Showing posts from December 22, 2019

Bangladesh Pushes Back Against Criticism of Security Measures at Rohingya Camps

Bangladeshi officials on Friday defended security measures aimed at “protecting” Rohingya refugees, after an international NGO said in a new study that barbed-wire fencing, watchtowers and restrictions on phone use and movement could drive refugees toward crime or extremism. The report released Friday by the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that such “counterproductive” security measures could alienate the refugees and “set the stage for greater insecurity and conflict in southern Bangladesh,” where more than 1 million Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are sheltering. The Rohingya refugees “cannot expect freedom and other facilities like the Bangladeshis [have],” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told BenarNews as he fielded questions about the study published by the Brussels-based group. A segment of the refugee population in Cox’s Bazar district has been involved in criminal activities that are on the rise, including homicides, mu

SCO member nations jointly foil over 360 terrorist schemes last year

BEIJING, Dec 23 (APP):The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries jointly foiled more than 360 terrorists and extremist schemes last year and arrested 695 suspects, Liu Jie, deputy director of the executive committee of the SCO’s regional anti-terrorist structure, said. More than 160,000 posts and 3,000 social media accounts containing terrorist and extremist content had also been blocked under the SCO framework, he was quoted by China Daily here on Monday. “Different countries need to seek common ground while setting aside differences to fight extremism and terrorism and establish worldwide prevention and cooperation mechanism,” he added. He said extremism was the theoretical support of terrorism, while terrorism was often the result of extremism, so extremists and terrorists shared a common ideology and their networks were codependent.They had become the common enemy of mankind. “Member countries of the SCO have agreed that we need to attach great

Dozens killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

No claim of responsibility for attack in capital that left scores of people, including children, wounded. At least 61 people have been killed and many wounded in a car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, police and witnesses said. Police officer Mohamed Hussein said the blast targeted a tax collection centre during the morning rush hour. Close to 100 wounded people, including children, were rushed to hospitals. Among them were several university students who had been travelling in a bus, Hussein said. More: Somalia hotel attack: Security forces kill 5 al-Shabab fighters Somali-Canadian peace activist shot dead in Mogadishu Somalia: Al-Shabab gunmen attack Mogadishu hotel A large plume of black smoke rose above the capital, marking one  of the deadliest attacks in Mogadishu in recent memory. There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties. Speaking to Al Jazeera, the adviser to Mogadishu's mayor said the death

Turkey presses Russia for new truce in Syria's Idlib: Official

Turkey said on Tuesday it was talking to Russia with the aim of reaching a new ceasefire after increased bombardment in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. "We are closely following the process for an end to the attacks, and these attacks should come to an end immediately and implemented under a new ceasefire," Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told a televised news conference. "This is our main expectation from the Russian side." A Turkish delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, travelled to Moscow on Monday to discuss developments in Libya and Syria , as thousands of civilians began moving towards Turkey due to Russian and Syrian army attacks. Speaking in Ankara following a cabinet meeting, Kalin said Ankara had asked Russia to establish a ceasefire in the region. More: Turkey in talks with Russia as thousands flee bombing in Syria Car bomb attack kills eight in northern Syria Syria reports Damascus air att

Medialdea’s inclusion in gov’t panel best gesture of peace – Bello

That President Duterte dispatched Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to join the Philippine Government (GRP) panel could light the flame for a possible rekindling of negotiations with Communist rebels stunted months ago. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, GRP’s chief peace negotiator, said it was the first time that an executive secretary, the right-hand man of the President, had been named to the Philippine Peace Panel. “You cannot get closer to an authority from the President than that,” said Bello, in a gathering Friday night with media men who covered the previous five rounds of the scuttled peace talks between the GRP and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front  (CPP-NPA-NDF). “The presence of ES Medialdea shows the President’ commitment, his resolve…Na kung pwede lang sana, sya na makipag-usap, sya na. (If he could

Taliban attack on Afghanistan army base kills 10 soldiers

At least 10 Afghan soldiers have been killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in the southern Helmand province, officials said. The Taliban dug a tunnel into the base, located in the volatile Sangin district, and blew it up before its fighters attacked the compound, Nawab Zadran, spokesman for 215 Maiwand Army Corps in southern Afghanistan told AFP news agency on Saturday.  More: Why 2019 was Afghanistan's best and worst year since US invasion Afghan official says Taliban abducted dozens of peace activists 'Peace': Afghans seek end to conflict after election results "There were 18 soldiers in the base at the time of the attack providing security for the people of Sangin. Four soldiers were wounded and four repelled the Taliban attack bravely," he said. Provincial spokesman Omar Zawak confirmed the attack and said the soldiers were killed by the powerful blast inside the base. In a statement sent to media, Taliban spoke

2019 Yearender: Lowest Left wing extremism / Maoist violence in last five years in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh witnessed lowest Maoist violence in the last five years in the year 2019 as per the state police data. However, a section of police officers in the state believe that forces in Maoist –hit areas were less aggressive because of parliamentary and municipal elections. The figures which is available with Hindustan Times suggests that from January 1 to December 19, a total of 46 civilian were killed by Maoists in 2019 in a declining trend from 89 in 2018, 58 in 2017, 61 in 2016 to 52 in 2015. 2019 also saw the lowest casualty among the security personnel in the last five years at 22, compared to 48 in 2015, 41 in 2016, 61 in 2017 and 58 in 2018. The police brass attributes the significant decline to a change in strategy. “We have done operations on the basis of specific intelligence input due to which the damage of the security forces was less,” Director General of Police (DGP) DM Awasthi told Hindustan Times. 79 Maoists were killed in 2019 til

Rocket Attack in Iraq Kills U.S. Contractor, Wounds Four U.S. Troops

U.S. hasn’t assigned blame but is focusing on militia backed by Iran A U.S. contractor was killed and four U.S. troops were wounded when more than 30 rockets were fired Friday at an Iraqi military base, a U.S. defense official said. The attack comes two weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement warning that any rocket attacks carried out by Iran or its proxies in Iraq that harm Americans “will be answered by a decisive U.S. response.”  Source:

Most members of Taliban councils back Afghan ceasefire: Report

Kabul, Dec 27 (IANS) "Most members" of the Taliban councils in Pakistan have agreed to establish a temporary ceasefire in Afghanistan, an informed source said. The source, familiar with the US-Taliban peace talks in Qatar, said on Thursday that the final decision about the ceasefire will be made by the Taliban''s top leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, reports TOLO News. But the Quetta Council of the Taliban, which is mostly military, still had questions about the decision, the source added. Although the Taliban have not officially announced anything, Jalaluddin Shinwari, a former member, believes that eventually the views of the group''s politicians and militaries will be coordinated. "Every decision taken by the leadership is obeyed, based on Sharia. But since a discussion is an Islamic principle, there must be some talks between the political leaders and military commanders of the (Taliban)," said Shinwari. Afghan politicians

Thousands Rally in Indonesia, Malaysia to Protest China’s Treatment of Uyghurs

Thousands of people took to the streets in Indonesia and Malaysia on Friday to protest against China’s internment of nearly 2 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in camps in the Xinjiang region, amid growing calls for action over their plight. The demonstrations took place as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad vowed not to extradite Uyghurs who seek refuge in his country. “The issues of oppression against Islam worldwide, including the Uyghurs, exist and must be acknowledged by all parties,” Mahathir said, reiterating that his government would not interfere in China’s internal affairs. He was replying to a parliamentary question on whether Malaysia would take in Uyghur refugees or send them to a third country. “If Uyghurs are fleeing to Malaysia to seek asylum, Malaysia will not extradite them even if there is an application from China,” he said. “They are allowed to go to the third country because they have valid fears over their safety.” After Friday

Left wing Extremism: Thousands join indignation rally vs CPP-NPA-NDF in Soccsksargen

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Thousands of residents and “peace advocates” took to the streets in parts of Region 12 or Soccksargen on Thursday to denounce the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF). The indignation rally, which was part of nationally-coordinated simultaneous protest actions, greeted the 51st foundation anniversary of the CPP. Carrying posters and tarpaulins, the protesters called for an end to the “terrorist” activities, extortion, harassment and deception of civilians, as well as recruitment of minors and indigenous peoples by the CPP-NPA-NDF. In this city, around 200 people, including police and military officials as well as former NPA members, gathered at the Plaza Heneral Santos for the protest action. Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, director of the Police Regional Office-12, said the mobilization was aimed to further drum up support from local stakeholders in the government’s efforts t

'Yes I was mistreated for being Hindu': Danish Kaneria opens up on Hinduphobia in Pak cricket team

Former Pakistani leg spinner Danish Kaneria has opened up on the controversy created by his former teammate Shoaib Akthar. In a chat show, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that Danish Kaneira was mistreated by his team-mates because he was a Hindu. “I used to get livid when anyone was discriminated on the basis of region or religion. A Hindu born in Pakistan is entitled to represent his country. When that Hindu (Kaneria) won us the Test series against England (in 2005), I chided my team-mates for mistreating him,” he said. Reacting to Akhtar's statement, Kaneria agreed that he was mistreated by his teammates in the Pakistan cricket team. Kaneria said that Akhtar told the truth. Kaneria added that he'll reveal names of players who didn't like to talk to him as he was a Hindu. He said that he didn't have courage to speak on it, but now he will. Pak cricketer Danish Kaneria to ANI on Shoaib Akhtar's allegations that

Violent Extremism in the Maldives: The Saudi Factor

The Saudi push to spread Wahhabism is contributing to the Maldives’ startling radicalization. Last week, the Maldives Independent reported some rather startling news. Security services revealed that there are close to 1,400 Maldivians who would kill in the name of Islam. Officials also confirmed that an Islamic State bomb plot was foiled in 2017 and that, since 2013, 423 Maldivians attempted to enter Iraq and Syria – 173 successfully – to fight for the so-called caliphate. This makes the Maldives possibly the highest per capita source of foreign fighters of any nation. The Maldives provide an interesting case study of how the international proliferation of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism has contributed to violent extremism and the radicalization of foreign fighters. Although there are many complex factors contributing to extremism in the Maldives, Saudi proselytization is nonetheless an important factor. The increasing religious conservatism and intolerance displayed in Maldivian soc

Cover For War And Terrorism Risks, And Cover In Respect Of Biological And Bio-Chemical Weapons – 2020 Policy Year

This Circular describes the arrangements which have been made to provide special cover for war and terrorism risks, and cover in respect of biological and bio-chemical weapons for the 2020 policy year. War and terrorism risks For 2020, cover for war and terrorism risks will remain available from the Club in accordance with the relevant proviso to Rule 3.1.1 of the Rules of Class I. This cover will apply in excess of an insured vessel’s proper hull value, or $500 million, whichever is the lower amount, and will be for a limit of $500 million for 2020, the same figure as that which obtains for the current policy year. Addendum I to this Circular sets out the terms of this excess cover. It will apply to all vessels insured on fully mutual conditions in accordance with the Rules of Class I, into the cover of which these terms will be deemed to be incorporated. Cover in respect of biological and bio-chemical weapons The International Group of P&I Clubs’ pooling fa

Killing at will in Brazil’s brazen police militias

Police killed an average of 17 people a day in Brazil last year, and rogue officers swelled that number The masked gunmen pulled up to Wanda’s Bar at 3.49pm on May 19th and began firing the moment they left their vehicles. Two people, including Wanda herself, died on the patio. Inside, the gunmen worked in silence: two in front, shooting unarmed patrons at the bar and in the main room, while a third followed behind with a gun in each hand, firing a single shot into the head of anyone still moving. When the massacre ended, 11 people lay dead, slumped over the bar, draped across chairs or huddled on the floor. Only two people survived, one by hiding under a friend’s lifeless body, case files show. Once again, masked gunmen had struck in the Brazilian city of Belém, as they have for nearly a decade, stalking the streets in open defiance of the law – robbing, extorting and killing without compunction. Yet they did not belong to one of the many gangs that traffic drugs or guns i

Official anniversary of Sudan’s December Revolution wound-up in Khartoum

On Wednesday evening, Sudan wound up the official celebrations of the first anniversary of the December 2018 revolution with a function in the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. The celebration included several programmes about the details of the revolution from the start until the end. A number of poets recited poems about the concepts and meanings of the revolution, and the milestones that the Sudanese revolution went through, especially at the moment of the sit-in at the General Command. PM Hamdok Addressing the function, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, pointed out that peace is at the top of the transitional government’s priorities, and that the goals of the revolution for achieving peace, freedom and justice will not be achieved without a just and sustainable peace. Hamdok pointed out that the government’s vision for realising peace is based on five tracks that address the root causes of the problems in the country, namely the governance, and the administration that shall ad