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Found 24 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Photo: Reuters Daesh militants on Wednesday blew up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its famous leaning minaret, Iraq's military said in a statement, as Iraqi forces seeking to expel the group from the city closed in on the site. It was from this medieval mosque three years ago that the militants' leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled "caliphate" spanning parts of Syria and Iraq. ''Blowing up the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque amounts to an official acknowledgement of defeat,'' Iraqi Prime Minister said in a brief comment on his website. The Iraqis called the 150-foot (45-metre) leaning minaret Al-Hadba, or "the hunchback." Baghdadi's black flag had flown over it since June 2014. Daesh's Amaq news agency accused American aircraft of destroying the mosque, a claim swiftly denied by the US-led coalition fighting the militant group. "We did not strike in that area," coalition spokesman US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian told Reuters by telephone. "The responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of Daesh," US Army Major General Joseph Martin, commander of the coalition's ground component, said in a statement. The media office for Iraq's military distributed a picture taken from the air that appeared to show the mosque and minaret largely flattened and reduced to rubble among the small houses of the Old City, the historic district where the militants are under siege. A video seen on social media showed the minaret collapsing vertically in a belch of sand and dust, as a woman lamented in the background, "The minaret, the minaret, the minaret." The mosque was destroyed as Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) units, which have been battling their way through Mosul's Old City, got within 50 meters (164 feet) of it, according to an Iraqi military statement. An Iraqi military spokesman gave the timing of the explosion as 9:35PM (1835 GMT). "This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organisation must be annihilated," said US Major General Martin. Iraqi forces said earlier on Wednesday that they had started a push toward the mosque. ''This will not prevent us from removing them, no, killing them not removing them, inside the Old City,'' Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, senior CTS commander in Mosul, said in a video posted over a messaging app. The forces on Tuesday had encircled the group's stronghold in the Old City, the last district under Daesh control in Mosul.
  18. Robbers looting people observing Aitekaaf in a mosque KARACHI: The provincial metropolis has once again seen an uptick in robbery incidents ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, with two separate CCTV videos having emerged of robberies. Two robbers, one of them covering face, could be seen in a CCTV video robbing a super store at gunpoint in the Khokhrapar area. Police said that robbers took with them cash worth lacs. Third 'meat-robbery' of year takes place in Karachi This time around a shop near Ayesha Manzil was robbed Robbers shoot and kill security guard in Karachi He resisted them from snatching his gun In another incident in Gulshan-e-Iqbal block 7, robbers stole mobile phones and wallets of people observing Aitekaaf in a mosque. Sindh Home minister Sohail Anwar took notice of the incident after the news was aired and has sought a report from DIG East Arif Hanif. In yet another incident, police arrested a suspect near the Gulistan-e-Johar area at Rashid Minhas road involved in robbing cash worth 1.2 million from a man. According to SP Gulshan Murtaza Bhutto, the police also recovered weapons and a motorcycle from the suspect.
  19. VIRGINIA: A 17-year-old American Muslim girl was beaten and abducted after leaving a mosque in Virginia on Sunday by a man who police later arrested on suspicion of murder after her body was found dumped in a pond, authorities said. The attack spurred an outpouring of grief and horror in a Muslim community that has been gathering to pray at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque about 30 miles outside Washington in observance of the last 10 days of Ramadan. The attack happened early on Sunday after the victim and several friends walking outside the mosque got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement. At one point, the motorist got out of his car and assaulted the girl, police said. The teen was reported missing by her friends who scattered during the attack and could not find her afterwards, touching off an hours-long search by authorities in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. At around 3pm, the remains of a female believed to be the teen victim were found in a pond in Sterling, police said. During the search for the missing teen, authorities stopped a motorist "driving suspiciously in the area" and arrested the driver, later identified as identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22. Police obtained a murder warrant that charges Torres for her death, the Fairfax County Police Department said. A police spokeswoman told reporters the attack followed some sort of dispute between the man and the girls, and authorities had not ruled out hate as a motivation for the attack. The number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the United States jumped 57 percent in 2016 to 2,213, up from 1,409 in 2015, the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group said in a report last month. While the group had been seeing a rise in anti-Muslim incidents prior to Donald Trump's stunning rise in last year's presidential primaries and November election victory, it said the acceleration in bias incidents was due in part to Trump's focus on militant groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric. In an incident in London on Monday, a van ploughed into worshippers leaving a mosque, killing at least one person and injuring several in what Britain's largest Muslim organisation said was a deliberate act of Islamophobia. Isra Chaker, a person who said in a Facebook post that she was close to a family friend of the victim in the Virginia incident, said the driver came out with a baseball bat and began swinging it at the girls, Chaker said. "She then went missing (presumably kidnapped/moved by the suspect) and was found dead this afternoon," Chaker said. An online fundraiser for the girl's family had raised $61,606 by Sunday evening. Police said a medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the victim's identity and cause of death, though detectives believe the body found in the pond was the missing girl.
  20. Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall LONDON: A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring several in what Britain's largest Muslim organisation said was a deliberate act of xenophobia. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan when people attend 'Taraweeh' prayers at night. British Prime Minister Theresa May said police had confirmed it was being treated as a potential terrorist attack and said she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday. Police said one man was pronounced dead at the scene and that the van driver, 48, had been detained by members of the public before being arrested. The driver would undergo a mental health assessment in due course, police said. The London Ambulance Service said it had taken eight people to the hospital, while two were treated at the scene. Prime Minister May said her thoughts were with those injured in "this terrible incident". The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "totally shocked". The MCB said the incident was the most violent manifestation of hatred against Muslims in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship just as Ramazan near its end. "It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the council said in a statement. Police said they were called just after 12:20 AM (11:20 PM GMT, Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London. "From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. ? Everybody was shouting: 'A van?s hit people, a van?s hit people'," one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC. "There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished." The incident comes just over two weeks after three militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. It also comes at a time of political turmoil, as Prime Minister May plunges into divorce talks with the European Union weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election. She has faced heavy criticism for her response to a fire in a London tower block on Wednesday which killed at least 58 people, and for her record on security after a series of attacks blamed on militants in recent months. One witness told CNN it was clear that the attacker at Finsbury Park had deliberately targeted Muslims. "He tried to kill a lot of people so obviously it's a terrorist attack. He targeted Muslims this time," the witness, identified only as Rayan, said. Other witnesses told Sky television that the van had hit at least 10 people. 'Deliberately swerved' Miqdaad Versi, the MCB's assistant secretary-general, said the van had deliberately swerved into a group of people who were helping a man who was ill and had fallen to the ground. "Basically, a van swerved into them deliberately," Versi told Reuters, citing a witness. He said the driver had run out of the van but a group of people caught him and held him until police arrived. Britain has been hit by a series of attacks in recent months, including the van-and-knife attack on London Bridge on June 3. On March 22, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people. On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England. The attacks were a factor in campaigning ahead of the June 8 election, with Prime Minister May criticised for overseeing a drop of 20,000 in the number of police officers in England and Wales as interior minister from 2010 to 2016. She was also criticised for keeping her distance from angry residents during her visit to the charred remains of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower. She said on Saturday the response to the fire, in which at least 58 people were killed on Wednesday, had been "not good enough". The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a US prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges. A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police, since when attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque's website.
  21. LK?Advani (L), Uma Bharti (M) and MM?Joshi (R) were charged with inciting mob violence which led to destruction of Babri Mosque on December 6, 1002. Photo: Hindustan Times LUCKNOW: A special Central Bureau of Investigation court granted on Tuesday bail to former Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, Union Minister Uma Bharti and nine others for demolition of Babri Mosque. The leaders, who have been granted bail against surety bond of INR50,000 each, were charged with inciting violence and instigating violence which led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992. However, the accused pleaded guilty to the charges against them. The former BJP leaders have also filed a plea seeking their discharge from the conspiracy charges. The judge reserved the order on that application. India?s top court urges negotiated settlement to end Babri Masjid dispute Court tells all parties to ?give up? some of their demands in order to reach a peaceful solution. Earliers, the CBI court has claimed that it would frame additional charges against LK Advani among other leaders. In 2001, the Allahabad High Court had dropped all conspiracy charges against the former BJP leaders. However, the Supreme Court on April 20, 2017, reinstated the charges and directed special CBI court to frame new charges. Others accused in the case include BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Ramjanmabhoomi Trust Chief Nritya Gopal Das, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan.
  22. FAISALABAD: One man was martyred and nine others injured when the roof of a mosque collapsed near Risala Road here late Sunday night, Geo News reported. The mosque?s roof fell suddenly on people offering Taraweeh prayers (Namaz-e-Taraweeh) on Sunday night after Iftar, rescue sources said, adding that it took the life of one worshipper and wounded nine others in the process. The rescue officials stated that the injured people have been shifted to the city?s Civil Hospital.
  23. JAKARTA: US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday toured the biggest mosque in Muslim-majority Indonesia during a visit seen as a highly symbolic gesture from an administration that has been accused of stoking Islamophobia. After kicking off his stop in the world´s most populous Muslim-majority country by praising its moderate Islam as "an inspiration", he visited Istiqlal Mosque, whose vast white dome towers over downtown Jakarta. He slipped off his shoes before being guided around the mosque, which is also the biggest in Southeast Asia, accompanied by his wife and two daughters in headscarves, as well as Istiqlal´s grand imam. His visit represents the most high-profile outreach to Muslims by the Donald Trump administration since the brash billionaire came to office and echoes a similar trip by Barack and Michelle Obama in 2010. Since becoming president almost 100 days ago, Trump has hosted leaders from majority-Muslim Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. But his administration has also tried to ban travellers from several Muslim-majority nations, citing concerns about terrorism -- an effort currently being challenged in US courts. As a presidential candidate, Trump often appeared to flirt with the far right. But Pence struck a starkly different tone during his visit to Indonesia, which has often been praised as a successful Muslim democracy where most practise a moderate form of Islam and coexist peacefully with substantial religious minorities. "Indonesia´s tradition of moderate Islam is frankly an inspiration to the world and we commend you and your people," he said after talks with President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta. "In your nation as in mine, religion unifies, it doesn´t divide." Pence is currently on a tour of South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia that is aimed at smoothing some of the rougher edges of Trump´s rhetoric. In South Korea and Japan, Pence played down protectionist declarations of "America first" and reaffirmed US treaty commitments to the security of the two countries as tensions rise over Pyongyang´s nuclear programme. After meeting with representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation´s at the regional bloc´s headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday, Pence announced Trump would attend three summits in Asia in November, a further sign that his administration is seeking to reassure regional allies. He will attend the US-ASEAN and East Asia summits in the Philippines and a gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group in Vietnam. At the mosque in Jakarta, Pence and his family also toured the cavernous main prayer room -- which was empty during his visit but fills up with tens of thousands of worshippers during key dates in the Muslim calender -- and admired the towering dome. A man showed the US leader how he beats a carved drum next to the courtyard, a local addition to the traditional call to prayer. Pence then held an interfaith dialogue behind closed doors with representatives of the Christian, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu and Muslim faiths. After his talks with Widodo, Pence also said the US was committed to building a stronger defence partnership with Indonesia to combat terrorism, and guaranteeing freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Indonesian and Chinese vessels have recently clashed.
  24. In a country where religion has played a pivotal role in separating Hindus and Muslims for the longest time now, Ahmedabad is setting an example that is restoring our faith in religion all over again. In the Kalupur area, people heard azaan from a certain mosque near Bakri Pol for the first time in 30 years and the credit goes to the strong voices from both the communities. The mosque was located near Ramji, Nagdalla Hanuman and Shesh Narayan temples, so the Muslims started avoiding the area after the 1984 communal riots. Things worsened after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1993 and this mosque began to crumble. However, after suffering the wrath of the tension, this 100-year-old Kalupur mosque was reopened in March 2016 and in the sound of the prayers, one can even hear hatred getting drowned. This is no ordinary feat because the reopening of this mosque echoes the special bond shared by the Hindus and Muslims in this area, so much so that former even have a set of keys to the mosque. © BCCL It was after the 2002 Gujarat riots that the residents around the mosque voluntarily showed desire to save it and it was then that the Hindus reached out to the Muslim people and contributed resources for repairs. After being reopened in 2016, a year later, people acknowledged that this reconstruction effort has actually laid bricks for a stronger bond between both the communities. “One set of keys is with Poonam Parekh and Kaushik rami who sell flowers near the mosque,” Aziz Gandhi, a social worker in Dariapur told The Times Of India. In fact, Rami even lights incense sticks twice a day near the mosque. He further added, “We are happy that the mosque that was closed for over three decades is now filled with devotees.” © BCCL “With Haji Usmangani mansuri and other trustees of the mosque, we renovated the structure,” said Chandrakant Sharma, the priest of the Nagdalla Hanuman Temple. According to Sharma, earlier the Muslim youth had to go to other mosques to offer namaaz but now they won’t have to go out of their locality. Another resident of Dariapur, Hamidullah Shaikh, lauded the efforts of the Hindus and said “Our Hindu brothers helped us bring labourers to renovate the mosque.” We wish other people could have shared the similar bond and affection as them. But, now we can say that it’s not just the mosque that has reopened, it is their shared love and care that will stand strong as an example for many generations to come. Source: The Times Of India