is tough fighting going on without question," Petraeus, the head of US Central Command, told NBC television's "Meet the Press" program.

He said Obama and General Stanley McChrystal, who leads the 121,000 US and NATO forces fighting the militants, had laid out a comprehensive strategy that was only beginning to get into gear.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/Petraeus-warns-disjointed-Taliban-of-long-campaign/Article1-511479.aspx

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