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Islamic World News ( 22 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Western condemnation after Syrian forces kill 120 in two days of protest

75 killed in deadliest day of Syria uprising, says Amnesty International

UN, West condemn Syria after 75 killed in protests

20 dead in Pakistan drone attack

US drone kills 23 after Taliban assault on Pak army

18 killed in Karachi gambling den blast

Manmohan Singh opened 'secret talks' with Kayani

Koran-burning pastor briefly jailed in Michigan

US exits key drone operations base in Pakistan

Pak army chief says 'terrorist backbone broken'

ISI not behind Mumbai attack, says Rehman Malik

15 killed in Pak check post attack

At least five killed in Syria funeral processions

Obama OKs drone mission in Libya

NATO hits near Gaddafi compound, Libya says 3 dead

Libyan army to withdraw from Misurata

Drones will kill more civilians: Libya

Adhere to U.N. resolution on Libya: Moscow

Northern Ireland on Easter terror alert

Sadr’s threat to unleash his militia remains a worry to fragile Iraq

ISI chief among top 100 influential people

Mubarak's detention extended, may be shifted to prison

On day of rallies, Saleh signals he may resign

Syrian forces open fire on protesters

Mass rallies in Yemen, for and against President

Egypt's fallen president faces execution or life imprisonment if found guilty

Yemen's Saleh cool on Gulf exit plan

Arab-Israeli conflict dominates ME issues: Saudi envoy

Iran Guard warns `enemies’ as far as Indian Ocean

Protester's stage large Oman pro-reform demo

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/western-condemnation-after-syrian-forces-kill-120-in-two-days-of-protest/d/4509

 

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Western condemnation after Syrian forces kills 120 in two days of protest

April 23, 2011

DAMASCUS: World leaders strongly condemned Syria after its security forces killed more than 120 people following "Good Friday" protests in one of the bloodiest two days of a month-long uprising.

The deaths signaled no let-up from President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces used live ammunition and tear gas against demonstrators in several towns and cities nationwide, witnesses and activists told AFP by telephone.

The bloodshed erupted on Friday as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in order to test long sought-after freedoms one day after Assad scrapped decades of draconian emergency rule.

SANA, the official news agency, said 10 people died in clashes between protesters and passers-by, adding security forces intervened using only tear gas and water cannon.

Rights groups put the toll much higher.

A group called the Committee of Martyrs of 15 March Revolution issued a list of 82 names of people killed, but said the toll could reach 100 as it tried to confirm more deaths from what it called a "massacre."

The London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee put the death toll at 72, while others gave an even higher toll, including a group of activists who said in an Internet statement that 92 people were killed.

Friday's toll compared with killings on March 23 in the southern town of Daraa, a focus of the protests, when activists said 100 people died.

A chorus of international condemnation rang out.

US President Barack Obama blasted Syria's "outrageous" use of violence, accusing Assad's regime of seeking Iran's aid in the brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement that erupted in Damascus on March 15.

"Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies."

The UN chief said Assad's government must "respect international human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." and called for an independent probe into the killings."

France urged Syria to engage in a "political dialogue without delay", while European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek called for the release of all prisoners of conscience and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the killing of demonstrators is "unacceptable."

Amnesty International joined the condemnations with its Middle East and North Africa director Malcolm Smart saying: "The Syrian authorities have again responded to peaceful calls for change with bullets and batons."

The London-based rights watchdog said "at least 75 people have been killed today (Friday) in Syria during mass protests... as the government launched its deadliest crackdown yet on demonstrators calling for political reform."

According to Amnesty, which cited activists, and the martyrs' committee, most of those who perished were killed in the southern town of Ezreh, in the governorate of Daraa, the epicentre of the protests launched on March 15.

More than 20 were killed in and around Damascus, including in the northern suburb of Douma, and Amnesty said at least 18 were killed in the central city of Homs.

Two boys aged seven and 10 were among those killed in Ezreh, Amnesty said.

Thousands of protesters chanting "freedom, freedom," and calling for the fall of the regime swarmed cities across Syria on Friday from Qamishli in the northeast to Daraa, the protest hub, in the south, witnesses said.

There were protests also in the capital Damascus and the northern suburb of Douma, they told AFP.

Assad, in power since replacing his father Hafez as president in 2000, issued decrees Thursday scrapping emergency rule, abolishing the state security court and allowing citizens to hold peaceful demonstrations.

But his detractors said the moves were not enough, and the so-called Syrian Local Coordinating Committees of protesters made a raft of demands, urging a halt to the torture, killings and arrests of protesters.

Friday's protests came after a call by Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011 for rallies spanning the Christian and Muslim faiths on "Good Friday," which commemorates Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

Friday is also the Muslim day of rest when the biggest demonstrations have been staged across Syria after weekly prayers.

Before Friday, security forces and plain-clothes police had killed about 220 people in a brutal crackdown on the protests, according to Amnesty International.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Apr/23/Western-condemnation-after-Syrian-forces-kill-80.ashx#axzz1KLU0iTgp

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75 killed in deadliest day of Syria uprising, says Amnesty International

April 23, 2011

BEIRUT: Amnesty International says at least 75 people have been killed during the deadliest day of pro-democracy protests in Syria.

The human rights group cited local activists. Syrian security forces fired live bullets and tear gas on rallies across the country.

The demonstrations are a sign that President Bashar Assad's attempts to quell the month long protests with a deadly crackdown and promises of reform have all but failed.

The protest movement has been the gravest challenge against the autocratic regime led by Assad. He inherited power from his father 11 years ago in one of the most rigidly controlled countries in the Middle East.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/75-killed-in-deadliest-day-of-Syria-uprising-says-Amnesty-International/articleshow/8062149.cms

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UN, West condemn Syria after 75 killed in protests

April 23, 2011

DAMASCUS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon joined western leaders in condemning Damascus after Syrian forces killed at least 75 people during "Good Friday" protests in one of the bloodiest days of a month-long uprising.

The bloodshed erupted as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in order to test long sought-after freedoms one day after Assad scrapped decades of draconian emergency rule.

SANA, the official news agency, said that 10 people died in clashes between protesters and passers-by, adding that security forces intervened using only tear gas and water cannon.

Rights groups put the toll much higher, "The Syrian security forces committed massacres in several towns and regions today (Friday), so far killing 72 people and wounding hundreds," the London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee said in a statement.      Several rights activists also published provisional lists recording the deaths of more than 70 people, with Amnesty International quoting reports saying, "at least 75 people have been killed."

US President Barack Obama blasted Syria's "outrageous" use of violence, accusing Assad's regime of seeking Iran's aid in the brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement that emerged in mid-March. "Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies."       

The UN chief said Assad's government must "respect international human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." and called for an independent probe into the killings."

France urged Syria to engage in a "political dialogue without delay", while European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek called for the release of all prisoners of conscience and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the killing of demonstrators is "unacceptable."    

Amnesty, citing Syrian activists, said: "At least 75 people have been killed today (Friday) in Syria during mass protests... as the government launched its deadliest crackdown yet on demonstrators calling for political reform." According to Amnesty, 30 people were killed in the southern town of Ezreh, 22 in Damascus, 18 in the central city of Homs and the rest in other parts of the country.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=14568

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20 dead in Pakistan drone attack

April 23, 2011

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: Over 20 people including some terrorists are said to have been killed in drone strikes in the North Waziristan area and a dozen security personnel died in Lower Dir along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border by Afghan insurgents in two incidents over the past 48 hours. In both instances, there was no official confirmation from Pakistan's civil and military establishment till late in the evening.

Local media reporting from the border area of Lower Dir in Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa — formerly NWFP — said Afghan insurgents attacked a security outpost in the early hours of Thursday morning; killing at least a dozen security personnel though there was no clarity on whether these were men from the Frontier Corps or the Dir Levies personnel.

The insurgents were apparently pushed back after several hours of pitched fighting. Media reports also suggested that some security personnel had been kidnapped by the Afghan intruders when they were forced into retreat. Though this incursion is said to have taken place in the wee hours of Thursday, word got out only in Friday's newspapers.

As for the latest edition of drone attacks — the second this month — the unmanned aircraft dropped four missiles in Mir Ali; regarded as the hub of the Haqqani network. As was the case last week, Friday's drone strike came just after Pakistan once again spoke out against such attacks. On Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had told U. S. Joint Chiefs of Mission Mike Mullen that drone strikes not only undermine the national effort against terrorism but also turns public support against the government's efforts to fight terror.

Islamabad has increasingly been protesting against these strikes calling them counter-productive in view of the civilian casualties. Last week, the Foreign Office billed the drone attacks as the “core irritant in the counter-terror campaign'' while making out yet another case for transferring the drone technology to Pakistan. After years of negotiating, the U.S. has now reportedly agreed to give Pakistan 85 mini-drones (Raven aircraft) — a hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle which can provide day and night aerial intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/23/stories/2011042361571700.htm

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US drone kills 23 after Taliban assault on Pak army

April 23, 2011

A US drone strike targeting Taliban in northwest Pakistan killed 23 people including three civilians yesterday, officials said, after 16 security forces died in an insurgent attack.

It was the first missile strike to hit North Waziristan tribal district since a diplomatic furore erupted between Pakistan and the United States over a drone attack on March 17, which killed 39 people including civilians.

The attack came after 16 security officials were killed on Thursday in Taliban attacks on a checkpost in the far north of the troubled region bordering war-torn Afghanistan, a military official said.

Around 200 armed militants had surrounded the post in the Kharkai area of Lower Dir, a district bordering Afghanistan's eastern Nuristan province.

The pilotless aircraft targeted two compounds in Spinwam, 40 kilometres northeast of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182786

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18 killed in Karachi gambling den blast

April 23, 2011

At least 18 people have been killed late on Thursday in a bombing in one of the largest gambling dens in the volatile Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say.

The attack took place in the Lyari neighbourhood, where a number of warring drug and arms gangs operate.

It came amid a surge in targeted political and ethnic killings in Karachi in which hundreds have died in recent months.

Police suspect the latest attack was carried out by Islamist militants.

The Taliban have attacked a number of targets in Karachi, but this would be the first on an illegal gambling club.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182787

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Manmohan Singh opened 'secret talks' with Kayani

April 23, 2011

LONDON: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh opened secret talks with Pakistan Army chief ten months ago to build on the cricket-inspired diplomatic thaw between the two countries, a media report said on Saturday.

Singh "appointed an unofficial envoy to make contact with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's chief of the army staff who exercises de facto control over foreign policy," The Times reported.

The talks, through a back channel, have encouraged the UK and US believe that the countries competition for influence in Afghanistan could be better managed during efforts to start a peace process, it said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Manmohan-Singh-opened-secret-talks-with-Kayani-Report/articleshow/8065855.cms

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Koran-burning pastor briefly jailed in Michigan

April 23, 2011

DETROIT, Michigan: The US pastor whose burning of a Koran sparked deadly violence in Afghanistan was briefly jailed in a heavily Islamic suburb Friday after a court banned his protest outside a mosque.

A local judge jailed pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida and his associate Wayne Sapp after a court found their planned protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, could lead to violence.

During his court appearance, Jones argued that the Koran "promotes terrorist activities around the world."

He also insisted that his right to protest against Islam was protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

"The First Amendment does us no good if it confines us to saying what is popular," he pointed out.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/Apr/23/Koran-burning-pastor-briefly-jailed-in-Michigan.ashx#axzz1KLU0iTgp

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US exits key drone operations base in Pakistan

April 23, 2011

Islamabad : American military personnel have left the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan, which is said to be a key hub for US drone operations in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, according to a senior Pakistani intelligence official.

Drones are said to take off from the Shamsi Air Base, where they are refueled for operations against Islamic militants, according to CNN reports.

The development comes amid a public furore over recent US drone attacks that have killed a number of civilians.

A Pakistani intelligence source said that a suspected drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region killed 25 people, including eight civilians and 17 militants, on Friday. This came after another drone attack on March 17, which killed 44 people, most of them civilians.

However, a US official disputed the Pakistani contention that civilians died in Friday's drone strike, saying: “There is no evidence to support that claim whatsoever.”

The operation of the base - not publicly acknowledged by the American government - has always been presumed to have occurred with tacit Pakistani military consent said the report, adding that it is not clear from the Pakistani officials when the presence at the base began or when it ended.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/780268/

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Pak army chief says 'terrorist backbone broken'

April 23, 2011

Islamabad : Pakistani army has "broken" the backbone of terrorists and will soon prevail over them, its powerful chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said today in an apparent riposte to US concerns about his force's capability to take on militants.

"The terrorist backbone has been broken and Inshaallah we will soon prevail," Kayani said in his address at a passing out parade at the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

"Let me assure you that we in the Pakistan Army are fully aware of the internal and external threats to our country. In the war against terrorism, our officers and soldiers have made great sacrifices and have achieved tremendous success," he said.

Kayani's comments came three days after Admiral Mike Mullen, America's top military official, warned that the ISI's longstanding links with the Haqqani militant network are at the core of Pakistan's strained and problematic relations with the United States.

Earlier this month, a White House report had noted that Pakistan's fight against militancy was making little progress.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/780287/

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ISI not behind Mumbai attack, says Rehman Malik

April 23, 2011

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday categorically stated that the Inter-Services Intelligence was not involved in the Mumbai terror attack and maintained that Islamabad had no issues with New Delhi helping Afghanistan in its development provided there was no presence of the Indian Army on that side of the Durand Line.

Mr. Malik made these remarks while interacting with an Indian media delegation that is visiting the country on the invitation of the Pakistan government.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/23/stories/2011042364010100.htm

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15 killed in Pak check post attack

April 23, 2011

At least 15 security men were killed and several others were injured when militants attacked a check post in northwest Pakistan, media reports said on Friday.

Militants armed with heavy weapons, including rockets, attacked the check post in Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, killing at least 15 security personnel, Xinhua reported.

Media reports, however, varied about the time of the attack. Geo TV said the attack took place Thursday night, while the Urdu TV channel ARY said it took place early Friday.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/333592/15-killed-in-Pak-check-post-attack.html

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At least five killed in Syria funeral processions

April 23, 2011

NICOSIA: At least five people were killed on Saturday in Syrian funeral processions, including three shot dead by snipers as they marched to bury their dead in a local cemetery, witnesses said.

Snipers opened fire from roof-tops as a funeral procession made its way to a cemetery, killing at least three mourners and wounding one, a witness and a human rights activist in the Damascus suburb of Douma told AFP by telephone.

Tens of thousands of mourners marched in the procession, setting off from a mosque in the northern suburb to the cemetery, they said.

Two other mourners were killed in southern Syria as they joined funeral corteges headed for the town of Ezreh to bury scores of people killed Friday by security forces, a rights activist said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/At-least-five-killed-in-Syria-funeral-processions-Reports/articleshow/8065923.cms

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Obama OKs drone mission in Libya

April 23, 2011

MISRATA: President Obama on Friday authorized the use of armed drones to help rebels bogged down in their bid to oust Muammar Gaddafi even as the top American commander warned that the conflict was "moving towards stalemate" with Libyan troops pressing on with their punishing siege of rebel Misrata.

Morocco said it was seeking a political solution to the crisis, after Moroccan officials met representatives of Muammar Gaddafi and rebels this week. Rebels welcomed US plans to deploy unmanned aircraft, typically operated remotely from the United States. But it emerged that bad weather had forced the first two drones sent to Libya to turn back. In Misrata , the only rebel-held major city in western Libya, rebels wrested control of a downtown office building which had been a base for Gaddafi's snipers and other troops, after a furious twoweek-long battle.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Obama-OKs-drone-mission-in-Libya/articleshow/8062943.cms

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NATO hits near Gaddafi compound, Libya says 3 dead

April 23, 2011

NATO jets hit a target near Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's compound in central Tripoli early on Saturday, which the government described as a car park but which Reuters reporters said looked like a bunker. Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said three people were killed by the "very powerful explo

sion" near Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the early hours of Saturday.

Reuters reporters said cars were parked on the empty land but the area was surrounded by a wall and guarded by watchtowers and soldiers, suggesting it was not simply wasteland.

They saw two large holes in the ground, where the bombs had torn through a layer of soil, followed by a layer of reinforced concrete, to pierce what appeared to be an underground bunker.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/NATO-hits-near-Gaddafi-compound-Libya-says-3-dead/Article1-688637.aspx

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Libyan army to withdraw from Misurata

April 23, 2011

Pro-Gaddafi troops will withdraw from the besieged rebel-held city of Misurata and leave it to local tribes to resolve the conflict either through "force or negotiations", the Libyan government has said, as NATO carried out more air strikes on Tripoli killing three people. "The situation in Misurata

will be dealt with by the tribes around Misurata and Misurata's residents and not by the Libyan army," Khaled Kaim, Libya's deputy foreign minister, told reporters late Friday night.

"We will leave the tribes around Misurata and Misurata's people to deal with the situation, either using force or negotiations," he said.

Kaim said the Libyan army had been given an "ultimatum" to stop the rebellion in the western port city, 200 km east of the capital Tripoli.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Libyan-army-to-withdraw-from-Misurata/Article1-688662.aspx

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Drones will kill more civilians: Libya

April 23, 2011

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: The U.S. is reasserting itself in Libya by sanctioning Predator drone strikes, hours before a high profile visitor from Washington headed for Benghazi, the opposition stronghold.

Despite American assurances that the “collateral damage” would be minimal, Khaled Kayim, Libya's Deputy Foreign Minister, said the deployment of the drones would lead to more civilian casualties. He described the move as “undemocratic and illegitimate and I hope they will reverse their decision”.

On Friday, the U.S. sharply lowered its misgivings about the presence of Al-Qaeda in the Libyan opposition's ranks. Visiting Republican Party heavyweight John McCain, when asked about Al-Qaeda embedment among the fighters, told reporters in Benghazi that “they [the opposition fighters] are my heroes”. Mr. McCain has been a leading advocate of U.S. military intervention in Libya. He has also called for the arming of dissidents — a position that Washington has not endorsed.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/23/stories/2011042361611700.htm

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Adhere to U.N. resolution on Libya: Moscow

April 23, 2011

Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure strict adherence to the U.N. Security Council resolution on a no-fly zone in Libya.

Libya topped the agenda of the meeting on Friday between Mr. Medvedev and the U.N. chief, who is on a three-day.

“We have discussed in detail… the need to strictly observe the mandates adopted by the U.N., especially in situations involving the use of force, and to ensure a more accurate phrasing of these mandates,” Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after the meeting, which he also attended.

For his part, Mr. Ban asked Mr. Medvedev to support him for a second term in the top U.N. post. “I'd like to really count on your strong support, leadership and guidance in continuing my work as Secretary-General,” said Mr. Ban at the start of the meeting at the Russian President's residence outside Moscow.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/23/stories/2011042361591700.htm

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Northern Ireland on Easter terror alert

April 23, 2011

BELFAST: Northern Ireland’s police forces were on high alert Saturday as they warned that terror groups could launch deadly attacks over the Easter holidays.

In an unusual move, the province’s police force warned the public to be extra vigilant “due to the severe threat level posed by terrorists”.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it believed dissident terror groups were “intent on trying to murder officers in the coming days”.

The warning comes after rookie Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr was killed in a car bomb attack on April 2 and the discovery of a massive car bomb left in an underpass beneath the main road linking Belfast and Dublin on April 7.

Authorities fear dissident republicans opposed to the peace process are increasing attacks ahead of May 5 elections in the province and a visit by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to the neighbouring Republic of Ireland from May 17 to May 20.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/23/northern-ireland-on-easter-terror-alert.html

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Sadr’s threat to unleash his militia remains a worry to fragile Iraq

April 23, 2011

BAGHDAD: Muqtada al-Sadr’s recent threat to unleash his Mehdi Army could revive radical elements in Iraq and pit the once-feared militia against both Iraqi and U.S. troops.

Sadr’s warning, issued April 9, the eighth anniversary of the day U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad, reveals a delicate balancing act by Sadr and the new, Shiite-led government he played a major role in forming.

The Shiite preacher said he would escalate military resistance and “unfreeze” the Mehdi Army if U.S. troops remain in Iraq after Dec. 13, when they are scheduled to depart under a security pact between Washington and Baghdad.

“He [Sadr] is aware of what he is saying and has the ability to live up to his promises. But I think he put himself in front of difficult choices,” Shiite lawmaker Adnan al-Shahmani said.

“If he does what he promised, he will be face-to-face not only with U.S forces but with government forces as well. If not, it means he promised and did not live up to his promise.”

Sadr’s threat highlighted the thin line Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is treading. Publicly he has said his forces can defend Iraq and he will not need foreign troops beyond Dec. 13.

Any decision to extend the security pact is expected to meet stiff resistance, particularly from Sadr, whose support assured Maliki a second term after an inconclusive 2010 election.

“We have many indications that the government will extend the pact … we will use all possible means … to prevent the extension of this pact,” said lawmaker Bahaa al-Araji, a senior member of Sadr’s bloc.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Apr/23/Sadrs-threat-to-unleash-his-militia-remains-a-worry-to-fragile-Iraq.ashx#axzz1KLU0iTgp

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ISI chief among top 100 influential people

April 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha has made it to the list of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world along with dignitaries like United States President Barrack Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Pasha's profile on the magazine's website was written by former CIA director Michael Hayden, who described him as "a Pakistani patriot and American partner " trying to manage the difficult task of reconciling the two roles.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISI-chief-among-top-100-influential-people/articleshow/8062966.cms

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Mubarak's detention extended, may be shifted to prison

April 23, 2011

CAIRO: Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's detention has been extended by another 15-day, amid reports that the authorities are mulling sending the former strongman to jail or to a prison hospital.

Public prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmud today ordered extension of Mubarak's detention for further 15-day as a team of investigators went to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to question the toppled president who is undergoing treatment at a hospital there, official news agency MENA reported.

The renewal of his detention comes in the backdrop of Mahmud ordering a probe into Mubarak's role a deadly crackdown on protesters and corruption. The former president was first remanded to custody on April 15.

"The state prosecutor has decided to renew the detention of ex-president Hosni Mubarak for questioning... effective when his last detention period expires," the agency said.

Mubarak's extension of detention comes as the authorities ordered a medical team to rush to Sharm el-Sheikh to ascertain the former president's health condition to have him transfered to Tora prison or to a prison hospital.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Mubaraks-detention-extended-may-be-shifted-to-prison/articleshow/8058632.cms

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On day of rallies, Saleh signals he may resign

April 23, 2011

SANAA: Yemenis flooded the streets of Sanaa and Taiz on Friday in rival demonstrations for and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who gave a guarded welcome to a Gulf Arab plan for a three-month transition of power.

He told supporters in Sanaa any arrangements had to be "within the framework of the Yemen constitution" - language which could mask objections to the plan — and also vowed to "confront challenge with challenge" , but without bloodshed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/On-day-of-rallies-Saleh-signals-he-may-resign/articleshow/8063000.cms

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Syrian forces open fire on protesters

April 23, 2011

Syrian security forces fired live bullets and tear gas on Friday at tens of thousands of people shouting for freedom and democracy, wounding about 10 people on a day that could be a major test of whether President Bashar Assad’s promises of sweeping reform will quell the monthlong uprising.

Protesters flooded into the streets after Friday prayers in at least five major areas across the country.

“The people want the downfall of the regime!” shouted protesters in Douma, a Damascus suburb where some 40,000 people took to the streets, witnesses said. It is the same rallying cry that was heard during the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

Security forces opened fire in Douma and in the central city of Homs, according to eyewitnesses. At least four people were wounded in Douma and seven in Homs, the witnesses said.

Other massive protests were reported in the coastal city of Banias, the northeastern Kurdish region and the southern city of Daraa, where the uprising kicked off more than a month ago.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/333596/Syrian-forces-open-fire-on-protesters.html

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Mass rallies in Yemen, for and against President

April 23, 2011

Opponents and supporters of Yemen's embattled president marched in cities and towns across the nation for rival rallies after Friday prayers. Hundreds of thousands chanted against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, as military commanders and army troops who defected from the camp of the country's ruler of 32 years are providing security to the opposition demonstrations. Outside the presidential palace in the capital Sanaa, a mass crowd of Saleh's supporters carried banners reading: “Friday's Reconciliation.”

Similar rival rallies have taken place every Friday since massive street protests against Saleh's rule broke out two months ago. In the southern city of Taiz, an opposition hotbed, a massive crowd has also gathered to demand Saleh relinquish power.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/333579/Mass-rallies-in-Yemen-for-and-against-President.html

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Egypt's fallen president faces execution or life imprisonment if found guilty

April 23, 2011

All of Egypt was taken aback by Prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud ordering that the detention of deposed President Hosni Mubarak should be extended for a further 15 days. Not only did Abdel-Meguid’s order come after conflicting reports on the health condition of the deposed president, who is currently being held in Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital, but also after widespread rumours that he might not be taken to Cairo to face more extensive questioning or to be  placed at the hospital attached to Tora prison, where his two sons and most of his ex-regime’s henchmen are held in custody.

An official statement emphasised that Mubarak was questioned on two serious charges: ordering the killing of pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the country, and helping business tycoon Hussein Salem monopolise the sale of Egypt’s natural gas to Israel, at very cheap prices against a hefty commission. Mubarak was questioned in the presence of his lawyer, Farid El-Deeb. A team of doctors are to examine Mubarak on 26 April to see whether he can be moved to Tora prison in south Cairo or to the prison hospital.

The questioning of Mubarak came just a few days after several of his defunct ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) senior officials and business tycoons came under investigation on charges of involvement in mass murder, corruption and profiteering.

Questioned as a witness, Mubarak’s 13-day vice-president and former chief of intelligence Omar Suleiman said on 18 April that Mubarak had never issued orders to former interior minister Habib El-Adly to open fire on protesters. “On the contrary,” said Suleiman, “Mubarak was very clear in instructing El-Adly and police forces to exercise restraint, and to seek the help of the army in peacefully containing the protesters,” said Suleiman. The 13-day vice-president rather placed all the blame on the former interior minister for the killing of protesters on the 28 January (the Friday of Rage). “Though El-Adly was instructed by Mubarak to exercise restraint and seek the help of the army, El-Adly opted to issue orders for security forces to withdraw and open fire on protesters to protect themselves,” Suleiman said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/10607/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-fallen-president-faces-execution-or-life-im.aspx

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Yemen's Saleh cool on Gulf exit plan

April 23, 2011

Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday gave a cool response to a Gulf plan for him to quit, even as massive crowds returned to the streets to demand his immediate ouster.

While tens of thousands of anti- and pro-Saleh demonstrators packed two different locations in Sanaa, suspected Al-Qaeda militants and tribesmen gunned down 20 soldiers and 2 civilians in separate attacks in Marib province, eastern Yemen.

"We stress that we will hold on to the constitutional legitimacy, in loyalty to our people, as we categorically reject the attempted coups on freedom, democracy, and political pluralism," Saleh told regime supporters in Sanaa.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=182798

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Arab-Israeli conflict dominates ME issues: Saudi envoy

April 23, 2011

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia asserted on Thursday that the Arab-Israeli conflict still overshadowed and dominated all the issues in the Middle East and called for finding a quick solution to the problem to promote world peace and stability.

"There is no other regional conflict that has a greater impact on world peace that the Arab-Israeli conflict," said Omar bin Ali Al-Oyaidi, acting charge d'affairs at the Saudi mission in the United Nations.

"The problem is exacerbating due to the absence of good will from the part of the Israeli government, which instead of searching earnestly for peace, continues to acquire more of Palestinian territories and build illegal settlements to create a new fait accompli and continue to kill Palestinians and seize their territories," he told the UN Security Council.

In a speech on behalf of the Arab delegations to the UN, Al-Oyaidi blasted Israeli's illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, which is a problem that threatens to undermine the entire peace process.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article370091.ece

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Iran Guard warns `enemies’ as far as Indian Ocean

April 23, 2011

TEHRAN: The commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Friday that his forces are expanding capabilities to retaliate against possible enemy attacks from outside the Gulf, further suggesting that Tehran seeks to widen its military reach.

The comments by Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari appear part of a broader strategy by Iran to project its power beyond the Gulf and its neighbors. The range of Iranian missiles has been steadily enlarged in recent years to encompass Israel and parts of Europe, and two Iranian warships entered the Mediterranean in February for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“Given that the responsibility of countering enemy threats in faraway regions has been delegated to the Guard, we are increasing ... capabilities to reach and hit the enemy in the same way the enemy stands in remote regions outside the Persian Gulf,” Jafari told the semi-official Fars news agency.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article369790.ece

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Protester's stage large Oman pro-reform demo

April 23, 2011

SALALAH: Some 3,000 protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers in Oman's southern port of Salalah in one of the biggest pro-reform demonstrations since scattered unrest began in the sultanate two months ago.

Instead of conducting prayers in a mosque, a preacher held them in a car park across the street from the governor's office, where about 3,000 worshippers had gathered. They marched through the streets after his sermon.

"The Omani people are not afraid of protesting for as long as it takes for reform, first and foremost is to get government officials, who have been embezzling funds for years, to stand trial," the cleric, Amer Hargan, told the crowd.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, a US ally who has ruled Oman for 40 years, promised a $2.6 billion spending package last Sunday after nearly two months of demonstrations inspired by popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article370092.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/western-condemnation-after-syrian-forces-kill-120-in-two-days-of-protest/d/4509


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