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Found 33 results

  1. Twenty-five years after the demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992, the Indian Supreme Court is set to begin final hearing on December 5, 2017. Photo: AFP/file NEW DELHI: Twenty-five years after the demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992, the Indian Supreme Court is set to begin final hearing on the case today (Tuesday), reported Hindustan Times. A special three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, will commence the hearing at 1:30pm PST. The bench also comprises Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer. The bench will hear the 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad high court in four civil suits. The high court had ruled that the disputed 2.77-acre land should be divided three-way? between the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Hindu deity Ram Lalla. However, the parties contesting the verdict, including the Uttar Pradesh government, will make their opening statements today. Timeline of Babri Mosque issue NEW DELHI: The Indian court verdict on Thursday dividing the ownership of a holy site in the town of Ayodhya is the latest chapter in a long and sometimes deadly dispute between Hindus and... Earlier, the Supreme Court had suggested an out-of-court settlement to the parties, however, the involved parties were not keen on it. Recently a group of civil rights activists also moved the apex court seeking intervention in the Ayodhya dispute and urged it to consider the issue saying it is not just a dispute over property but has several aspects that would have far-reaching effects on the ?secular fabric of the country?. Since September 2010, over 20 appeals and cross-appeals have been filed in the SC without making any significant headway. Criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders restored On April 19, India?s Supreme Court had restored criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case. A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman pronounced the judgment and ordered the clubbing of separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Rae Bareli and Lucknow. The bench ordered that a clubbed trial be conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only, to be completed in two years. It ruled that there will be no fresh trial because of the framing of conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders. However, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, who enjoys Constitutional immunity, can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992 were filed. The first set of cases involved unnamed 'karsevaks,' the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set relates to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court.
  2. View of the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, after a gun and bombing attack, on November 24, 2017. Photo: AFP CAIRO: Dozens of Muslims, including religious and army leaders, packed an Egyptian mosque for Friday prayers a week after gunmen massacred more than 300 people in the house of worship. The mosque in Rawda village in North Sinai had been cleaned and renovated following the massacre by suspected Daesh gunmen in time for the weekly Friday prayer. The head of Egypt's Second Field Army Khaled Mogawer, which is fighting Daesh in Sinai, could be seen in live footage aired on state television, sitting between the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb and the country's mufti Shawqi Allam. The cleric who gave the prayer sermon tried to console the relatives of the victims, saying the dead were now in paradise, while condemning the attackers as the "brothers of devils". "God wanted to take martyrs from you. Why, because God loves you," said the preacher Abdel Fattal al-Awari. He recounted a saying by the Muslim Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) who, when asked whom God tests the most, responded: "The prophets, followed by the most exemplary." Worshippers could be seen spilling out of the mosque into its plaza. Tayeb later gave a speech in which he described the attackers as "cowardly cancer". The Daesh group in Egypt had killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in attacks, and since last year more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings. They had warned the mosque, which is associated with Sufis, to stop holding mystical rites. Witnesses and authorities had said the attackers were flying the Daesh banner, but the group has yet to claim the massacre decried even by its supporters.
  3. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Saturday for countries to unify their efforts against "terrorism" as he condemned an attack on a mosque in Egypt that left 305 people dead. Photo: AFP JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Saturday for countries to unify their efforts against "terrorism" as he condemned an attack on a mosque in Egypt that left 305 people dead. "Israel strongly condemns the horrific and criminal terrorist attack on the Rawda mosque near El-Arish," said a statement from his office. "Terrorism will be defeated even more quickly if all countries work against it together." Egypt was in mourning on Saturday as the death toll from the gun and bomb assault at the mosque in the Sinai Peninsula soared above 300, including children, in the deadliest attack the country has witnessed. The state prosecution said that up to 30 militants in camouflage flying the Daesh's banner had surrounded the mosque and proceeded to massacre the worshippers during weekly Friday prayers. The army said warplanes attacked militant hideouts in the insurgency-wracked North Sinai in retaliation. Daesh has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is the main suspect.
  4. Egypt´s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi/File photo CAIRO: Egypt´s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to respond forcefully after attackers killed at least 235 worshippers in a packed mosque in restive North Sinai province, the country´s deadliest attack in recent memory. Al-Sisi declared three days of mourning would begin Saturday, the day after the gun and bomb assault on the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish. In a televised speech the president pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period". Several hours later Egyptian air force jets destroyed vehicles used in the attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, an army spokesman said. Witnesses said assailants had surrounded the mosque with all-terrain vehicles and detonated a bomb. They then mowed down panicked worshippers as they tried to flee and used congregants´ vehicles they had set alight to block routes to the mosque. Egyptians gather around ambulances following a gun and bombing attack on the Rawda mosque near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish on November 24, 2017/AFP The state prosecutor´s office said in a statement that 235 people were killed and 109 wounded in the attack, the scale of which is unprecedented in a four-year insurgency by extremist groups. AFP photographs of the scene indicated that children were among the dead. World leaders condemned the attack. US President Donald Trump condemned on Twitter the "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenceless worshippers". The grand imam of Cairo´s Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, condemned "in the strongest terms this barbaric terrorist attack". Daesh targeting of Sufis There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bloodshed. The Daesh group´s Egypt branch has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and also civilians accused of working with the authorities, in attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula. They have also targeted followers of the mystical Sufi branch of Islam as well as Christians. A tribal leader and head of a Bedouin militia that fights Daesh told AFP that the mosque is known as a place where Sufis gather. The Daesh group shares the puritan Salafi view that Sufis are heretics for seeking the intercession of saints. The militants had previously kidnapped and beheaded an elderly Sufi leader, accusing him of practising magic, and abducted Sufi practitioners later released after "repenting". The group has killed more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings in Sinai and other parts of Egypt, forcing many to flee the peninsula. The military has struggled to quell militants who pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014. Mosque attack death toll in Egypt rises to 235 Victims included civilians and conscripts praying at the mosque The militants have since increasingly turned to civilian targets, attacking not only Christians and Sufis but also Bedouin Sinai inhabitants accused of working with the army. The Gaza Strip´s border crossing with Egypt that had been due to reopen Saturday will remain closed until further notice because of the attack, a Palestinian official said. Aside from Daesh, Egypt also faces a threat from Al-Qaeda-aligned militants who operate out of neighbouring Libya. A group calling itself Ansar al-Islam -- Supporters of Islam in Arabic -- claimed an October ambush in Egypt´s Western Desert that killed at least 16 policemen. Many of those killed belonged to the interior ministry´s secretive National Security Service. The military later conducted air strikes on the attackers, killing their leader Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid, a most wanted militant who was a military officer before joining an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Libya´s militant stronghold of Derna.
  5. US President Donald Trump speaks via teleconference with troops from Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, US, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer WEST PALM BEACH: US President Donald Trump said he would call Egypt?s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss Friday?s terrorist attack at a mosque in North Sinai that left more than 230 people dead. ?Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life,? Trump said in a post on Twitter. The call is scheduled for 3 PM (2000 GMT), according to White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.
  6. CAIRO: At least 85 people were killed and 80 more wounded when suspected militants targeted a mosque in Egypt's north Sinai with a bomb and gunfire, MENA state news agency said on Friday, citing an official source. At least 75 more people were wounded in the attack that targeted worshippers during weekly Friday prayers, the report said. The government declared three days of mourning after the attack on the mosque. Daesh's Egypt branch has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and also civilians accused of working with the authorities, in attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula. Friday's attack took place roughly 40 kilometres west of the provincial capital of El-Arish during weekly prayers, police officials said. The officials said a bomb went off at the mosque during prayers then gunmen opened fire. The victims included civilians and conscripts praying at the mosque.
  7. Kano, Nigeria: At least 50 people were killed on Tuesday in a suicide bomb blast at a mosque in the northeastern town of Mubi, in Adamawa state, northeast Nigeria, police told AFP. "So far we have at least 50 dead from an attack at a mosque in Mubi," said state police spokesman Othman Abubakar, indicating that Boko Haram militants were responsible.
  8. The Ketchaoua mosque in the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah is set to open its doors for the first time in nearly a decade following a lengthy renovation. Photo: AFP ALGIERS: At the foot of the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah district in Algiers, the Ketchaoua Mosque has had a tumultuous past that, at one point, saw it turned into a cathedral under French rule. Now the ornate towers and arches are set for a new chapter as the majestic place of worship gets ready to open its doors for the first time in nearly a decade following a lengthy renovation. Once a symbol of Ottoman influence, it was known for more than a century as the Roman Catholic Saint Philippe Cathedral after France?s conquest of Algeria, only to revert to a mosque when the country claimed independence in 1962 following a bloody struggle. In 2008 it was shut down as the ravages of time ? and a powerful earthquake ? took their toll. The latest renovations of the Ketchaoua mosque in Algiers have seen a greater overhaul, restoring more original features and making space for some 1,200 faithful, including, for the first time, women. Photo: AFP But much to the delight of local residents it will soon be up and running again after more than three years of restoration work, funded by the Turkish government. "I can?t wait to return there to pray," said Salim, a trader working nearby, who declined to give his second name. "My father brought me here to pray for the first time in 1978 when I was just nine years old." Bloody assault The date of the first mosque built on the site remains under debate but the earliest references to it can be found in 1612. In the late 18th century, the Ottoman ruler of the region Hassan Pasha completely transformed the location and turned it into one of the grandest mosques in the city. That lasted only for around 40 years until the French seized Algeria and requisitioned the building by force. "Its conversion into a church in 1832 took place after an assault by the colonial army" that claimed the lives of some of "the several hundred faithful who had dug in to oppose the takeover," said Aicha Hanafi, professor of archaeology at the University of Algiers. The date of the first mosque built on the site where the Ketchaoua mosque in the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah district of Algiers now sits remains under debate but the earliest references to it can be found in 1612. Photo: AFP "That same year, on December 24, they celebrated the first Christmas Mass," she said. The Christian capture of the mosque brought both a physical and spiritual change to the building. A large part was knocked down as the site was enlarged to become the city?s principal cathedral. Two bell towers, designed in an Eastern style, were erected, framing a new entrance at the top of a grand staircase. Its first women After returning to its original function following independence some 55 years ago, the mosque underwent cosmetic changes to make it conform to the demands of the Muslim faith. Now the latest renovations have seen a greater overhaul, restoring more original features and making space for some 1,200 faithful, including, for the first time, women. "We did all that we could to maintain the historical monument," said Abdelouahab Zekkagh, director of the national agency that oversees the use of historical buildings. He said that the minarets were taken apart stone by stone and those blocks that were too badly worn were swapped for new ones brought in from the west of the country. Once a symbol of Ottoman influence, the Ketchaoua Mosque was known for more than a century as the Roman Catholic Saint Philippe Cathedral after France?s conquest of Algeria, only to revert to a mosque when the country claimed independence in 1962. Photo: AFP The original minbar (pulpit) built by the Ottomans in 1794 has been restored and the niche indicating the direction of prayer has been repainted in gold leaf by a Turkish craftsman. Architect Akli Amrouche is slightly disappointed that the new verses of the Koran inscribed on the walls do not match the originals. But, overall, after the long road that the mosque has travelled he is happy with the facelift. "It is an excellent job, the minarets have been saved and the prayer room renovated," he said.
  9. KABUL: At least ten people were killed with as many injured according to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health after a suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Kabul on Friday evening. Afghanistan's TOLO news initially reported the explosion inside the Imam Zaman mosque in Dasht-e-Barchi; quoting Basir Mujahid a police spokesman the news outlet confirmed the attack.
  10. Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack near a large mosque. -AFP KABUL: A suicide bomber posing as a shepherd blew himself up near a mosque in Kabul on Friday killing at least one person, police said, as Muslims prepare to celebrate one of the holiest events in the Islamic calendar. The attack in the north of the Afghan capital happened as worshippers were gathered inside Hussainia mosque, one of the biggest Shia mosques in the city, for Friday prayers. "A suicide bomber who was grazing sheep has detonated himself outside the mosque," General Salim Almas, criminal investigative director of Kabul city, told AFP. One person was killed and five wounded, Kabul deputy police chief Sadeq Muradi told AFP, but the health ministry put the death toll at two and 10 wounded. Afghan policeman inspect the site of a suicide attack. -AFP Kabul's Emergency hospital tweeted that it had received 19 wounded including four children. A photo posted on Twitter purportedly taken at the scene of the attack shows a man lying on the ground, covered in blood. A severed leg belonging to someone else is beside him. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Taliban and Daesh militants have repeatedly targeted the minority Shia community in recent years. A shopkeeper told AFP that the suicide bomber blew himself to bits after he was identified by suspicious civilian guards who had set up a checkpoint about 200 metres from the mosque. Afghanistan has trained and armed more than 400 civilians to help protect Shia mosques during the holy month of Muharram. The attacker had apparently wanted to reach the mosque while worshippers were still inside the prayer hall. Salim Shaheen, who had been inside the mosque at the time of the blast told AFP there were multiple casualties. "We were busy offering our Friday prayers when a big bang happened and we stopped prayers and rushed out," Shaheen told AFP. Shaheen said "several people were killed and wounded". He and other bystanders took 15 people including six children to a hospital. There had been fears insurgents would strike again as preparations are made to commemorate Ashura, which falls this weekend. In recent years, the sacred day has been marred by deadly violence.
  11. KABUL: An unknown number of gunmen attacked a mosque in Qala-e-Najarha area in Kabul?s PD11 area around 1pm on Friday afternoon, Tolo News reported quoting eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses and residents of the area said an explosion has occurred inside the yard of Imam Zaman Mosque and gunfire is continuing in the area. Police have cordoned off the area following the attack. Many worshippers were inside the mosque when the explosion took place, reports said. This is a breaking story and will be updated accordingly
  12. RAWALPINDI: The terrorists involved in Raja Bazaar attack of 2013 belonged to the same sect the mosque of which they damaged, said Inter Services Public Relations Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor during a news conference on Monday. DG ISPR showed the confessions of two of the eight terrorists involved in the attack. ?My name is Bakht Shahzaib, I belong to Bajaur Agency,? one of the terrorists was shown as saying in a video. ?I was deployed in Rawalpindi in 2012.? He added they are eight people who planned and executed the attack in Raja Bazaar. ?It was Muharram 10 when we were asked to launch the attack,? Shahzaib said. ?We first held a meeting at one of our group members house then proceeded to the targetted area in a rickshaw.? Shahzaib added he left for his village in Bajaur Agency around 15 days after the attack. Another terrorist shown in the video said one of their chiefs was in Afghanistan at the time of the attack, while the other was Shahzaib.
  13. KARACHI: Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz on Saturday inaugurated the first mosque in Bahria Town Karachi. Built over an area of 2.5 acres, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 2,500 worshipers. It also has a separate praying area for women with a capacity of 250 worshipers. The inauguration ceremony was attended by a large number of civil society activists and Bahria Town management. The chairman of Bahria Town also announced the start of a cleanliness drive in Karachi from August 14.
  14. Law enforcement officials investigate an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, August 5, 2017. Time via Star Tribune/David Joles/AP The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Saturday took over the investigation of an early-morning bombing of a mosque outside Minneapolis that caused no injuries. Anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply in the United States over the past year, according to a review by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Minneapolis area bomber. Police in Bloomington, Minnesota, were called at 5:05 AM CDT (3:05 PM PST) about an explosion at the Dar Al Farooq mosque after a bomb was thrown through the window of the imam's office while worshipers were gathered for morning prayers. Mohamed Omar ? the mosque's executive director ? told reporters in Bloomington that a member of the congregation saw a pickup truck speeding away from the building's parking lot just after the blast. "Preliminary investigation indicates the explosion was caused by a destructive device in violation of federal law," the FBI's Minneapolis division said on Twitter. The Bloomington Police Department said on Twitter that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had also joined the probe. "When officers and fire personnel arrived, what they found there was some smoke, some damage to the building, but no one was injured," Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a news conference broadcast by local media. Several other area religious leaders joined members of the mosque on Saturday to express support. "It's a tragedy that we have to gather here today," Curtiss DeYoung ? executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches ? told reporters shortly after Omar spoke. "We are here showing solidarity and support for Muslims, not only in this centre but Muslims across our state and our country that are under these kind of attacks," DeYoung added. A May analysis by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents in the United States last year, up 57 percent from 2015. The council urged US mosques to increase their security following the Bloomington incident.
  15. Fatemah Qaderyan, right, lost her father in a deadly attack on a mosque earlier this week/Reuters HERAT: The father of an Afghan girl who represented her country in a robotics competition in the United States died in this week´s Herat mosque attack, her family said Thursday. Fifteen-year-old Fatema Qaderyan was part of the six-member team of Afghan teenage girls who won hearts across the globe when they competed in the international youth event in Washington DC last month. They made headlines after twice being denied American visas, and were only able to travel from war-torn Afghanistan for the FIRST Global Challenge following a late intervention by US President Donald Trump. Qaderyan´s older brother told AFP that their father died in Tuesday night´s suicide bomb attack on the Jawadya mosque which killed dozens and was claimed by the Daesh group. "We are all devastated, Fatema hasn´t eaten or spoken since the incident, and is in a state of shock. Today after she fainted several times, doctors started IV fluid therapy," Mohammad Reza said at the family home. The six girls are all from Herat, which lies close to the Iranian border in the west of Afghanistan. Attack on mosque in Afghan city of Herat kills at least 29 More than 1,700 civilians have been killed in attacks in Afghanistan so far this year Before they were granted US visas for the event, in which they competed against high school students from around the world, Qaderyan made an emotional plea for them to be allowed to travel. "We were not a terrorist group to go to America and scare people," she told AFP. "We want to take the message of peace to America and convey that Afghanistan is not only the country of war, and there are girls who chase their dreams in robots and education," she added. Thirty-three worshippers were killed, including children, and more than 60 others wounded, when two suicide bombers throwing grenades stormed the packed mosque where people had gathered for prayers on Tuesday night. It was the latest deadly attack on the minority community in Afghanistan. Daesh has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks killing dozens in Kabul over the past year, including twin explosions in July 2016 that ripped through the crowds, killing at least 85 people and wounding more than 400.
  16. HERAT: A suicide attack on a mosque in the western Afghan city of Herat killed more than 29 people and wounded more than 64 on Tuesday, officials said. More than 1,700 civilians have been killed in attacks in Afghanistan so far this year, hitting confidence in the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani. Abdulhai Walizada, a local police spokesman, said there appeared to be more than one attacker on Tuesday, with witnesses describing a suicide bomber who detonated explosives and at least one other, a gunman who threw grenades at worshippers. "Two attackers entered the mosque and started shooting and throwing grenades at people," said Mohammad Adi, a worshipper at the mosque who was injured in the attack and taken to hospital. Mohammad Asif Rahimi, governor of Herat, said at least 29 people were killed and 64 wounded in the incident which came two months after an attack on a 12th century mosque known as the Jama Masjid in Herat, in which seven people died. There was no claim of responsibility. But the Taliban, fighting to install strict Islamic law and drive foreign troops out of Afghanistan, denied any involvement. Ghani, whose government has been under mounting pressure because of deteriorating security across the country, condemned the bombing and called on religious scholars to "raise their voices against the terrorist attacks". The latest attack comes as the US administration considers sending more troops to Afghanistan to bolster the NATO-led coalition advising and assisting Afghan security forces.
  17. People wave Turkish and Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 30, 2017. PHOTO: Reuters ISTANBUL: Thousands of people rallied in Turkey's largest city on Sunday against security measures Israel has imposed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, shortly after Israel removed other measures that led to two weeks of violent Palestinian protests. The rally in Istanbul, called "The Big Jerusalem Meeting" and organized by Turkey's Saadet Party, drew some five thousand people to the Yenikapi parade ground on the southern edge of Istanbul. Protesters were brought in by buses and ferries from across the city, waved Turkish and Palestinian flags, and held up posters in front of a giant stage where the chairman of the Saadet party and representatives from NGOs addressed the crowd. "The Al-Aqsa mosque is our honor," read a poster. "You should know that not only Gaza, but Tel Aviv also has their eyes on this parade ground. Netanyahu does as well, and he is scared", said Saadet Party Chairman Temel Karamollaoglu, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shout slogans during a protest against Israel, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 30, 2017. PHOTO: Reuters Turkey has opposed the security measures installed at the entry points of the mosque compound, with President Tayyip Erdogan warning Israel that it would suffer most from the dispute. Erdogan accused Israel of inflicting damage on Jerusalem's "Islamic character", in comments that Israel's foreign ministry called "absurd". The dispute over security at the mosque compound - where Israel installed metal detectors at entry points after two police guards were shot dead this month - has touched off the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years. On Friday however, the main prayer session at the Al-Aqsa mosque ended relatively calmly after Israel removed the tougher security measures, though it barred entrance to men under age 50. Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the holy compound, in the 1967 Middle East war. It annexed the area in a move that has never been recognized internationally. Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, sits in the heart of the Old City. It is also the holiest place in Judaism - the venue of two ancient temples, the last destroyed by the Romans. Jews pray under heavy security at the Western Wall at the foot of the elevated plaza.
  18. An Indian army soldier pictured shooting a round of fires at protesters in Indian occupied Kashmir. Photo: File SRINAGAR: A young man was killed and several others were injured when Indian army opened fire on peaceful protesters in Budgam district on Friday, the Kashmir Media Service (KMS) reported. The 25-year-old youth, Tanveer Ahmad Wani, was martyred and many others were wounded when Indian Army fired upon the protesters in Beerwah area of the district. Indian police also arrested the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, along with several party leaders and activists at Dalgate in Srinagar when he was leading a march towards the UN office at Sonawar where a sit-in protest was to be held, the KMS reported. Call for the sit-in was given by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik to urge the UN to ask India to stop the massacre of people in Kashmir and to remind the UN to fulfil its commitments made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Authorities sealed Jamia Masjid, Srinagar, and disallowed Juma prayers at the mosque. This was the fifth consecutive Friday when weekly prayers were not allowed at the historic mosque. The outer gate of the Jamia Masjid was padlocked early today and Indian police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in the area to prevent people from reaching the worship place. All roads leading to the mosque were sealed and concertina wires were erected at the entry and exit points, witnesses said. Authorities also imposed curfew in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of eight police stations in Srinagar to prevent people from holding the sit-in. The authorities also put Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, Zafar Akbar Butt and Qazi Yasir under house arrest or in custody to stop them from leading the sit-in.
  19. Flames come from roof of the mosque. Manchester Evening News A mosque in Manchester was damaged after a suspected arson attack Sunday night. According to Manchester Evening News, the police and fire brigade authorities were investigating the attack. An official of Greater Manchester Police said the fire was being treated as suspicious. A spokesperson of the affected mosque has been quoted as saying that they received a call at night saying the centre the being attacked. The official added there was no one inside the centre at the time. The emergency services were called around 11:40pm. Around 30 firefighters worked to put the inferno out. Damaged mosque. Photo: Manchester Evening News Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service confirmed they were called around 11:40pm to Droylsden Road where the centre is situated. The images taken by witnesses show flames coming from the roof of the building, lighting up the sky and surrounding houses. According to Metro News, the mosque has been previously targetted with two pigs? heads thrown in the building at a hour when people were praying. Moreover, a minibus ? the centre uses to gerry young and elderly visitors to the mosque ? was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014.
  20. Eight people were wounded in a shooting in front of a mosque in the southern French city of Avignon in an incident police consider to be a settling of scores rather than a militant attack, a source close to the investigation said on Monday. Two of the eight wounded were hospitalised after the incident, according to the source, who also said that worshippers leaving the mosque had not been the intended target. La Provence regional newspaper, which first reported the incident, cited a judicial source as saying police are "not at all treating it as terrorist related" and suspected instead a dispute between youths. The newspaper also cited witnesses as saying that one of two gunmen with their faces covered had fired shots around at 10:30 pm as people were coming out of the mosque before the two fled the scene. Four people were wounded outside the mosque while a family of four in their apartment some fifty meters (yards) away took shrapnel, La Provence said. The incident comes after a man was arrested on Thursday after trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil in an incident in which no one was injured. France is on high-security alert following a series of militant attacks in recent years.
  21. The leaning minaret of Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque survived conquests by the Mongols and the Ottomans, neglect under Saddam Hussein, and air raids during the Iran-Iraq War and the US invasion in 2003. But after three years of Daesh rule, it is now little more than a pile of stones at the center of a shattered city. By all accounts except their own, the terrorists rigged the mosque and its 850-year-old tower with explosives and blew them up last week as advancing Iraqi forces came within steps of the complex. A Reuters visit to the site on Friday, a day after Iraq's military recaptured it, confirmed the extent of destruction: the 45-metre (148 ft) al-Hadba minaret had been reduced to a stump while the mint green dome was the only part of the prayer hall still standing. Fighting raged on a few blocks away. Bullets whizzed past the main gate, which is largely intact, and a mortar fell on an adjacent building. Below the mosque's dome in July 2014, Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Friday sermon presenting himself at the head of a modern-day caliphate spanning swathes of territory which the al Qaeda offshoot group had just seized in Iraq and neighboring Syria. "I am your leader, though I am not the best of you," he said, wearing the black turban and robes denoting a claim to descend from the Prophet Mohammad. Within months, Daesh was carrying out and inspiring militant attacks in places as far abreast as Paris, London and California. An international military coalition led by the United States quickly coalesced to confront the group. Three years on, the inscribed pulpit where he spoke lies in ruins. The mosque grounds are covered in stone and concrete, and a segment of a secondary minaret is one of the only discernible objects in the rubble. The risk of unexploded ordnance or mines prevented a thorough inspection of the site's interior. Baghdadi's appearance at the Nuri mosque was the first time he revealed himself to the world, and the footage broadcast then is to this day the only video recording of him as "caliph". He long ago left the fighting in Mosul and Syria's Raqqa to local commanders and is believed to be hiding in the border area between the two countries, according to US and Iraqi military sources. He has frequently been reported killed, including last month by Russia and Iran. After his speech in 2014, Baghdadi descended from the pulpit to lead his followers in worship, standing in a prayer niche which is now just barely recognizable amid the wreckage. Crumbling caliphate Baghdadi's project, to revive the Islamic caliphate which mostly disappeared with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, is also crumbling. The group still rules over an area which by one estimate is equivalent to the size of Belgium. But experts say its territorial losses undermine its legitimacy and attractiveness to potential recruits who once flocked from across the world in the tens of thousands. The Nuri mosque was named after Nuruddin al-Zanki, a noble who fought the early crusaders from a fiefdom that covered territory in modern-day Turkey, Syria and Iraq. It was built in 1172-73, shortly before his death, and housed an Islamic school. By the time renowned medieval traveller and scholar Ibn Battuta visited two centuries later, the minaret was leaning. The tilt gave the landmark its popular name: the hunchback. The mosque's military and religious history embodied the spirit of Mosul, a diverse but predominately Sunni Muslim city which supplied Iraq's armed forces with officers for much of the 20th century. The Hadba minaret, whose tilt begs comparisons to Italy's Tower of Pisa, was built with seven bands of decorative brickwork in complex geometric patterns also found in Persia and Central Asia. Only slivers of that design are now visible among the rubble. The eight-month-old US-backed battle for Mosul has also destroyed homes and basic infrastructure across the city and displaced nearly a million residents. Civilians, mostly women and children, rushed past the demolished mosque as they crossed the frontline towards Iraqi forces. They were thirsty and tired, and some were injured. Across the street, among the detritus of war, laid the partial remains of a Daesh fighter dressed in red clothing.
  22. Police secure a mosque in Creteil near Paris, France, June 29, 2017, after a man was arrested after trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of the mosque. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes A man was arrested after trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil on Thursday, police said, adding that no one was injured. The man's motives were unclear and he had not succeeded in reaching the crowd because of barriers in front of the mosque, police said in a statement. An investigation ? to be carried out by a regular police department rather than an anti-terrorism unit ? would determine if the man could be held accountable for his actions. Finsbury Park Mosque incident in London: How it unfolded? At least one person has been pronounced dead, with eight others injured According to Le Parisien newspaper, the man said he had wanted to avenge attacks linked to Daesh that have killed dozens in Paris over the past years. Last week, a man drove a van at Muslim worshippers leaving a mosque in London. He was charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder.
  23. Members of the Iraqi federal police advance through the Old City of Mosul. -AFP BAGHDAD: The Iraqi military announced on Thursday that special forces had recaptured the iconic Mosul mosque where Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only known public appearance. A top special forces commander told AFP that while the Nuri mosque - which was blown up by Daesh last week - was close to being recaptured, it had not been retaken yet. "Counter-Terrorism Service forces control the Nuri mosque and Al-Hadba (minaret)," the Joint Operations Command said in a statement. But Staff Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi said that while Iraqi forces were close to retaking the mosque, they were still some 20 metres (yards) away. The mosque and its famed Al-Hadba (hunchback) leaning minaret were Mosul landmarks and also held major significance in the history of Daesh rule in Iraq. Baghdadi appeared during Friday prayers at Nuri mosque in 2014, soon after Daesh seized Iraq's second city, calling on Muslims to obey him. Three years later, Baghdadi's fate and whereabouts remain unknown, and Daesh has lost much of the territory it overran in 2014. The militants blew up the mosque and minaret on June 21 as they put up increasingly desperate resistance to the advance of Iraqi forces. Officials from Iraq and the US-led anti-IS coalition said the destruction of the site was a sign of the militant group's imminent loss of Mosul, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi calling it an "official declaration of defeat". The loss of the iconic 12th century minaret - one of the country's most recognisable monuments sometimes referred to as Iraq's Tower of Pisa -- left the country in shock.
  24. Security forces found two groups of terrorists in Makkah and a third group in Jeddah: state TV DUBAI: Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported. Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Makkah and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targetted worshipers at the mosque, it said. Neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details.
  25. LONDON: The British van driver who mowed down Muslim worshippers near a London's Finsbury Park mosque this week was charged Friday with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder, officials said. Darren Osborne, 47, will appear before magistrates in central London later Friday in relation to the charges, police and prosecutors said. One man died in the incident early Monday near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, and another 11 people were injured. Makram Ali, 51, died from multiple injuries following Monday´s attack. He had collapsed with a leg problem and was being attended to by fellow worshippers leaving late-night Ramadan prayers at the mosque when the hired van careered into them. Ali came to Britain from Bangladesh when he was 10. He was married with four daughters and two sons, and had two grandchildren. His family has said they were "devastated" by his death. "Our father was a quiet, gentle man," they said in a statement. The attack was the fourth in Britain in three months, killing a total of 36 people and injuring around 200. The three previous attacks were all militant-linked.