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Found 39 results

  1. SITTWE: Twenty homes caught fire and a bomb was detonated near a mosque in Myanmar´s Rakhine state, the government said Friday, the latest unrest in a region that has seen hundreds of thousands of Rohinyga Muslims flee in under a month. The violence comes days after Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi declared that the military had ceased its "clearance operations" in the border area. The army claims it is trying to flush out Rohingya militants who attacked police posts on August 25. But civilian refugees streaming into Bangladesh say they were terrorised by soldiers and vigilante Buddhist mobs who torched their villages to the ground. The testimony, alongside satellite images of some 200 villages reduced to ash, has fuelled accusations that Myanmar's army is systematically purging a Muslim minority haunted by years of persecution. The UN has described the military campaign as "ethnic cleansing". The latest violence saw 20 homes catch fire in Maungdaw´s Kyain Chaung village on Thursday night, according to a statement posted by the government´s Information Committee. "Security members went and checked the fire and are investigating its cause," said the statement, adding that the flames burned through a community previously hit by fire. The following morning a bomb detonated outside of a mosque in Mi Chaung Zay village in nearby Buthidaung township, according to the government. The statement said "terrorists" were to blame for the blast, without specifying if they were linked to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) - the Rohingya militant group behind the ambushes on police posts. No deaths or injuries were reported in either incident. Myanmar's government admits that scores of villages have been burned down over the past month. But it has previously accused Rohingya militants of setting the fires and driving the communal violence that has also displaced some 30,000 Buddhists and Hindus. Those refugees have largely fled south, with some cramming into temples and even a derelict football stadium outside the state capital of Sittwe. The government has blocked independent media access to the conflict zone in northern Rakhine, making it difficult to verify the swirl of claims and counterclaims that have amplified Myanmar's already bitter ethnic divides. Suu Kyi, who lacks control over the army in a delicate power-sharing agreement, broke her silence on the crisis Tuesday in a televised address pitched to an international community baffled by her failure to speak up for the Rohingya. The Muslim minority is denied citizenship by the state and has been the target of festering Islamaophobia in mainly Buddhist Myanmar for years. The Nobel laureate expressed sympathy for the "suffering of all people" swept up in the violence. But she also tried to paint a glass-half-full picture of the situation in Rakhine, announcing that "more than 50 percent of the villages of Muslims are intact." She said armed clashes and clearance operations had ceased since September 5th, even though AFP reporters have seen homes on fire in the weeks since.
  2. Emergency personnel attend to a person after an incident at Parsons Green underground station in London, Britain, September 15, 2017. Photo: Reuters LONDON: British detectives have arrested a 17-year-old youth in connection with a bomb attack on an underground train in London last week that injured 30 people, bringing the total number of arrests to six, police said on Thursday. The young man was arrested in the early hours of Thursday in Thornton Heath, south London. The other arrests had taken place in Dover on the south coast of England, Hounslow in west London and Newport in Wales. A home-made bomb went off on September 15 during the morning rush hour on a packed underground Tube train at Parsons Green station, sending flames through the carriage, although it appeared that the device did not fully explode. It was the fifth major terrorism incident in Britain this year. ?This continues to be a fast-moving investigation. A significant amount of activity has taken place since the attack on Friday,? said Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police?s Counter Terrorism Command. ?We now have six males in custody and searches are continuing at five addresses. Detectives are carrying out extensive inquiries to determine the full facts behind the attack,? he said. The other men in custody in a south London police station are an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old, a 25-year-old, a 30-year-old and a 48-year-old.
  3. KANDAHAR: A roadside bomb in Afghanistan?s southern province of Kandahar killed at least six civilians traveling in a car that hit the device, officials said on Monday. ?It was a bomb which had recently been planted by the Taliban to target Afghan forces but a civilian car went through it,? said Fazel Bari Baryalai, a spokesman for the provincial governor, adding: ?All the people killed in the car were young people from the area.? The incident highlights the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) such as roadside bombs, one of the deadliest threats to civilians in Afghanistan. In the first half of the year, according to United Nations figures, 252 civilians were killed and 295 injured by pressure plate devices that typically explode when hit by a vehicle.
  4. US Air Force General John Hyten ? the Commander of US Strategic Command ? testifies in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE: The US general who oversees America?s nuclear forces said on Thursday he was making the assumption that North Korea did, in fact, test a hydrogen bomb on September 3, crossing a key threshold in its weapons development efforts. Although Pyongyang immediately claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, the United States had previously declined to characterize it. Air Force General John Hyten ? the head of the US military?s Strategic Command ? however, said he had a responsibility, as a military officer responsible for responding to the test, to assume that it was a hydrogen bomb, based on the size of the blast. ?I?m assuming it was a hydrogen bomb. I have to make that assumption as a military officer,? Hyten told a small group of reporters who were accompanying US Defense Secretary Jim Mattie on a trip to Hyten?s headquarters in Nebraska. ?I?m not a nuclear scientist, so I can?t tell you this is how it worked, this is what the bomb was. [?] But I can tell you the size that we observed and saw tends to me to indicate that it was a hydrogen bomb and I have to figure out what the right response is with our allies as to that kind of event.? The North Korean nuclear test ? its sixth and, by far, most powerful ? prompted the UN Security Council to step up sanctions. It followed a series of North Korean missile tests, including one that flew over Japan and another that the US assessed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). South Korea?s military said shortly after Hyten?s remarks that North Korea fired an unidentified missile eastward from the Sunan District in Pyongyang ? its capital. A hydrogen bomb usually uses a primary atomic bomb to trigger a secondary, much larger explosion. Such a weapon, with the first stage based on nuclear fission ? splitting atoms ? and the second, on nuclear fusion, produces a blast that is much more power than traditional atomic bombs or ?pure fission? devices. ?The sheer destruction and damage that you can create with a weapon that size is, significantly, of a concern,? Hyten said. Hyten said that despite the nuclear and missile tests, North Korea still had not demonstrated that it had a reliable ICBM that could deliver a nuclear warhead. But he noted it was only a matter of time before its scientists achieved that, given the pace of testing. ?It?s just a matter of when, not if,? he said, adding it could be months or years. Experts doubt that President Donald Trump, like his predecessors, will be able to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear program through economic or diplomatic pressure. Current and former US officials have declined to comment on operational planning but acknowledge that no existing plan for a preemptive strike could promise to prevent a brutal counterattack by North Korea, which has thousands of artillery pieces and rockets trained on Seoul. That raises the question of whether the United States might be able to live with a nuclear-armed threat from North Korea. A senior Trump administration official ? speaking to reporters last week on the condition of anonymity ? said it was unclear whether the Cold War-era deterrence model that Washington used with the Soviet Union could be applied to a rogue state like North Korea. "I don?t think the president wants to take that chance,? he said. Hyten ? who would command US forces in a nuclear war ? expressed confidence in the US nuclear deterrent. ?Do we have the ability to deter North Korea from developing capabilities that could potentially threaten us? That?s a different question,? he said. ?But do I, US Strategic Command, have the ability for the United States to deter an adversary from attacking the United States with nuclear weapons? Yes. Because they know the response is going to be the destruction of their entire nation.?
  5. LONDON: A hotel and nearby conference centre on the south coast of England ? where Britain?s Trades Union Congress (TUC) was holding its annual conference ? were evacuated on Sunday due to a bomb threat, police said. Police said the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where five people were killed by an Irish Republican Army bombing during the Conservative Party conference in 1984, received an anonymous phone call at 8:30 PST on Sunday saying there was an explosive device in the building. The nearby Brighton Centre, where the TUC was meeting and where the opposition Labour Party is due to hold its annual conference later this month, was also evacuated. ?Thorough searches and enquiries are taking place to establish as soon as possible whether or not the call is a genuine one,? Sussex Police said in a statement. ?Military ordnance disposal are attending as part of the search. Nothing untoward has been found at this time.?
  6. Explosives experts defused a massive World War Two bomb after tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Frankfurt, Germany, September 3, 2017. REUTERS FRANKFURT: German explosives experts defused a massive World War Two bomb in the financial capital of Frankfurt on Sunday after tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. The compulsory evacuation of 60,000 people was Germany?s biggest such maneuver since the war, with more than a thousand emergency service workers helping to clear the area around the bomb, which was discovered on a building site last week. The evacuation area included two hospitals, care homes, the Opera House and Germany?s central bank, the Bundesbank, where $70 billion in gold reserves are stored underground. Police maintained security at the building. The all-day effort took longer than planned but officials expressed relief that residents would start returning home before sundown and that the operation wouldn?t disrupt business on Monday. The work by bomb technicians started later than scheduled because some residents refused to leave the evacuation area despite fire chiefs warning that an uncontrolled explosion would be big enough to flatten a city block. Police said they took stragglers into custody to secure the area. More than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are discovered each year in Germany, more than 70 years after the end of the war. British and American warplanes pummeled the country with 1.5 million tonnes of bombs that killed 600,000 people. Officials estimate that 15 percent of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six meters (20 feet) deep. Residents were instructed to leave their homes by 8 a.m. local time [0600 GMT], and more than a thousand emergency service workers helped to clear the area. Police set up cordons at a 1.5 km (roughly a mile) radius around the device. Many residents left town. Others spent time in cafes on the edge of the evacuation zone. Museums were free, and many hotels offered discounts. The city set up a temporary shelter at Frankfurt?s trade fair site, serving bananas and beverages. The device was found last week in the city?s leafy Westend neighborhood, home to many wealthy bankers. Premature babies and intensive care patients had to be evacuated along with everyone else from two hospitals and rescue workers helped about 500 elderly people leave residences and care homes. Bomb disposal experts used a special system to try and unscrew the fuses attached to the HC 4,000 bomb from a safe distance. If that had failed, a water jet would have been used to cut the fuses. The bomb was dropped by Britain?s Royal Air Force during the 1939-45 war, city officials said. In July, a kindergarten was evacuated after teachers discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb on a shelf among some toys. Three police explosives experts in Goettingen were killed in 2010 while preparing to defuse a 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb.
  7. South Korean troops fire Hyunmoo Missile into the waters of the East Sea at a military exercise in South Korea, September 4, 2017. Photo: Reuters SEOUL/WASHINGTON: North Korea on Sunday conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a ?massive? military response from the United States if it or its allies are threatened. Speaking outside the White House after meeting with President Donald Trump and his national security team, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump asked to be briefed on all available military options. ?Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,? Mattis said. ?We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,? Mattis said with Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at his side. ?But as I said, we have many options to do so.? Trump earlier in the day refused to rule out military action and threatened to cut off trade with any country doing business with Pyongyang. Asked while leaving a church service whether the United States would attack North Korea, Trump replied, ?We?ll see.? The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the nuclear test. Mattis said the members of the council ?remain unanimous in their commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula?. In a series of early morning tweets, the president also appeared to rebuke ally South Korea, which faces an existential threat from North Korea?s nuclear program. ?South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!? Trump said in an early morning tweet. Pakistan condemns North Korea nuclear test Last week the North fired a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Trump appeared to be blaming South Korea for a policy it abandoned years ago of trying to soften North Korea?s posture through economic aid. South Korea?s new president, Moon Jae-in, has argued for continuing dialogue with its neighbour over its nuclear programme, while also supporting international sanctions. Reports that the United States is considering pulling out of its trade deal with South Korea has also ratcheted up tensions with the country. A former senior State Department official criticised Trump for accusing South Korea of appeasement. ?It was unseemly, unhelpful, and divisive to gratuitously slap our major ally at the very moment when the threat from (North Korea) has reached a new height,? said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions, said on state television that the hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un had been a ?perfect success?. The bomb was designed to be mounted on its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the North said. The test had registered with international seismic agencies as a man-made earthquake near a test site. Japanese and South Korean officials said the tremor was about 10 times more powerful than the one picked up after North Korea?s last nuclear test a year ago. Escalating crisis After weeks of profound tensions over North Korea?s nuclear programme, the size and scope of the latest test set off a new round of diplomatic hand-wringing. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met on the sidelines of a BRICS summit in China, agreed to ?appropriately deal? with North Korea?s nuclear test, the Xinhua news agency reported. As North Korea?s sole major ally, China said it strongly condemned the nuclear test and urged Pyongyang to stop its ?wrong? actions. Hours before the test, Trump talked by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the ?escalating? nuclear crisis in the region. The US president has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash ?fire and fury? on the country if it threatened US territory. Roy Blunt, a Republican senator and a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, backed Trump?s fiery rhetoric on Sunday. ?I think the president putting everything on the table is, is not a bad thing right now, both for North Korea, but maybe more importantly for China to be thinking about how consequential this behaviour is,? Blunt said on NBC?s Meet the Press. Trump?s trade threat may be a way to pressure China, Pyongyang?s top trading partner, into doing more to contain its neighbour. But Matthew Goodman ? a trade expert at Washington?s Center for International and Strategic Studies ? said Trump?s suggestion was not viable because it would mean the United States would cut off trade with countries such as France, India, and Mexico, along with China. ?The notion of stopping ?all trade? with anyone who does business with North Korea is absurd,? Goodman said. Last week, Trump said the time for talking was over, although Mattis later contradicted him, saying the United States had not exhausted all diplomatic options. There was no independent confirmation that the detonation was a hydrogen bomb rather than a less powerful atomic device, but Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo could not rule out such a possibility. Experts who studied the impact of the earthquake, which the US Geological Survey measured at magnitude 6.3, said there was enough strong evidence to suggest the reclusive state had either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting very close. The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, said the nuclear test was ?an extremely regrettable act? that was ?in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community?. Moon said Seoul would push for strong steps to further isolate the North, including new UN sanctions. Japan also raised the prospect of further sanctions, saying curbs on North Korea?s oil trade would be on the table. The United States has repeatedly urged China to do more to rein in its neighbour, but Beijing has lambasted the West and its allies in recent weeks for suggesting that it is solely responsible for doing so. It has said military drills by South Korea and the United States on the Korean peninsula had done nothing to lessen tensions. Thermonuclear device? Under third-generation leader Kim, North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on a long-range ballistic missile, without affecting its range and making it capable of surviving re-entry. The test comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang?s two tests of ICBMs in July that potentially could fly about 10,000 km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the US mainland within range. Kune Y Suh, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University, said the size of Sunday?s detonation meant it might be a hydrogen bomb test. ?The power is 10 or 20 times or even more than previous ones,? Suh said. ?That scale is to the level where anyone can say (it was) a hydrogen bomb test.? During the test, people in the Chinese city of Yanji on the North Korean border said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock. Harry Kazianis, the director of defence studies at the conservative Center for the National Interest in Washington, said the latest test should not be a surprise. ?North Korea?s mission is quite clear when it comes to this latest atomic test: to develop a nuclear arsenal that can strike all of Asia and the US homeland,? he said. ?This test is just another step towards such a goal.? Hours before the test, North Korean state news agency, KCNA, had released pictures showing Kim inspecting a silver-coloured, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the country?s nuclear weapons institute. KCNA said North Korea ?recently succeeded? in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb. ?All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes? were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons, as many as it wants,? KCNA quoted Kim as saying. Juche is North Korea?s home-grown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader?s grandfather. It says its weapons programs are needed to counter US aggression. Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.
  8. SEOUL: North Korea said on Sunday it has developed a more advanced thermonuclear weapon that possesses ?great destructive power? and will be loaded on a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that experts believe has the range to hit much of the United States. The report by North Korea?s official KCNA news agency comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang?s two tests of ICBM missiles in July that potentially could fly about 10,000 km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the mainland United States within range. Under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on a long-range ballistic missile, without affecting its range as well as making it capable of surviving re-entry into the Earth?s atmosphere. North Korea ?recently succeeded? in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb, the country?s official KCNA news agency said. ?The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals,? KCNA said. ?All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes ... were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,? KCNA quoted Kim as saying. Juche is North Korea?s homegrown ruling go-it-alone ideology that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader?s grandfather. Kim Jong Un, who visited the country?s nuclear weapons institute, ?watched an H-bomb to be loaded into new ICBM? and ?set forth tasks to be fulfilled in the research into nukes,? KCNA said. Pictures released by the agency showed Kim inspecting a silver-coloured warhead in the visit accompanied by nuclear scientists, with a concept diagram of its Hwasong-14 long-range ballistic missile seen hanging on the wall. Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high since last month when North Korea threatened to launch missiles into the sea near the strategically located U.S. Pacific territory of Guam after U.S. President Donald Trump said Pyongyang would face ?fire and fury? if it threatened the United States. North Korea further raised regional tensions on Tuesday by launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, drawing international condemnation. The KCNA report made no mention of plans for a sixth nuclear test. Experts and officials have said North Korea could conduct its sixth nuclear test at any time, and that the reclusive country has maintained a readiness at its nuclear test site to conduct another detonation test. U.S. officials have told Reuters that while North Korea has had parts in place for a nuclear detonation going back several months, no new activity had been seen recently at its known nuclear test site in Punggye-ri in its northeastern region. North Korea last year conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests, saying the fourth in January 2016 was a successful hydrogen bomb test, although outside experts say the claim has not been proven. Earthquakes triggered by North Korean nuclear tests have gradually increased in magnitude since Pyongyang?s first test in 2006, indicating the isolated country is steadily improving the destructive power of its nuclear technology. Its fifth nuclear test in September 2016 was measured to be possibly North Korea?s biggest detonation ever, but the earthquake it caused was still not believed to be big enough to demonstrate a thermonuclear test.
  9. A policeman walks past a blue tent covering a British World War II bomb that was found during construction works on August 30, 2017, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. AFP/dpa/Boris Roessler FRANKFURT: Around 60,000 inhabitants of Germany?s financial capital Frankfurt will be ordered to leave their homes on Sunday while a large World War Two bomb discovered at a building site is made safe, the police said. Germany?s central bank, the Bundesbank, Frankfurt?s Goethe University, and at least two hospitals will also be evacuated, in one of the largest evacuations in German post-war history. The 1.4-tonne HC 4000 bomb dropped by the British air force during World War Two was uncovered on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt?s leafy Westend where many wealthy bankers live. Bomb disposal experts who examined it said the massive evacuation could wait until the weekend. ?We are still working on the modalities of the evacuation plan,? a spokeswoman for Frankfurt police said on Wednesday.
  10. Two bodyguards of an Afghan MP were shot dead in firing outside his house, followed by a suicide bomb, Tolo News reported. A suicide bomber exploded himself outside MP Zahir Qadir ?s house in Jalalabad while a second suicide bomber was shot dead by Qadir?s bodyguards, Tolo News quoted to the provincial governor's spokesman as saying. Governor?s spokesman Attaullah Khoghyani confirms explosion in Jalalabad and said two bodyguards were shot dead. He said the situation is now under control but the area has been cordoned off. Suicide bomber kills five in Kabul bank blast Bomb went off outside the Kabul Bank, which usually pays the salaries of security forces personnel Over the last 10 days, over 10 people were killed and scored injured in suicide bombing in various parts of Afghanistan.
  11. On one hand, where some people didn't think twice before putting others' lives in danger and even killed some for a man convicted as a rapist; this cop from Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, put his life on the line and ran with a 10kg bomb to save the lives of as many as 400 children. Abhishek Patel, a head constable in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district, with his extraordinary courage proved that one doesn't need superpowers to save the world. Keeping this attitude in mind, Patel tucked a 10kg bomb in his arms and sprinted 1km in a direction away from the residential areas. “My only objective was to take it away as far from the children as possible. Far away from all residential areas,” Patel reportedly said while trying to catch his breath after his nonstop run. © BCCL The unexplored artillery shell was found on Friday morning in a school in Sagar's Chitora village. The police too responded swiftly after an unknown source informed them of this incident. According to the report published in The Times Of India, Ajay Kumar, school's senior teacher said “Police saw the bomb and immediately asked us to close for the day, almost two hours early. We asked the students to leave at once.” Amid all the tension with so many lives at stake, Patel came forward picked the bomb and started running. After coming back, Patel explained that he was a part of a police drill a few months ago, where a similar bomb was spotted and they had to run with it. He further added, “Had it exploded, we were told, it would have damaged a radius of 500 meters. I was afraid it would blow up and decided to take it as far away as possible.” While the entire incident looks like it was taken out directly from an action movie, Patel's efforts are truly commendable. In fact, there are many who are drawing parallels between this incident and Tom Hank's ‘Forrest Gump'. However, the shell hasn't been defused yet and it's still unkown how a bomb that big a size managed to make its way into a school. The case is being investigated. Patel's courage will be acknowledged with a reward of Rs. 50,000. Source: The Times Of India
  12. PESHAWAR: A blast took place at an under-construction police checkpoint here in Umeedabad Saturday night, Geo News reported. The police checkpoint, which is currently under construction, suffered partial damage and its walls and gate were ruined. No casualties were reported since the checkpoint was empty when the bomb exploded. Approximately 25-30 kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the bomb, the bomb disposal unit ? that was called to the site of detonation ? explained.
  13. A policeman stands on a street that has been blocked to the public after Australian counter-terrorism police arrested four people in raids late on Saturday across several Sydney suburbs in Australia, July 29, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray/Files BEIRUT: Lebanon monitored the brothers accused of plotting to blow up a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi for more than a year and coordinated with the Australian government on it for a long time, the Lebanese interior minister said on Monday. Australian police charged Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat this month with two counts of planning a terrorist attack after conducting raids to disrupt what authorities described as a Daesh-inspired plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight. Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk told a news conference that one of the men's brothers, Tareq Khayat, had moved to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in Syria and become a commander in the extremist group more than a year ago. Lebanon's Internal Security Force then placed Tareq, Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat, and Amer Khayat ? a fourth brother ? under surveillance. Khaled, Mahmoud, and Amer were all living in Australia but occasionally visited Lebanon, he said in Beirut. Machnouk said the brothers were Lebanese. He said Amer Khayat had arrived in Lebanon on July 15 ? the day Australian police have said the plotters tried to smuggle a bomb onto an Etihad flight from Sydney. Australian police also said a man had tried to check in luggage without knowing that it contained a bomb, which was hidden in a meat grinder, placed there by his brother. However, Machnouk said Amer Khayat was to have carried out the attack and that a Lebanese internal intelligence agency had found he was "involved in the operation". He said a bomb had also been hidden in a large child's doll in the luggage. He did not say what has happened to Amer Khayat since he landed in Lebanon. The plot was foiled because the luggage exceeded the airline's weight limit, Machnouk said. Australian police had previously said it appeared that one of the accused had left the airport, taking the luggage with him, while his brother boarded the plane and left Australia. On Tuesday, Australian police said it was not appropriate to comment further on the details of a current investigation that was also before Australian courts. "We have a close and cooperative relationship with the Lebanese authorities and are working closely on this investigation," an Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said in an email. Asked whether the operation would have been successful if the luggage had not exceeded the weight limit, Machnouk said, "Probably, yes". He said information from Lebanese intelligence had "assisted in foiling a large operation aiming to blow up a plane". "The [targeted] plane had 120 Lebanese on board in addition to other nationalities," Machnouk said.
  14. The death toll could rise, with more than 100 injured, authorities said BARCELONA: Spain mounted a sweeping anti-terrorism operation on Friday after a suspected militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13 people, in what police suspect was one of a planned wave of attacks. Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly rampage along the city´s most famous avenue on Thursday, which was packed with tourists taking an afternoon stroll. The death toll could rise, with more than 100 injured, authorities said. As security forces hunted for the van´s driver, who was seen escaping on foot, police said they had killed five attackers on Thursday night in Cambrils, a town south of Barcelona, to thwart a separate attack using explosive belts. Six civilians and a police officer were injured in Cambrils when the attackers ran them over in a car, before police shot them dead and carried out controlled explosions. Police said the Cambrils incident was linked to the van attack in Barcelona. Before the van ploughed into the tree-lined walkway of Las Ramblas, one person was killed in an explosion in a house in a separate town southwest of Barcelona, police said. Residents there were preparing explosives, a police source added. Seven injured in second Spain attack after 13 killed in Barcelona Drivers ploughed into pedestrians in two quick-succession, separate attacks in Barcelona and another popular Spanish seaside city Police said they had arrested a Moroccan and a man from Spain´s north African enclave of Melilla, though neither was the van driver. A third man was arrested in the town of Ripoll on Friday in connection with the attack. It was still not clear how many people had been involved in the van attack and other incidents on Thursday. Witnesses to the van attack said the white vehicle had zigzagged at high speed down Las Ramblas, ramming pedestrians and cyclists, sending some hurtling through the air and leaving bodies strewn in its wake. The injured and dead came from 24 different countries, the Catalan government said on Friday in a statement, ranging from France and Germany to Pakistan and the Philippines. Spanish media said several children were killed. British tourist Keith Welling, who arrived in Barcelona on Wednesday with his wife and 9-year-old daughter, said they saw the van drive past them down the avenue and took refuge in a restaurant when panic broke out and the crowd started running. "People were shouting and we heard a bang and someone cried that it was a gunshot ... Me and my family ran into the restaurant along with around 40 other people. "At first people were going crazy in there, lots of people crying, including a little girl around three years old." It was the deadliest attack in Spain since March 2004, when militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced three days of official mourning. The Spanish royal household said on Twitter: ?They are murderers, nothing more than criminals who are not going to terrorise us. All of Spain is Barcelona. Bodies on the ground Police said the two men detained on Thursday had been arrested in two towns, Ripoll and Alcanar, both in the region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital. The explosion was also in the town of Alcanar, in the early hours of Thursday. One person died and another was injured in that incident, police said. Police said they also shot dead on Thursday a man who had driven a car into a police checkpoint in Barcelona, though they had no evidence he was connected with the van attack. Mobile phone footage showed several bodies strewn along the Ramblas, some motionless. Paramedics and bystanders bent over them, treating them and trying to comfort those still conscious. Around them, the boulevard was deserted, strewn with rubbish and abandoned objects including hats, flip-flops and a pram. Site of the attack was cordoned off by security officials German television channel ZDF reported that three Germans were among those killed, and Belgium´s foreign minister said a Belgian was among the dead. France said 26 of its citizens were hurt, and 11 of them were in a serious condition. Australia said at least four of its nationals were injured, and Italy three. Regional head Carles Puigdemont said people had been flocking to hospitals in Barcelona to give blood. Susana Elvira Carolina, 33, who works at a shop on Las Ramblas, had just entered her building when the van struck. "We had a window and you could see the bodies lying from there, you could see how people were run over ... We were shutting down the blinds but people kept coming in and we had to keep it open so they could enter the shop." Tourist draw The atmosphere on Las Ramblas was subdued on Friday morning, as media crews mingled with tourists. Police tape cordoned off some areas of the avenue. The incident took place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe´s top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year. Authorities in Vic, a small town outside Barcelona, said a van had been found there in connection with the attack. Spanish media had earlier reported that a second van had been hired as a getaway vehicle. Barcelona is the capital of the wealthy northeastern region of Catalonia, which plans to hold a popular vote on Oct. 1 on whether it should secede from Spain. The central government says the vote cannot go ahead because it is unconstitutional. Before Thursday´s attack, government data showed that police had arrested 11 suspected militants in the Barcelona area so far this year, more than anywhere else in Spain.
  15. A bomb disposal squad is deployed after Belgian police shot at a vehicle in the Brussels district of Molenbeek after the driver of the vehicle claimed to have explosives on board, Belgian broadcaster VRT reported on Tuesday. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir BRUSSELS: A Belgian bomb squad found no explosives after a man who claimed to be carrying a bomb in his car was stopped by police, Brussels prosecutors said on Tuesday, adding there was no evidence he was plotting an attack. The bomb scare was in the district of Molenbeek, a poor area with a large Moroccan Muslim population that was home to the Daesh members who attacked Paris in November 2015. "It's a mentally unstable person," a spokeswoman for prosecutors Ine van Wymersch told Reuters. "The military did not find any explosive in his vehicle." She said that the suspect was from Rwanda and was not known to have a police record. He was detained after leading police on a chase, speeding through a red light, until they fired a shot at the wheels of the car to slow him. "When the police arrested him, he claimed to have explosives so not to take any risk, the army has been called in to check," van Wymersch said. Police cordoned off the area and Reuters witnesses on the scene heard two controlled explosions.
  16. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows in front of the memorial cenotaph for atomic bombing victims during a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan on August 6, 2015. PHOTO: AFP TOKYO: Japan on Sunday marked 72 years since the world´s first nuclear attack on Hiroshima, with the nation´s traditional contradictions over atomic weapons again coming into focus. The anniversary came after Japan sided last month with nuclear powers Britain, France and the US to dismiss a UN treaty banning atomic weapons, which was rejected by critics for ignoring the reality of security threats such as North Korea. Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945. Paper lanterns floating on the Motoyasu River in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima on August 6, 2015. PHOTO: AFP Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking at the annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park near the ground zero, said Japan hoped to push for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that all countries can agree. "For us to truly pursue a world without nuclear weapons, we need participation from both nuclear-weapons and non-nuclear weapons states," Abe said in his speech at the annual ceremony. "Our country is committed to leading the international community by encouraging both sides" to make progress toward abolishing nuclear arms, Abe added without directly referring to the UN treaty. Japanese officials have criticised the UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty as deepening a divide between countries with and without nuclear arms. None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons took part in the negotiations or vote on the treaty. People in Hiroshima praying for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing on August 6, 2015 to mark the event's 70th anniversary. PHOTO: AFP1 Japanese officials routinely argue that they abhor nuclear weapons, but the nation´s defence is firmly set under the US nuclear umbrella. Japan suffered two nuclear attacks at the end of the World War II by the United States -- in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and in Nagasaki three days later. The bombings claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 74,000 people in Nagasaki. Some died immediately while others succumbed to injuries or radiation-related illnesses weeks, months and years later. Japan announced its surrender in World War II on August 15, 1945. Many in Japan feel the attacks amount to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians and due to the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons. But many Americans believe they hastened the end of a bloody conflict, and ultimately saved lives, thus justifying the bombings. Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima in May last year, paying moving tribute to victims of the devastating bomb.
  17. SYDNEY: Australian police said two men have been charged over terror-related offences involving plans to place an improvised explosive device on a passenger jet flight leaving Sydney, and, separately, to build a device to release poisonous gas. Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan told a media conference on Friday that the men had assistance from Islamic State in Syria over the plot targeting an Etihad Airways flight. The explosive device was taken to Sydney's airport but the plan was aborted and the bomb did not breach airport security, he said. "This is one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil," Phelan said. "The explosive was a high-end explosive...I don't want to be specific because it's still under examination for the exactness of it, but high military grade explosive." Phelan said in a separate event, the same men attempted to create an improvised chemical device, although he said there was no evidence to suggest that would be used in a plane attack. Police arrested four men last weekend in raids across Australia's biggest city of Sydney. One man has been released while another is being held without charge under special counter-terror laws. Etihad said this week it was assisting police with its investigation.
  18. Acting interior ministry spokesman said at least 12 people had been killed but the casualty toll could rise further. Photo: Twitter/HafizullahOmarl KABUL: A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul on Monday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 10, and the death toll could rise, an Interior Ministry spokesman in the Afghan capital said. Police cordoned off the area, located near the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq but they said the target of the attack was so far unclear. Acting Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said at least 12 people had been killed and 10 wounded but the casualty toll could rise further. The latest suicide bombing adds to the unrelenting violence in Afghanistan, where at least 1,662 civilians were killed in the first half of the year. It came two weeks after the Daesh group claimed an attack on a mosque in the capital that killed at least four people. Kabul has accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year, including at least 150 people killed in a massive truck bomb attack at the end of May, according to United Nations figures. It also coincides with the US administration weighing up its strategic options for Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops to bolster the training and advisory mission already helping Afghan forces.
  19. An undated handout picture ? received from the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on July 3, 2017 ? shows Haroon Ali Syed, the British teenage militant who was jailed for a minimum of 16 years for plotting a bomb attack at an Elton John concert in London on the 9/11 anniversary. AFP Photo/Metropolitan Police A British teenager who planned to attack an Elton John concert in London on the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks was jailed for life on Monday. Haroon Syed, 19, from West London, pleaded guilty to planning a terrorist attack between April and September 2016 and has been ordered to serve at least 16 1/2 years. Syed admitted researching potential targets on the internet, including an Elton John concert in Hyde Park and Oxford Street, a busy shopping district. "Haroon Syed is clearly a danger to the public who was prepared to carry out indiscriminate attacks against innocent people," said Deb Walsh, deputy head of the Counter Terrorism Division. Syed used the internet to try and get weapons to use in a possible attack and used social media to contact people he believed were like-minded supporters of Daesh. In one message he wrote, "So after some damage with machine gun then do itishadi (martyrdom)... that's what im planning to do." He applied for loans totalling 8,000 pounds ($10,362.40), which he said were for a motorbike, a wedding and home improvements, but prosecutors allege were to fund the attack. The loan requests were turned down. Britain has seen a rise in militant attacks in 2017, including a bombing in May at a concert by the US pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester that killed 22.
  20. The University of Texas at Dallas briefly evacuated its campus on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a bomb threat but police later determined it was a hoax and reopened the campus. The university tweeted at around 2:45 PM local time that all faculty, students, staff, and visitors needed to immediately leave buildings and parking garages on the campus, located roughly 29 kilometres north of downtown Dallas, in Richardson. After the orders to leave were issued, television footage from a local Fox affiliate showed a long line of cars leaving one area of campus, and dozens of people standing around buildings and parking lots in other areas. Campus police received the bomb threat around 2 PM local time from an anonymous caller who demanded a large amount of money, the Dallas Morning News quoted the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department Lieutenant Ken MacKenzie as saying. Less than an hour later, university officials tweeted that campus police had determined the bomb threat was a hoax. "We do not believe this to be a valid bomb threat," MacKenzie said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "The person hung up before we could get any details."
  21. Investigators work at the scene of the explosion. Photo: Reuters A colonel in Ukraine's military intelligence was killed by a car bomb in central Kiev on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, describing the incident as a "terrorist act". Police said an explosive device in the vehicle blew up at 0516 GMT while the car was moving, killing the driver and wounding a passer-by. "As a result of (the explosion) a member of the defense ministry's main intelligence department, Colonel Maksim Shapoval, was killed," the defence ministry said in a statement. The police and the ministry did not give further details or say who could be behind the attack. Since fighting with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014, the number of incidents involving explosives outside the conflict zone has increased, but car bombs are relatively rare. The last major incident in Kiev occurred in July, when a prominent investigative journalist, Pavel Sheremet, was killed by the detonation of an explosive device in his car.
  22. PESHAWAR: A bomb resembling a toy killed at least six children Sunday in Speenmark village in the South Waziristan, officials said. The bomb exploded while the children were playing with it in the tribal district. "Six children aged between six to 12 years, all boys, were killed by a toy bomb and two others wounded critically," a local government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Another local security official confirmed the incident and casualties. The origin of the bomb was unclear. Dozens of children, mostly in north-west Pakistan, have lost their lives in the past when playing with "toys" that turned out to be explosive devices. South Waziristan is also one of the seven tribal areas, where the army has for more than a decade been battling militants linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Pakistan army launched an operation in June 2014 in neighbouring North Waziristan to wipe out terrorist bases in the tribal areas and end an insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004. As a result, security has improved.
  23. Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) pictured in Karachi's Clifton vicinity. KARACHI: The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) on late Thursday conducted security checks in various shopping malls in Karachi?s Clifton vicinity. The paramilitary force, in measures to ensure tight security arrangements in the city ahead of Eid-ul-Fitar, used its bomb disposal unit and canines to search individual shops in malls. Security forces remained on high alert, as the Rangers patrolled bazaars in Clifton and conducted snap-checking near Two Swords, Third Avenue in Clifton. The police detained two suspects and seized weapons from their possession during an operation in the city?s Gabol Town vicinity. The arrested suspects include a street criminal and a fugitive, the police said. Three suspects were apprehended from Karachi?s Kharadar area during a police patrol late Thursday. ?We have confiscated weapons, a motorcycle, and contraband found in the arrested individuals? possession,? a police spokesperson said. ?A case has been registered against the suspects who were involved in various instances of street crime.? In a separate police operation in Karachi?s Malir Al-Falah, a street criminal was detained. The authorities confiscated weapons, cash, and phones found in his possession.
  24. Photo: Geo News screen grab LASHKAR GAH: A powerful car bomb on Thursday struck a bank in Afghanistan´s Lashkar Gah city when civilian and military government employees were queuing to withdraw their salaries, causing multiple casualties, officials said. At least 50 wounded people were rushed to hospital, government spokesman Omar Zwak told AFP, with another official warning of multiple fatalities. No group has claimed responsibility for the latest in a series of brazen attacks during the month of Ramadan, but it comes as the Taliban ramp up their annual spring offensive. The insurgents control large swathes of Helmand province, of which Lashkar Gah is the capital. "Around 12 noon a car bomb exploded at the entrance of New Kabul Bank," Salam Afghan, police spokesman in the city, told AFP. "It happened at a time when civilians and officials had lined up outside the bank to collect their salaries." Washington is soon expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment to bolster Afghan forces, who are struggling to contain the Taliban insurgency. American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra boots on the ground. US troops in Afghanistan now number about 8,400, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies, a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. They mainly serve as trainers and advisers. The Afghan conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led forces at war since the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.
  25. MOGADISHU: Gunmen were holding at least 20 people hostage in a restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday, police said, after a suicide bomber rammed a car next door and militants stormed inside in an attack claimed by Al Shabaab militants. Police cordoned off the whole district surrounding Mogadishu's Pizza House, which is adjacent to the Posh Hotel where the suicide bomber attacked first, witnesses said. Posh Hotel is the only venue with a discotheque in the capital. "The fighters are still inside Pizza House and they hold inside over 20 people. We do not know how many of those are dead or alive," Ibrahim Hussein, a police major, told Reuters. Earlier on Wednesday, police said nine people, mostly women who were hotel staff, had died in the attack. Security officials said the suicide attacker had rammed the explosive-laden car into the hotel's entrance before gunmen stormed the restaurant. "A suspected car bomb is also parked in front of Pizza House. This and snipers have made it difficult for the security forces to head inside,? said Hussein. Other officials said victims inside the hotel had been safely evacuated but that there were likely to be more than nine casualties. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility. The group has carried out a campaign of suicide bombings in its bid to topple the Somali government. Since losing large swathes of territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the government, the group has frequently launched raids and deadly attacks in Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government. The Horn of Africa country has been racked by armed conflict since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.