Showing posts from September 27, 2015

ISIS may be active in refugee camps: German minister

Berlin: Islamic State militants have been sneaking into  Germany  mingling with tens of thousands of asylum-seekers arriving in this country, according to German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. Germany's intelligence services have regularly received inputs about attempts by ISIS militants or other radical islamist groups to smuggle their people into the country and this heightened fears that there may be terrorists among the refugees, he said. The secret services, however, have no concrete indication that extremists having orders to carry out attacks are among the migrants, even though "such a danger is always a possibility," he said yesterday during a visit to the federal police force headquarters in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt. He also spoke of the threat posed to Germany's internal security by extremist Islamic organisations such as salafists who try to radicalise the refugees by indoctrinating them in their reception centres and to "use them for t

Russia reports new 'surgical airstrikes' on Daesh positions in Raqqa

Russia’s Defense Ministry has announced a fresh “surgical airstrike” by Russian jet fighters against the positions of the militants of the Daesh terrorist group in Syria , knocking out the battle headquarters of the Takfiri militants near the Northeastern city of Raqqa. Operating from the Khmeimim airbase in Syria, the Russian warplanes continued their aerial attacks on Saturday against Daesh positions in the war-torn country, inflicting “pinpoint strikes” on the their military installations, RT reported, citing Kremlin military authorities. This is while wire reports further cited a Russian Defense Ministry official as saying that its air force pilots carried out over 20 sorties across Syria in the past 24 hours striking nine Daesh military targets. According to the report, the official, identified as Igor Konashenkov, also noted that Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets took part in the air campaign. Konashenkov was also cited by Russian media as saying that an Su-34 aircraft had

Pro-Moscow separatists withdrawing tanks from Ukraine

Kiev: Pro-Moscow rebels announced they had begun withdrawing tanks from the buffer zone between warring forces in eastern  Ukraine  a day after key peace talks in Paris. "People's militia of the Lugansk People's Republic has begun a withdrawal of tanks from the line of contact in accordance with a Minsk deal," said the official news agency of the rebel region. The warring sides had this week agreed to withdraw tanks as well as light weapons from a buffer zone between their forces beginning Saturday. The deal will take more than 40 days to implement and see each sides' mortar shells and rockets with a calibre of less than 100 millimetres moved 15 kilometres (nine miles) away from the line of engagement. The pullback is in line with a Western-backed peace deal agreed in the Belarussian capital Minsk in February. On Friday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met the leaders of Russia, France and Germany in Paris in their latest push to end to a conflic

Iraqi army shoots down Daesh spy drone in Anbar

The Iraqi army has shot down a surveillance drone operated by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the west of the crisis-stricken country. The army downed it near the area of Krishan, east of Anbar's provincial capital city of Ramadi, on Friday, the Iraqi News online newspaper reported, citing a statement released by Iraq’s Federal Police Command. According to the statement, the drone was used “to monitor and photograph military units deployed in the region.” It is not the first time Iraqi forces mange to shoot down a Daesh drone. Last Saturday, they also brought down another spy drone west of Ramadi. And in July 19, an Israeli-manufactured Daesh-operated surveillance drone was shot down by the Iraqi army in the vicinity of Fallujah, a city located east of Ramadi. Earlier in the day, the army also killed eight Daesh terrorists in the area of Burwana in Haditha district (160 kilometers west of Ramadi). The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesom

Moscow says 600 'militants' flee Syria, vows to ramp up bombing

Moscow (AFP) - Russian air strikes Saturday targeting the Islamic State group in Syria have sown "panic", forcing some 600 "militants" to abandon their positions and head to Europe, Moscow claimed. Summing up the results of Russia's first three days of strikes, a senior official with the General Staff said Russian jets had made more than 60 sorties over 50 IS targets and added that Russia would ramp up its aerial campaign. "Our intelligence shows that militants are leaving areas under their control. Panic and desertion have started in their ranks," Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, a senior Russian General Staff official, said in a statement. "Some 600 mercenaries have abandoned their positions and are trying to find their way into Europe," Kartapolov said. "Over the past three days we have managed to undermine material and technical resources of the terrorists and significantly reduce their combat potential," he added. "We wi

US air strike on MSF clinic in Kunduz leaves tens killed and wounded(PHOTOS)

Aftermath of airstrike by US forces on MSF clinic in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Photo: PAN) The medical charity MSF says at least nine of its staff were killed in the Afghan city of Kunduz after a clinic was hit by an air strike on Saturday. US forces were carrying out air strikes at the time. The Nato alliance has admitted the clinic may have been hit. MSF says 37 people were seriously wounded in the attack, 19 of whom are its staff. There has been intense fighting in Kunduz since Taliban fighters swept into the northern city on Monday. It was the first major urban centre to fall to the Taliban in 14 years. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said  its clinic was hit several times during "sustained bombing and was very badly damaged" at 02:10 local time (22:40 GMT) on Saturday. Many patients and staff remain unaccounted for, it said. These MSF staff appear to be in shock following the attack. (Photo: MSF) MSF says surgery took place in the undamaged parts of the

Egypt: Cairo University bans teachers from wearing face veil

Image for representational purposes only.   Getty Images The recent decision to ban female staff from wearing the full face veil aims to put an end to student complaints of "poor communication" in class, the head of Egypt's  Cairo University  said on Saturday. Although the head-to-toe covering known locally as the  niqab  is "not a phenomenon" among his teachers, Gaber Nassar said that he wants to "cure the disease" before it becomes one. Islamic clerics and students have denounced the move as discriminatory, but Nassar said he has the backing of the Grand Mufti, Egypt's top religious authority. The niqab, Nassar said, is especially problematic in language courses, where the cloth barrier of the veil hinders student-teacher communications producing low grades and graduates incapable of enunciation. The vast majority of  Egyptian Muslim women  wear a form of veil that covers the hair but leaves the face uncovered. However, the numbe

Taliban shadow governor slain in northeast Afghanistan

Afghan government forces have killed the Taliban’s shadow governor for the country’s northeastern province of Badakhshan during a clean-up operation against members of the militant outfit. Spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, Sediq Sediqi, said late on Friday that Mawlawi Fasihuddin was killed along with 40 comrades in an offensive in Baharak district of the province, located approximately 93 kilometers (57 miles) north of the capital, Kabul, earlier in the day. The Taliban, however, dismissed the announcement as baseless and unfounded. On September 30, Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban’s shadow governor for the embattled northern Afghan province of Kunduz, denied reports by Afghan intelligence that he was killed in a US airstrike after the strategic city of Kunduz, located some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the capital, Kabul, fell to the militant group two days earlier. “Neither my deputy Mohammad, myself, nor any other comrades have been hurt; we are alright,” S

Clerics ask Muslim women not to contest Kolhapur polls, face criticismfrom Owaisi's AIMIM

dna Research & Archives It's a good thing that most Muslim have stopped paying much heed to the  fatwas  they come across quite often. Recent example being a committee of Muslim clerics that ordered the community in Kolhapur to stop women from contesting the upcoming municipal corporation election in the city. Consisting of about 50 clerics of Majlis-e-Shoora-Ulama-e-Shahar Kolhapur committee that controls mosques in the city reportedly distributed a note on September 23 asking  Muslim women  to step down from contesting the KMC election, for the committee believes such act is anti-Islamic. The note, as per the report, quotes Sharia and other Islamic laws to try and prove the same. The good news is that the locals as well as some other organisations have come forward to oppose this order, saying that the constitution of India is above those fatwas.  All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is also one of the political bodies that stepped up to oppose such o

15 killed, 41 hurt in blasts near Nigerian capital: Officials

ABUJA: Two bomb blasts that ripped through the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja have left at least 15 people dead and 41 wounded, the National Emergency Management Agency said on Saturday.  "Following a coordinated rescue operation at scene of multiple explosions in both Nyaya and Kuje, which are satellite towns of Federal Capital Territory Abuja, so far 15 persons lost their lives and 41 injured," hospitals," NEMA said in a statement.  "In Nyaya two dead were recorded while 21 injured. Kuje 13 lost their lives and 20 injured," the agency said.  It said the injured had been taken to the hospitals for treatment.  The explosions occurred late on Friday near a police station in Kuje and at a bus stop in Nyanya, in an area previously targeted by the Boko Haram Islamist group.  Kuje, near Abuja's airport, is some 40 kilometres from the city centre and seat of government. Its prison has been reported to be holding dozens of Boko Haram prisoners captured b

Relevance of Mahatma to peace, sustainable development highlighted at UN

UNITED NATIONS: Mahatma Gandhi's undying inspiration for today's twin priorities of international peace and sustainable development was hailed Friday as the UN observed Gandhi Jayanthi as International Day of Non-Violence.  Issuing a call to "renew our commitment to non-violence and lives of dignity for all," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "Today, at a time of escalating conflicts, rising extremism, massive displacement and rapidly growing humanitarian need, Mahatma Gandhi's dedication to non-violence remains an example for us all."  "The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can also point the way towards reducing violence, promoting harmony between people and planet, and making the world safer for all," Ban said.  Ban recalled his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram and said that Gandhi's saying he saw there, "If blood is to be shed, let it be our own," impressed him. "Gandhi was calling on people to refuse to kill - i

Rising Rakhine Party Looming Threat to Myanmar's Muslim Minority

Sitte, Myanmar:  Myanmar's historic elections next month are likely to worsen the plight of the country's oppressed Rohingya Muslim community, with a new, hardline Buddhist party on the brink of becoming a formidable force. The empowerment of ethnic nationalists in Rakhine State at the western edge of the Southeast Asian nation could intensify discrimination of the stateless Rohingya, thousands of whom have fled in recent years to neighbouring countries. The government has barred most Rohingyas from both voting and registering as candidates, drawing sharp criticism from the United Nations and undermining Myanmar's efforts to portray the Nov. 8 poll as its first free and fair election in 25 years. The Arakan National Party (ANP), an organisation of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, was formed last year. It lobbied hard to disenfranchise Myanmar's 'temporary citizens,' including most of the one million Rohingya living in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine and maintains

Indonesian Police Reject Rohingya Sex Assault Claims

Banda :  Indonesian police today rejected allegations several Rohingya women were sexually assaulted by local men outside a migrant camp in Aceh province. Four Rohingya women, aged from 14 to 28, had said they were sexually assaulted by a group of men on Monday evening shortly after sneaking away from the camp, housing members of the Myanmar minority who had arrived as migrants by boat. The women had been with three children and two men. Lhokseumawe police chief Anang Triarsono said the medical examinations performed on three of the Rohingya women found no trace of sexual assault. The fourth woman was not examined because she later admitted she had not been sexually assaulted. "We still have not learned the reason why they claimed to have been raped and sexually assaulted because we are still concerned with their psychological state as refugees," Triansono told AFP Saturday. Triansono said the police suspected the women made the false claim after they were caught trying to le

Australia shooting 'an act of terrorism': PM Malcolm Turnbull

Sydney: Australian Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull  on Saturday said that an attack in Sydney in which a 15-year-old gunman shot dead a civilian police employee appeared to have been an act of terrorism. Police said little was known about the unidentified teen, who was shot dead in an exchange of fire with officers after he killed finance worker Curtis Cheng at close range outside the force's headquarters in western Sydney on Friday. Reports said that the youth, who police said was of Iraqi-Kurdish background and had been born in Iran, had been shouting religious slogans before shooting Cheng in the back of the head. Turnbull called on Australians to go about their lives as usual as they begin a long weekend in which two major sporting finals will be held in Sydney and Melbourne. "This appears to have been an act of politically motivated violence so at this stage it appears to have been an act of terrorism. It is a shocking crime," the prime minister said in Melbourne. &

Australia shooting 'an act of terrorism': PM Malcolm Turnbull

Sydney: Australian Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull  on Saturday said that an attack in Sydney in which a 15-year-old gunman shot dead a civilian police employee appeared to have been an act of terrorism. Police said little was known about the unidentified teen, who was shot dead in an exchange of fire with officers after he killed finance worker Curtis Cheng at close range outside the force's headquarters in western Sydney on Friday. Reports said that the youth, who police said was of Iraqi-Kurdish background and had been born in Iran, had been shouting religious slogans before shooting Cheng in the back of the head. Turnbull called on Australians to go about their lives as usual as they begin a long weekend in which two major sporting finals will be held in Sydney and Melbourne. "This appears to have been an act of politically motivated violence so at this stage it appears to have been an act of terrorism. It is a shocking crime," the prime minister said in Melbourne. &

Three dead at Afghan hospital after U.S. air strike

* U.S air strike may have hit hospital - forces spokesman * Medical aid group says hospital partially destroyed * Three MSF staff killed, dozens missing (Adds details of hospital scene) By Hamid Shalizi and Andrew MacAskill KABUL, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Saturday acknowledged it could have been responsible for an air strike that hit a hospital run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing at least three people and leaving more than 30 missing. Fighting has raged around the Afghan provincial capital this week, as government forces backed by American air power seek to drive out Taliban militants who seized the city in the biggest victory of their nearly 14-year insurgency. U.S. forces launched an air strike at 2.15 a.m. (2145 GMT), the spokesman, Col. Brian Tribus, said in a statement. "The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility," he added. "This incident is under investigation.&qu

Odisha Engineer Abducted by Islamic State Comes Back Home

Bhubaneswar:  Biochemical engineer Prabhas Samal, who was abducted by the Islamic State terrorist group in Libya last month, reached Odisha today. Mr Samal, who hails from Odisha's Kendrapada district, reached New Delhi on Wednesday after he was released by the terrorist group recently. "Till date I am ignorant how I managed to wriggle out from the harrowing experience. I could only feel that some unseen power was and is behind me for which I am here in my motherland safe and sound," he said. Mr Samal said that he was not tortured during captivity. "I really don't know about +who kidnapped me and why they released only me. I can tell you that I was not tortured in anyway," he said. "I have forgotten the pain of captivity after seeing my relatives and the warm reception I got here," Mr Samal added. He was given a warm welcome by his relatives at his cousin's home in Bhubaneswar. Mr Samal was working in a hospita

Francois Hollande Says Told Russia to Strike 'Only' at Islamic State

Paris:  France's President Francois Hollande said on Friday he had told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin he must strike at "Daesh (Islamic State) and only Daesh" during Russian military action in Syria. Hollande was speaking after meeting Putin on Friday ahead of talks on the future of Ukraine, where the two men were joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. "What I told President Putin was that the strikes should concern Daesh and only Daesh. On that basis we have to hold everyone to their responsibilities," Hollande said after the meetings in Paris. He said no link was made during the four-way talks between the situation in Ukraine and the one Syria. Source:

Russian Air Strikes in Syria to Last 3-4 Months: Duma Committee Head

Paris:  Russia estimates its air strike campaign in Syria could last three to four months, the head of the foreign affairs committee at the State Duma, Russia's parliament, said today. "There is always a risk of being bogged down but in Moscow, we are talking about an operation of three to four months," Alexei Pushkov told French radio Europe 1, adding that the strikes were going to intensify. Pushkov was speaking a few hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to meet leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine in Paris for talks. Source:

'Bullet Will Destroy, Ballot Will Bring Development': PM Modi in Bihar

In his first rally in Bihar since elections were announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for development today, pointing to how neighbour Jharkhand, ruled by the BJP, had jumped many places to now be ranked number 3 among Indian states in a World Bank survey. "15 years ago Jharkhand was a part of Bihar. After Jharkhand chose a BJP-led NDA government, it has progressed much. In the last World Bank economic survey Jharkhand was ranked 29th, Bihar 27th. This time, Bihar is still no 27, Jharkhand is 3," PM Modi said. The PM was speaking in Bihar's Naxal-affected Banka, which he said no Prime Minister had visited "for as long as anyone can remember." "I appeal to the youth who have taken to the gun for Naxalism - the bullet brings only destruction. The ballot brings development," the Prime Minister said, adding, "Bihar has seen feudalism, casteism, capitalism, and nepotism...everything. For once, vote for developme

We Don't Want to go to Europe: The Other Reality of Syrian Refugees

The refugee crisis shaking the world has come to be narrowly defined as Syrians fleeing the war, trying to enter Europe. But the ones trying to enter the West are only a small fraction - less than 10 per cent of the millions of refugees for whom Europe remains out of reach. All this week, on Exodus, a special series on NDTV, we trace the invisible roots of the refugee crisis from its point of origin along the Syria Turkey border to the gates of a divided Europe. SANLIURFA, TURKEY: At the gates of the Syrian city of Kobane, two men packed up their home and loaded it on to a truck: furniture, some kitchenware and a puppy. The bombed out, gray skeleton of the city was visible from across the barbed wire fence, where Turkish police screened IDs and checked people's cars before letting them pass. The two Syrian men were returning home after fleeing almost two years when the Islamic State stormed the city. The Kurdish armies had won it back in February this year, and a pre

3 Doctors Without Borders staff killed in Afghanistan bombing; U.S. carried out strikes

Kabul (CNN) Three staff members of medical aid charity Doctors Without Borders were killed and more than 30 people were unaccounted for after a trauma center was hit by aerial bombing early Saturday in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the charity said in a statement. The medical facility was hit several times. U.S. forces carried out a strike nearby "against individuals threatening the force" that "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility," Army spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said in a statement. "We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical teams are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel, and accounting for the deceased," said Bart Janssens, operations director for the organization also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres. When the aerial attack occurred Saturday morning, 105 patients and their caretakers were in the hospital. More than 80 MSF international and national staff were present. Sinc

2 Niger Soldiers Killed in 'Boko Haram Ambush'

Niamey:  An alleged Boko Haram attack on a village in southeastern Niger killed two of the country's soldiers, the Nigerien army said Friday, the latest deadly raid by the Islamist group. The incident occurred when a nearby military unit was warned that an attack was imminent against the village of Baroua, near the border with Nigeria, at around 10:30pm (2130 GMT), and dispatched soldiers to the scene, according to a defence ministry statement read on state television. On the way to the village, the troops were ambushed by "suspected Boko Haram elements", the statement said, with two soldiers killed and seven others wounded. An army vehicle was also destroyed. Private radio station Anfani said the firefight following the ambush lasted five hours, and added that the attackers looted shops and took "large quantities of food". Niger, whose primary source of foreign income is uranium, has joined a regional military alliance, alongside Chad, Niger and Nigeria, to fig