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  1. PESHAWAR: The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday confirmed the death of Umar Mansoor who was the mastermind behind the Army Public School (APS) and Bacha Khan University attacks in Pakistan. Umar Mansoor was the TTP?s commander in Peshawar and Dara Adam Khel. Reports that he had been killed were circulating months earlier as well, at the time the TTP did not confirm or deny whether he was dead or alive. Details regarding when, where and how Umar Mansoor died were not given by the banned organization's spokesman. Usman Mansoor is said to have replaced Umar as the TTP?s new commander in Peshawar. A Reuters report from 2014 stated that Umar Mansoor was educated in Islamabad and later at a seminary. He worked as a labourer in Karachi before he joined the TTP in 2007. He is said to have close ties to Mullah Fazlullah who was behind the attack on Malala Yousufzai.
  2. [embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: The mystery of Karachi knife attacks remains unresolved with legal complications restricting transfer of the suspect to the megapolis from Gujranwala, who believed to be involved in a series of incidents that sparked fear in Karachi. At least 15 women were injured in attacks by a knife-wielding man n Karachi between September 25 to October 5. Later, there had been no clue as to where did the suspect go. With seven different cases registered, police in Karachi began connecting the dots, leading to a suspect, Wasim, involved in similar incidents in Sahiwal, Punjab, who got out on bail a month and a half ago. Police claims to nab mastermind of Karachi knife attacks 'Waseem was arrested in a joint operation with the Punjab police,' DIG East Sultan Khowaja said However, it has become difficult for the Karachi Police to bring suspect, arrested from Gujranwala, to Karachi for not following the protocols. Sources said the Karachi Police managed to get the suspect nabbed by CIA Punjab, without bringing the matter in the notice of Punjab Home Department. The Karachi Police is unable to bring the suspect to the megapolis for they have not yet submitted a formal request to the Punjab Home Department seeking his transit remand. Moving the suspect from Punjab to Karachi remains out of question without a transit remand. On the other hand, Wasim denies involvement in Karachi knife attacks and claims that he has never been to the megapolis in his life. The attacker, who has succeeded in evading arrest so far, has posed a challenge to the authorities and caused a scare among the public after repeated attacks by a sharp object. 'Suspect a thin man, aged 20-29' Karachi police released pictures ? screengrabs from the CCTV footage ? of the suspect earlier this month wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorcycle moments before attacking one of the victims. "The suspect appears to be a thin man, aged 20-29," DIG East Sultan Khawaja said, adding that "he appears to be 5 feet, 7-9 inches tall" and usually rides a red motorcycle.
  3. A general view shows the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia, October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar MOGADISHU: More than 300 people died after twin bomb explosions in Mogadishu, an official said on Monday, as locals packed hospitals in search of friends and relatives caught up in Somalia?s deadliest attack in a decade. geo_embedgallery The death toll has steadily risen since Saturday, when the blasts - for which no organization had claimed responsibility by Monday morning - struck at two busy junctions in the heart of the city. ?We have confirmed 300 people died in the blast. The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing,? Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of the city?s ambulance service, told Reuters on Monday. Aden Nur, a doctor at the city?s Madina hospital, said they had recorded 258 deaths while Ahmed Ali, a nurse at the nearby Osman Fiqi hospital, told Reuters five bodies had been sent there. Nur said 160 of the bodies could not be recognized. ?(They)were buried by the government yesterday. The others were buried by their relatives. Over a hundred injured were also brought here,? he told Reuters at the hospital. Some of the injured were being evacuated by air to Turkey for treatment, officials said. Locals visiting their injured relatives or collecting their bodies filled every available space in Madina hospital. Somali government forces secure the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar ?My last time to speak with my brother was some minutes before the blast occurred. By then he told me, he was on the way to meet and was passing at K5,? Halima Nur, a local mother, told Reuters, referring to one of the junctions that was struck. ?I am afraid he was among the unrecognized charred bodies that were buried yesterday. I have no hope of getting him alive or dead. But I cannot go home.? Deadliest since insurgency began Saturday bomb attacks were the deadliest since militant group al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007. Neither it nor any other group had claimed responsibility, but al Shabaab, which is allied to al Qaeda, stages regular attacks in the capital and other parts of the country. The group is waging an insurgency against Somalia?s UN-backed government and its African Union allies. The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory since then to the combined forces of AU peacekeepers and Somali security forces. But Al Shabaab retains the capacity to mount large, complex bomb attacks. Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs. Some of those seriously injured in Saturday?s bombing were moved by ambulance to the airport on Monday morning to be flown to Turkey for further treatment, Nur added. Workers unloaded boxes of medicine and other medical supplies from a Turkish military plane parked on the tarmac, while Turkish medical teams attended to the cases of injuries moved from the hospital for evacuation.
  4. [embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: A man who claimed to have been injured in an 'attack' by a knife-wielding suspect inflicted self-injury, said police on Monday. Noman, the arrested suspect, injured himself with a sharp object after his employer ? a mineral water company ? refused his leave application, SSP East Dr. Samiullah Soomro said. "All of Noman?s [earlier] statements were false," Dr. Soomro said. "He injured himself with a sharp object after his weekend plans were disrupted because his employer rejected his leaves request." The man, whose appearance was similar to the description of the knife-wielding criminal, who has attacked women in the metropolis, was picked up for interrogation on Sunday after he was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of wounds which doctors said appeared to have been self-inflicted. Police grill man injured in Karachi knife attack The man claimed he was attacked by a wanted knife-wielding motorcyclist a day earlier He was handed over to local police after he took a lie-detector test and was thoroughly interrogated, the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) said. "The man will be released after he records a statement with the police," Dr. Soomro said, adding that four more suspects were arrested on Monday. Fifteen women in the metropolis have been attacked since September 25 when the first incident was reported. The suspect, who has posed quite a challenge to the authorities, remains at large, evading arrest and baffling authorities after a fresh spate of knife attacks on women, concentrated mainly in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas. Knife-attacker strikes again after police arrest 16 suspects Another woman was attacked with a sharp object in Karachi?s Pehlwan Goth vicinity late Thursday The police have numerous theories, including copycat attacks and an organised group operating within the city. 'Thin man, aged 20-29' Karachi Police released pictures ? screengrabs from the CCTV footage ? of the suspect Saturday night, wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorbike moments before attacking one of the victims. geo_embedgallery Hunt for Karachi knife attacker handed over to CTD The case that has left citizens questioning their safety was handed over to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD). A case team is deployed to work on ways to capture the suspect, sources say. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday claimed that the suspect had been identified and was believed to be the same person who was behind similar attacks in Punjab?s Chichawatni area, where 50 women were injured in knife attacks over three years since 2013.
  5. KABUL: The International Committee of the Red Cross will ?drastically? cut back its operations in Afghanistan following attacks that have killed seven of its staff this year, the aid group said on Monday. The announcement underlines the deteriorating security for aid groups in Afghanistan, where the ICRC has been operating for more than 30 years and has been running its fourth biggest humanitarian program. ?Exposure to risk has become our greatest challenge and concern,? Monica Zanarelli, head of the ICRC in Afghanistan, told a news conference in the capital, Kabul. ?We have no choice but to drastically reduce our presence in Afghanistan,? she said, adding that the decision would particularly affect operations in the north, where facilities in Kunduz, Faryab, and Balkh provinces would be closed or downsized. Red Cross officials said the assessments are ongoing and could not say how many of its 1,800 staff would be affected. The Red Cross had already warned of the threat to its operations following a series of attacks over the past year. In February, the organization put all of its operations on hold after six of its staff were killed in an attack on an aid convoy in the far north. Operations gradually resumed over the summer, but last month, a Spanish Red Cross physiotherapist working in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif was shot dead by one of her patients. In addition, four of its staff have been abducted over the past year. The spreading conflict has combined with an increase in criminality, making for more ?blurred lines? between the various armed groups which complicate efforts to safely provide aid, Zanarelli said. ?I would say there are more gray areas than there were in the past, and this is certainly what is affecting our capacity to assess our security,? she said. According to U.S. military estimates, the government controls no more than 60 percent of the country, with the rest either controlled or contested by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.
  6. Saudi security forces keep watch in Riyadh, January 23, 2015. AFP/Ahmad Al-Ghamdi/Getty Images/Files RIYADH: Two Saudi guards were shot dead and three others injured on Saturday morning when a man drove up to the gate of the royal palace in Jeddah and began shooting, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news. Royal Guards killed the gunman, who was identified in the statement as 28-year-old Saudi national Mansour al-Amri. The attack occurred at a checkpoint outside the western gate to the Peace Palace in Jeddah, where the royal family conducts official business during the summer months. Saudi King Salman is currently outside the kingdom on a state visit to Russia. The statement did not elaborate on the whereabouts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ? King Salman's his son, although recent state news reports have placed him in Jeddah. Security forces seized Kalashnikov rifles and petrol bombs that had been in Amri?s possession. Amri did not have a criminal record or any known connection to extremist groups, Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said via phone to al-Arabiya television. An investigation was underway to determine his motive for the attack, said Turki.
  7. CCTV screengrab of one of the attacks KARACHI: Fear ripples across the metropolis and the culprit remains at large, a day after a fresh wave of knife attacks left five women injured within a span of mere three hours in different parts of the city. Mystery continues to surround the attacker, who has managed to evade capture even after 14 knife attacks in the past nine days. The attacks on women were, at first, restricted to the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area but spread to Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Dalmia and other localities on Wednesday, spreading a renewed wave of terror across Karachiites. Investigative authorities remain baffled about the identity and motive of the attacker. Some officials contend the assailant is ?mentally disturbed? whereas some believe the attacker is part of an organised group. The latest attack took place at Gulshan Chowrangi on Wednesday, in which a 12-year-old girl was assaulted with a knife. Five more injured in fresh Karachi knife attacks on women The incidents occur over a span of three hours in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas and surroundings Later the same day, the attacker first targeted a woman in the city's Gulshan-e-Jamal area, followed by another attack near Dalmia road, police said. Within an hour of the two attacks, another woman ? a student of Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology ? was attacked in NIPA Chowrangi vicinity. [embed_video1 url= style=center] Over the next couple of hours, the assailant stabbed a 13-year-old girl in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. Some similarities have been noticed across all the incidents: the attacker reportedly attacks with his left hand using a sharp object, wears a helmet and rides a red motorcycle. Karachi Police released pictures and CCTV footage of the suspect last week, wherein the assailant can be seen riding a motorcycle moments before attacking one of the victims. "The suspect appears to be a thin man, aged 20-29," DIG East Sultan Khawaja said, adding that "he appears to be 5 feet, 7-9 inches tall" and usually rides a red motorcycle. Following the renewed spate of attacks, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah slammed the police for failing to arrest the suspect and directed IG Police to arrest the attacker immediately. Bilawal takes notice of knife attacks on women PPP chairman orders arrest of the culprits Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also took notice of the knife attacks on women and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits involved. ?PPP will not tolerate [these] attacks on innocent women. These terrorists are challenging our nation by attacking our women,? he said in a statement. The PPP chairman also asked the judiciary to direct the police to ensure protection of women.
  8. KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taken strict notice of the recent spate of knife attacks on women in the metropolis, and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits involved. In his statement issued via PPP media cell, Bilawal directed the concerned authorities to take strict and swift action against the culprits behind the attacks, which have injured 13 women in different parts of the city. ?PPP will not tolerate [these] attacks on innocent women. These terrorists are challenging our nation by attacking our women,? he stated. ?Every mother and sister in Pakistan is a Benazir Bhutto, and their protection is obligatory upon us,? he said, adding that the attackers do not deserve even an ounce of mercy. Five more injured in fresh Karachi knife attacks on women The incidents occur over a span of three hours in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal areas and surroundings The PPP chairman also asked the judiciary to direct the police to ensure protection of women. He further said that the attackers should be handed exemplary punishment, otherwise fingers will be raised. Five more girls were wounded in fresh knife attacks in Karachi late Wednesday, police said, which occurred over a span of three hours and spread a renewed wave of terror across the city.
  9. Villagers stand with the python which attacked an Indonesia man nearly severing his arm. Photo: AFP PEKANBARU: A giant python attacked an Indonesian man, nearly severing his arm, before hungry villagers chopped up the reptile and ate it, a police chief said Wednesday. Security guard Robert Nababan crossed paths with the giant creature while patrolling an oil palm plantation in the remote Batang Gansal subdistrict of Sumatra island on Saturday. "The python was 7.8 metres long (25.6 feet), it was unbelievably huge," local police chief Sutarja, who like many Indonesians only has one name, told AFP. Sutarja said the 37-year-old Nababan, who sometimes liked to eat snake, tried to catch the giant python and stuff it in a gunny sack. But the huge serpent fought back and bit him on his left arm, nearly severing it from his body. Nababan was then rushed to a hospital in a neighbouring town for treatment. The police chief said the intervention of another security guard and several local residents, one of whom hit the snake with a log, helped to save the man´s life. Hungry locals later killed the snake and displayed its body in the village before dicing it up, frying it and feasting on it. Giant python, which regularly top 20 feet in length, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. In March, a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer has been discovered inside the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was caught near where the man vanished while harvesting his crops on the eastern island of Sulawesi.
  10. WASHINGTON: The United States ordered the expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats on Tuesday, accusing Havana of failing to protect their US counterparts from harm in a series of mystery "attacks" on their health. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, however, that Washington would maintain diplomatic relations even though the size of the US mission in Havana would be reduced to a minimum. "The decision was made due to Cuba's failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention," Tillerson said. "This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations," the statement continued. "Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm." The attacks, which US officials initially suggested could have come from some sort of covert acoustic device, have affected at least 22 US embassy staff in Havana over the past few months. Those affected have exhibited physical symptoms including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping. Tillerson said the US would "maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and will continue to cooperate with Cuba as we pursue the investigation into these attacks." US relations with Havana were only fully restored in 2015 - after a half-century, Cold War break - and have deteriorated since President Donald Trump took office in January. Last week, Tillerson said he was withdrawing more than half the personnel from the US embassy in Cuba in response to the unexplained attacks. 'Protect our people' The Cuban diplomats, who were given seven days to depart, were not declared persona non grata, a US official speaking on condition of anonymity said. Washington, he said, wants "to underscore to the Cubans that they must take more actions to protect our people on the ground." "Our position on assurances is not to presume Cuban culpability. What it does is require the Cuban government to be able to fulfill their obligations with the safety and well-being and protection of foreign diplomats in their country." The US diplomats leaving Cuba are expected to be out of the country by the end of the week. "We would need full assurances from the Cuban government that these attacks will not continue before we can even talk and plan" for resuming operations in Havana, he said. Most importantly, Tillerson wants "to focus on the safety and well-being of our personnel. Once having made that decision we then moved on to consider ensuring that there would be an equitable impact in our two embassies ability to operate." The State Department gave the Cubans a list of which diplomats they wanted to be expelled. Routine US visa operations in Havana were suspended indefinitely in response to the attacks. US officials had previously told reporters they believed some kind of inaudible sound weapon was used on the US staff either inside or outside their residences in Havana. Canadians in Cuba have also been hurt, with a source close to that country's embassy telling AFP that more than five families were affected, including several children. Observers doubt that Cuba would have risked antagonizing its neighbors at the end of 2016 - when relations between the former Cold War enemies were thawing, before they deteriorated under Trump. The head of North American affairs at Cuba´s foreign ministry, Josefina Vidal, earlier told state television that Cuba wants to work with the United States to resolve this case.
  11. Dan Bilzerian's larger than life paints a rosy picture for his massive fan following. Lot of men envy him for various reasons and even resonate a ‘perfect' life with him. Hosting @cowboyscalgary on July 12 w my Eskimo bro @diplo A post shared by Dan Bilzerian (@danbilzerian) on Jul 10, 2017 at 2:05pm PDT However amidst all of this larger-than-life world that he has been building over the years, there have been times that his innocuous actions have met some ridiculous consequences. In an interview, he disclosed a rather dark tale of an incident which now sounds like it was a passing ‘oh my god' thing, but if you analyse it, it is pretty dark. Dan revealed that due to an overdose of Viagra and binging hard on cocaine and booze, he suffered two heart attacks. The surprising part is that he immediately thought that push ups were the cure! What's even murkier is the bizarre fact that he was only 25 years old. It's things like these which are learning lessons for fans who believe that celebrities have it all sorted, while the reality is that they are kinda messed up at a very basic level. Well, guess that even Dan Bilzerian's life comes with a "conditions apply" sign.
  12. Pictured is the suspect riding a motorbike moments before attacking one of the victims in Karachi. ? Geo News KARACHI: Karachi Police late Saturday released pictures of the suspect involved in knife attacks on women in the city's Gulistan-e-Jauhar area, with officials saying that the lone wolf attacker "appears to be a lean man in his 20s." The attacks, believed to have been carried out by the same suspect, have so far wounded at least nine women near Rabia City and Jauhar Chowrangi areas of the city. Picture, believed to have been taken from a CCTV camera, shows the attacker about to attack a woman. ? Geo News The woman bends down, apparently after being hit by the assailant. ? Geo News The latest attack came in wee hours of Saturday, when a woman was stabbed while descending from a rickshaw near Mosamiat. She then went to a nearby hospital in the same rickshaw for treatment. Police released pictures of the suspect late Saturday, in which the lone wolf attacker is seen riding a motorbike, moments before attacking one of the victims. Knife attacks on women spread fear in Karachi A motorcyclist wearing a black helmet is reportedly attacking women in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Karachi "The suspect appears to be a lean man aged between 20-29 years," said Sultan Khawaja, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Karachi's district East. "He appears to be 5 feet 7-9 inches tall." Khawaja said that anyone helping or providing information leading to the arrest of the suspect would be given Rs0.5 million. He said that any information on the suspect could be given on mobile phone no. 0300-3552256. Earlier on Saturday, Police booked two more cases reported by victims of stabbing attacks in and around the city?s Gulistan-e-Jauhar locality this week, bringing the total at five. The suspect riding a motorbike. ? Geo News A 28-year-old woman, attacked on Thursday afternoon, said that a man on a motorcycle, wearing a helmet, had attacked her with a sharp-edged instrument from behind. One of the victims, who was attacked on Tuesday, said that an unidentified man on a motorcycle wearing a black helmet attacked her from behind. The helmet-wearing suspect is pictured from the front while riding a motorbike. ? Geo News. Another survivor, a student of seventh grade, informed police that she was attacked from behind near Rabia City in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The girl said she was unable to identify the attacker as he had covered his face with a helmet. Fear, panic in Gulistan-e-Jauhar The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the area residents, forcing women to take extra precautions before going outside. Knife attacks on women: Karachi police register two more cases The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the area residents, forcing women to take extra precautions before going outside A female student of Karachi University said that police officers have advised women to be careful while walking on the streets. ?We have been directed to not leave our houses after Maghrib prayers,? remarked another student. Female students also said that they are taking all possible precautions including avoiding walking alone at night and not staying out for too long. A KU student said that the attacker seems to be suffering from a psychological disorder. ?Normal people do not commit such acts,? she added. Another student said that government should take notice of the issue and resolve it immediately.
  13. Saiful Maluk lake. Photo: Bloomberg As security improves, annual tourist arrivals to Pakistan have more than tripled since 2013 to 1.75 million last year, while domestic travellers have increased to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp (PTDC). Over the same period, foreign tourist arrivals in India jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, government figures show, reported Bloomberg. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) puts the total contribution of tourism to Pakistan?s economy at $19.4 billion last year. In ten years, the WTTC expects that to rise to $36.1 billion. The managing director of Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Ltd., Jonny Bealby, a London-based operator that has run trips to Pakistan for two decades, said his tours to the South Asian nation are up 60 percent from last year. ?The roads have improved immeasurably reducing journey times,?? Bealby said. Since the 2014 massacre of more than 100 children at a military school, the army has neutered some insurgent groups. Swat Valley has witnessed a surge in tourism. An 80 percent increase in hotel bookings was observed last year, according to a Pakistani accommodation booking website. Many Pakistanis want to travel, but going abroad is difficult, said Jovago Asia?s CEO Nadine Malik.
  14. [embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: Police have booked two more cases reported by victims of stabbing attacks in the city?s Gulistan-e-Jauhar locality this week, bringing the total at five. Till Thursday, eight women in areas of Rabia City and Jauhar Chowrangi had reported being stabbed by an assailant on a bike. A 28-year-old woman, attacked on Thursday afternoon, said that a man on a motorcycle, wearing a helmet, had attacked her with a sharp-edged instrument from behind. The incidents have sparked fear and panic among the area residents, forcing women to take extra precautions before going outside. Witnesses record statements One of the victims, who was attacked on September 26, said that an unidentified man on a motorcycle wearing a black helmet attacked her from behind, Geo News reported on Thursday. As a result, her leg was severely injured and she took a rickshaw to reach her house. The victim's mother then took her to a hospital and her father informed the police. However, when the police reached her house, they arrested her father for the incident. Her father, Abdul Rashid, remarked that he was detained overnight and claimed the police had asked him for a bribe. Knife attacks on women spread fear in Karachi A motorcyclist wearing a black helmet is reportedly attacking women in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Karachi Another survivor, a student of seventh grade, informed police that she was attacked from behind near Rabia City in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The girl said she was unable to identify the attacker as he had covered his face with a helmet. "I went outside to buy something when I was attacked by the assailants on a motorcycle," she said, adding that at least one of the attackers was wearing a black shirt. The victim?s mother said her daughter had received eight stitches for her wounds. According to the spokesperson of a private hospital in the area, as many as five girls had been brought to the hospital for treatment of knife injuries in the past few days. He added four women were injured in two attacks on September 25, and one girl was attacked the very next day. Police have started investigations into the case, he said. Fear, panic in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Panic has gripped different localities in Gulistan-e-Jauhar following the attacks. A female student of Karachi University said that police officers have advised women to be careful while walking on the streets. ?We have been directed to not leave our houses after Maghrib prayers,? remarked another student. Female students also said that they are taking all possible precautions including avoiding walking alone at night and not staying out for too long. A KU student said that the attacker seems to be suffering from a psychological disorder. ?Normal people do not commit such acts,? she added. Another student said that government should take notice of the issue and resolve it immediately.
  15. source: CNN COLOMBO: Radical Buddhist monks stormed a United Nations safe house for Rohingya refugees near Sri Lanka's capital Tuesday and forced authorities to relocate the group, officials said. Saffron-robed Buddhist monks led a mob that broke down gates and entered the walled multi-storied compound at the Mount Lavinia suburb of Colombo as frightened refugees huddled together in upstairs rooms, a police official said. Two policemen were wounded in the incident, which also saw the mob pelt stones at the safe house and trash the ground floor furnishings upon entry. There were no reports of casualties among the group of refugees, which included 16 children. "We have pushed back the mob and the refugees have been relocated to a safer place," the official told AFP, asking not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. Police said they were going through local media video footage as well as Facebook in the hopes of arresting those who took part in the violence, and the monks who incited them. One of the monks who stormed the building posted a video on the social networking site filmed by his radical group Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa (Sinhalese National Force) as he urged others to join him and smash the premises. "These are Rohingya terrorists who killed Buddhist monks in Myanmar," the monk said in his live commentary, pointing to Rohingya mothers with small children in their arms. The 31 Rohingya refugees were rescued by the Sri Lankan navy about five months ago after they were found drifting in a boat off the island´s northern waters. They were thought to be victims of a people smuggler. They were eventually to be resettled in a third country, the official said, adding that they were authorised to remain in Sri Lanka pending the processing of their papers. Sri Lanka's extremist Buddhist monks have close links with their ultra-nationalist counterparts in Myanmar. Both have been accused of orchestrating violence against minority Muslims in the two countries. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar in the face of the current wave of violence there. The Rohingya Muslims have been the target of decades of state-backed persecution and discrimination in mainly Buddhist Myanmar. Many view them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite their long-established roots in the country.
  16. In response to the remarks by India, Tipu Usman, a counsellor in the Pakistan mission to the UN, told the UN General Assembly on Monday that India was sponsoring terrorism. India is funding and arming terrorist organisations to launch terrorist attacks inside Pakistan in an attempt to become a regional hegemon, he said. In his remarks, Usman said, "India is churning out operatives of mayhem from its factories of terror". "Pakistan caught operatives like Indian Commander Kalbushan Yadav red-handed, who were involved in sabotage activities, spreading terror and violence across Pakistan, we will catch others as well and bring them to justice," he added. On Monday, the Indian delegate, Paulomi Tripathi, glossed over Kashmir, the core dispute between India and Pakistan, and instead spoke of the photo displayed in the Assembly by Ambassador Lodhi. "The Indian representative has once again chosen to divert the attention of the international community from the real issue ? the real issue of human life, of human eyes, of children and infants blinded forever, of women raped and elderly killed every day by the reign of brutality unleashed by the occupation forces in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The real issue is of Security Council resolutions, which India refuses to implement," said Usman
  17. Spanish police on Friday detained a man they said had a close relationship with a number of those involved in last month?s attacks in Barcelona when militant used a van to hit pedestrians and carried out a follow-up attack, killing 16. The Moroccan man, 24, is a resident in Spain and had connections to a cell which took part in the attack, especially the imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Police are looking at the man?s part in the acquisition of materials, specifically hydrogen peroxide, which was used in the manufacture of some 100 kilos of TATP explosives, the ministry said. The cell had accumulated around 120 canisters of butane gas at a house in a town south of Barcelona with which, police said following the attacks, it had planned to carry out a larger bomb attack. A blast that destroyed the house in the town of Alcanar on Aug. 16, the eve of the Barcelona attack, was accidentally triggered by the cell, police say. Satty, said to be the leader of the militant group, died in the explosion. Six of the suspects were killed by police during the attacks and four have been arrested, with two held in prison. Spanish police have arrested 201 people they claim are associated with militant Islamists since raising the alert level to 4, the second highest, in June 2015.
  18. PM Abbasi during the session. Photo: CFR NEW YORK: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in a talk at a US think tank on Wednesday, said Pakistan cannot condone US drone attacks on its soil. Speaking during a meeting at the Council of Foreign Relations, Abbasi said the US needs to treat India and Pakistan equally, adding that Pakistan does possess nuclear weapons but they cannot fall into the hands of terrorists. Abbasi, elected prime minister last month after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court, is in New York to attend and address the United Nation?s General Assembly session. David Sanger presided over the discussion, which featured Abbasi speaking first and then engaging in a discussion with Sanger. Following that, the premier took questions from the audience. Talking about the economy, Abbasi said the Pakistan economy has done well in the last four years. ?We?ve been able to achieve over 5.3 per cent growth. And we?ll be looking at six per cent sustained growth over the next few years,? he predicted. Pakistan does not expect any significant shift in US policy: PM Abbasi We have always been an ally especially the partners in the war against terror Terming stability critical, he said Pakistan is a large market. ?And I think it will be?it?ll be a growing market. We are projected to have a middle class of about 100 million people by 2025. There are many institutions out there that predict Pakistan to be one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2030. We are a very youthful population. Sixty per cent are less than 30 years old.? Talking about democracy, Abbasi quipped, ?Democracy has taken root in Pakistan. On July 28th, we?when we had breakfast, we had a government. When we had lunch, there was no government. So we got to the decision that we do not necessarily agree with, but we honoured it, got implemented, the prime minister left office. The party met the next day. They took the decision to nominate me as their candidate, and three days later I got elected, and here I am.? Abbasi said democracy and stability of policy have taken root in Pakistan. ?We are already vibrant and free press. Most of us believe they?re maybe too free. But that?s the reality. So that is there.? Referring to the country?s ?improved? security situation, the prime minister said, ?We have taken the fight on terror to the terrorists. We have fought them. We have defeated them. We have suffered a lot. We have 6,500 martyrs in the army. We lost over 30,000 civilians, 50,000 injured. So it?s been a massive effort. It has been a very vicious war. And today over 200,000 troops are involved in that war to defeat terror on our own soil.? Abbasi stated that the country suffered economic losses worth over $120 billion. He clarified that Pakistan fought the war with its own resources and defeated the terrorists. He also stated that nobody wants peace more in Afghanistan than Pakistan. ?This perception that there are sanctuaries is absolutely not correct.? ?..we firmly believe that war is not a solution for Afghanistan. That is very clear to us. And we really want Afghan-led solution in Afghanistan, a negotiated solution.? Discussing Pakistan?s ties with US, he said it is not a relationship that is defined by Afghanistan alone. ?We have engaged with the US. We continue to engage with them to resolve any differences that come up and move forward. And we intend to partner with the US to defeat terror in the area, to find peace in Afghanistan, and provide stability to the region.? Three killed in US drone strike near Pak-Afghan border Drone strike took place close to the border with Afghanistan, says official Later, when Sanger initiated a discussion with the premier, Abbasi was asked about US President Donald Trump?s recent ?anti-Pakistan? statements in his new policy speech for South Asia. ?Let me just say that we?ve engaged with the Americans, with the American administration. We intend to move forward. The objective is the same: to fight terror and bring peace to Afghanistan. So that?s our policy, and I think our performance on the ground proves that?that we?ve fought terror, we defeated terror on our soil, and we intend to continue with that. There can be differences on how we move forward, but those are differences that can be resolved. We do not believe that there is a military solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. The Afghans have to sit together and resolve the problems. So that?s how we look at that relationship.? When Sanger mentioned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani?s claims of terrorist sanctuaries and presence of Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, Abbasi responded that, ?we?re already clear on the situation, that today the only cross-border penetration is from Afghanistan into Pakistan to attack our troops. As far as we are concerned, today no sanctuaries exist on Pakistani soil from which any activity takes place against Afghanistan.? Interior Ministry objects to Milli Muslim League contesting NA-120 by-poll: sources The ministry conveys its objection to the Election Commission of Pakistan through a letter In response to another comment, the premier said Hafiz Saeed belongs to a proscribed organisation. ?We have taken action against him. He?s in house arrest. In the recent by-election, the candidate did use his poster, his picture as an election poster, which is illegal to do, and action will be taken against him by the election commission.? In response to a question of US aid, Abbasi said ?I was just checking the record, and found we never billed the US forces for ground logistics or for air logistics across our territory. So any conception that there has been a massive support to the Pakistan armed forces is not correct.? In response to a question about US bases in Pakistan, the premier remarked that all the forces operating in the region have to respect Pakistan?s sovereignty. ?And bases are provided as requested. I don?t think there?s a need for bases anymore on our territory.? When asked if Pakistan would oppose resumption of drone strikes, Abbasi said ?No, no. We cannot condone that. We cannot allow that. I think the sovereignty of our territory has to be respected. And this is a decision that only the Parliament can make.? Talking about Pakistan?s nuclear programme, Abbasi said ?we have a very robust and secure command-and-control system over our strategic nuclear assets. It?s a process that has complete civilian oversight through the National Command Authority.? UN human rights commissioner ?remotely monitoring? Kashmir LoC situation Pakistan never had any objection to any international body visiting its side of the border, says Pakistan's representative ?We have developed short-range nuclear weapons as a counter to the Cold Start doctrine that India has developed.? Referring to Indian aggression along the Line of Control in Kashmir, the prime minister said it is mostly to draw attention away from the genuine struggle of the Kashmiri people. In response to a question about the next step with regards to India, Abbasi said the ?core issues have to be resolved first,? adding that Pakistan wants normal relations with India, but on the basis of trust and respect. Abbasi also called for a similar nuclear deal with Pakistan that the US signed with India. Talking about his ascension to the PM Office, Abbasi commented that ?I can tell you I did not aspire for the job at that time. I was a reluctant candidate for the job. I can tell you that.?
  19. NATO soldiers keep watch near the wreckage of their vehicle at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar. -AFP KANDAHAR: A suicide attacker driving an explosives-filled vehicle slammed into a convoy of foreign troops in southern Afghanistan on Friday wounding several soldiers, officials said. The Taliban claimed the attack which Kandahar provincial governor spokesman Fazal Bari Baryalai told AFP "totally destroyed" one of the vehicles carrying Romanian soldiers in Daman district. A spokesman for NATO´s Resolute Support train and assist mission confirmed a "small number" of soldiers were wounded. In a WhatsApp message to journalists, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said "seven invading forces" were killed. The militants routinely exaggerate battlefield claims. NATO soldiers keep watch near the wreckage of their vehicle at the site of a Taliban suicide attack in Kandahar. -AFP Provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq told AFP the scene had been cordoned off by foreign forces. The Taliban´s latest assault follows the militant group's pledge to turn Afghanistan into a "graveyard" for foreign forces after US President Donald Trump´s announcement to keep American boots on the ground indefinitely. Earlier this month two Taliban suicide bombers launched separate attacks around Bagram Airfield, America´s largest base in the country, that wounded several US soldiers and civilians. One of those attacks was in direct response to a US leaflet drop in the northern province of Parwan, where Bagram is located, that offended many Muslims in the deeply religious country.
  20. NASIRIYAH: Gunmen and suicide car bombers on Thursday killed at least 52 people including Iranians near the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, in an attack claimed by the Daesh. The attackers struck at midday, opening fire on a restaurant before getting into a car and blowing themselves up at a nearby security checkpoint, officials said. Security sources said the attackers were disguised as members of a paramilitary alliance which has fought alongside the army and police against the Daesh militant group in northern Iraq. The toll from the attacks was 52 dead and 91 wounded, said Abdel Hussein al-Jabri, deputy health chief for the province of Dhiqar of which Nasiriyah is the capital. Many of the wounded were in serious condition, he told AFP. The area targeted is on a highway used by pilgrims and visitors from neighbouring Iran to travel to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala further north, although Dhiqar has previously been spared the worst of Iraq´s violence. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement carried by its Amaq propaganda arm. It said several suicide bombers had staged the assault on a restaurant and a security checkpoint. The toll makes it the deadliest Daesh attack in Iraq since pro-government forces drove the militants out of second city Mosul in July. Adding to the pressure on the militants, Iraqi forces also recaptured the city of Tal Afar and the surrounding region from Daesh on August 31. The militant group regularly stages attacks in Iraq, where it has lost swathes of territory to US-backed pro-government forces. Thursday´s attacks come as Iraqi forces backed by tribal fighters closed in one of the last Daesh bastions in the country: Al-Qaim area on the border with war-ravaged Syria. On Wednesday, an AFP correspondent in that area saw several artillery units positioning themselves around the towns of Rawa and Anna, 100 kilometres from the border with Syria. The group´s only other stronghold is Hawija, in Kirkuk province some 300 kilometres north of Baghdad. Daesh has suffered a string of defeats on the battlefields of both Iraq and Syria, leaving in tatters the cross-border "caliphate" it declared in 2014. But despite these setbacks, the extremist group still has hundreds of fighters ready to carry out suicide attacks. In addition, any military offensive in Hawija is expected to be postponed due to a planned referendum on Kurdish independence on September 25. Acting at the request of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Iraqi parliament on Thursday sacked the governor of Kirkuk over his decision for the northern-province to also take part in the Kurdish referendum.
  21. Speaking ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis there, Guterres described reports of security forces attacking civilians in Rakhine as "disturbing" and "completely unacceptable." Photo: File UN chief Antonio Guterres acknowledged Wednesday that Rohingya Muslims were being ethnically cleansed in Myanmar as he called for a halt to a military campaign in Rakhine state. Speaking ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis there, Guterres described reports of security forces attacking civilians in Rakhine as "disturbing" and "completely unacceptable." "I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military activities and violence and uphold the rule of law," the secretary general said in a press conference. Asked if he agreed the Rohingya population was being ethnically cleansed, he replied: "When one-third of the Rohingya population has got to flee the country, can you find a better word to describe it?" The crackdown by Myanmar´s army, which followed attacks by Rohingya militants late last month, has prompted around 380,000 to flee across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh. The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country. Photo: AFP Guterres called for authorities "to assure the delivery of vital humanitarian aid," with thousands of Rohingya still crossing the border every day. The 1.1-million strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country. But Guterres said that the Myanmar government should either grant the Rohingya nationality or legal status that would allow them to live a normal life. Myanmar´s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been widely condemned for a lack of moral leadership and compassion in the face of the crisis, denting the Nobel peace laureate´s reputation. However, Suu Kyi, Myanmar´s first civilian leader in decades, has no control over the powerful military, which ran the country for 50 years before elections in 2015.
  22. NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday the country had a problem with its judiciary, which annulled his election win of last month, ?and we must fix it?. The Law Society of Kenya said in a strongly worded statement that Kenyatta, as ?the head of state who under the constitution is a symbol of national unity?, should refrain from derogatory comments about the judiciary. Kenyatta, speaking a day after the Supreme Court cancelled his victory and ordered new polls within 60 days, repeated his message from Friday that he would respect its ruling. But, speaking on live television at the State House in Nairobi after meeting elected officials from his Jubilee party, he added: ?Who even elected you?...We have a problem and we must fix it.? He did not elaborate. The decision to annul the election was unexpected and unprecedented in Africa where governments often hold sway over judges. The president?s latest comments mark the second time since Friday?s ruling that he has criticised the judiciary in public. On Friday, during an impromptu rally in Nairobi, he accused the court of ignoring the will of the people and dismissed the chief justice?s colleagues as ?wakora?, or crooks. The lawyers? association condemned Kenyatta?s use of the Kiswahili word, saying that the judges serving in the highest court had acted ?professionally, with honour and dignity?. ? not deserve the disrespectful treatment they are being shown?, the statement read. The president?s appearances since the ruling suggest he intends to campaign rigorously for the re-run of the Aug.8 poll. He said via Twitter on Saturday: ?For now let us meet at the ballot.? Attention now turns back to the election board. The court ruled that it had ?failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution?. Raila Odinga, the veteran opposition leader whose coalition brought the petition against the election board to the Supreme Court, said on Friday that some officials from the commission should face criminal prosecution. The chairman of the election board said there would be personnel changes, but it was not clear if that would be enough for the opposition. Sweeping out the whole board would complicate efforts to hold a new poll within two months. Last month?s election -- which included the presidential poll in addition to races at other levels of government -- was one of the most expensive ever held in Africa. Ahead of the vote Kenya?s treasury said preparation and conduct of polling would cost the equivalent of around $480 million. VEILED THREATS Analysts saw the president?s latest comments on the judiciary as a worrisome development. ?It?s extremely unfortunate that Kenyatta seems to be issuing veiled threats at the judiciary,? said Murithi Mutiga, a Nairobi-based senior Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group. ?This was a tremendous moment for Kenyan democracy, where the court upheld the rule of law. Politicians should be careful not to incite the public against the judiciary.? On Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga said the Supreme Court?s verdict was backed by four of the six judges and declared Kenyatta?s victory ?invalid, null and void?. Details of the ruling will be released within 21 days. Prior to last month?s election Maraga spoke out to emphasise the judiciary?s independence. In a statement he read out on behalf of the Judicial Service Commission less than a week before the election, he listed instances in which politicians -- from the ruling party and the opposition -- had tried to intervene in the judiciary?s work. ?The emerging culture of public lynching of judges and judicial officers by the political class is a vile affront to the rule of law and must be fiercely resisted,? the statement read. ?We wish to state that ... the judiciary will not cower to these intimidating tactics.? Kenya?s judiciary went through sweeping changes in a bid to restore confidence in the legal system after the bloodshed following the 2007 election. Experts say the constitution adopted in 2010 enshrines protections for the judiciary against interference by the executive.
  23. A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters File Cyber spies working for or on behalf of China?s government have broadened attacks against official and corporate targets in Vietnam at a time of raised tension over the South China Sea, cyber security company FireEye said. FireEye told Reuters the attacks happened in recent weeks and it had traced them back to suspected Chinese cyber spies based partly on the fact that a Chinese group it had identified previously had used the same infrastructure before. ?Where China has often focused on the government before, this shows they are really hitting the full commercial sector potentially in Vietnam and trying to gather a broad base of information there,? said Ben Read, who heads FireEye?s cyber espionage team. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China opposed all forms of illegal internet activities or stealing of secrets and also opposed any accusations from any side against any country on the issue without cast-iron proof. Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said cyber attacks should be severely punished in accordance with the law and that it was important for countries to secure their networks. Vietnam denies allowing cyber espionage although it has also been accused by FireEye of carrying out attacks. Strains Tension between China and neighboring Vietnam is at its highest in three years over the disputed South China Sea, where Vietnam has emerged as the most vocal opponents of Beijing?s extensive claims. Vietnam suspended oil drilling in offshore waters that are also claimed by China in July under pressure from Beijing. China has appeared uneasy at Vietnam?s efforts to rally Southeast Asian countries over the South China Sea as well as at its growing defense relationships with the United States, Japan and India. China claims nearly all the South China Sea, through which an estimated $3 trillion in international trade passes each year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan also have claims. FireEye said the attacks in Vietnam involved sending users documents in Vietnamese which appeared to be requests for financial information. A broad range of companies appeared to have been targeted, including financial institutions, it said without giving specific details. When the user opened them, they delivered malware which could infect a computer and send back information to the cyber spies, potentially letting them into the computer network too. FireEye linked the attacks to a team it calls Conimes because in the past it used the domain. The team focuses on Southeast Asia, but its main target is Vietnam and even more so since tensions rose over the South China Sea, Read said. He was unable to say exactly what information had been gathered. Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang called earlier this month for tighter Internet controls to provide better protection against cyber threats as well as to prevent websites and social media publishing material damaging to the communist party. Read said the attacks it had discovered on Vietnam were relatively unsophisticated and relied on users having pre-2012 versions of Microsoft Word. ?They are using comparatively simple techniques because apparently they work,? he said.
  24. Extra police were deployed at Spain's annual "Tomatina" tomato throwing festival in the eastern town of Bunol on Wednesday in the wake of the deadly twin vehicle attacks in Catalonia. A total of 740 security forces were on duty, including police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers, an increase of around five percent over the same time last year, according to Bunol city hall. In addition, police cars were parked at the entrance to the town's narrow streets, where half-naked revellers pelted each other with tomatoes during the hour-long festivities, to prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering. "The security apparatus was reinforced and adapted following the attacks" in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils that killed 16 people, Juan Carlos Moragues, the central government's representative in the region of Valencia, told reporters. The iconic fiesta -- which celebrates its 72nd anniversary and is billed at "the world's biggest food fight" -- has become a major draw for foreigners, in particular from Britain, Japan and the United States. The bang of fireworks set off the bedlam at 11 am. Revellers, many wearing just bathing suits and goggles, bent down to pick up tomatoes from the ground to throw while others lay in the pulp. Some 160 tonnes of ripe tomatoes were offloaded from trucks into a crowd of 22,000 people, about two-thirds of them foreigners. The town of around 10,000 people has since 2013 charged non-residents a participation fee to control the growing crowds who flock to the event. The Tomatina started in 1945 when locals brawling in the street at a folk festival grabbed tomatoes from a greengrocer's stall and let loose. Then in 2002, Spain's tourism secretary named the Tomatina a "festivity of international tourist interest" because of its popularity. The Tomatina has inspired similar celebrations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and the United States.
  25. A van with a Spanish number plate near the concert venue Maassilo is seen during police investigations after a rock concert was cancelled due to a terror threat, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on August 23, 2017. AFP/ANP/Arie Kievit MADRID: A van with Spanish license plates and containing gas bottles ?found near a concert hall in Rotterdam on Wednesday ? is not connected to the attacks in Catalonia last week, a judicial source told Reuters. The source said a tip given to Dutch authorities by their Spanish counterparts, which was the result of an investigation by the Spanish Civil Guard. The probe had been underway for some time and had no direct relation to the two vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in Catalonia that killed 15 people. A separate police source said the man arrested in Rotterdam was Spanish.