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Found 38 results

  1. Two women were arrested Thursday for breaking into an Islamic centre in Arizona and filming themselves making anti-Islamic remarks, police said. Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauer were arrested for third-degree burglary "after the investigation revealed they entered onto the property of the Tempe Islamic Center and subsequently removed various items," local police spokesperson Ron Elcock said in a statement. "Based on the details of the crime an enhancement of hate crime will be considered for sentencing," he said. The women posted several videos on Facebook showing them entering the centre, making insulting remarks about Muslims and encouraging their children to repeat them. Ahmad Al-Akoum, the center´s director of inter-faith relations and one of its imams, told AFP that the incident took place the morning of March 4, when no one else was present. A local journalist saw the videos and alerted the mosque, whose leaders then checked their surveillance footage and saw the women taking copies of the Holy Quran as well as leaflets, and tearing up documents affixed to a bulletin board. Mosque officials then contacted police. "They were teaching their children to be hateful, it was very disturbing," Al-Akoum said of the women. He said that his center and others around Phoenix have regularly been subjected to harassment "for a long time, almost since 2001," referring to the year of the September 11 attacks. But things have gotten worst since Donald Trump -- who made trying to keep travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries out of the US a central part of his agenda -- took office last year.
  2. London?s Central Mosque in Regents Park. Photo: AFP A London mosque was given special listed status on Tuesday in recognition of its architectural and historic importance, in a move a government minister said celebrated ?the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England?. The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent?s Park, central London, was listed as a Grade II building by the government?s culture department. The special Grade II status is awarded to just 5.8 percent of approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England, marking them out as particularly important sites and giving them greater protection. ?By listing a beautiful mosque, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England,? said Heritage Minister Michael Ellis. A fund to establish a central London mosque was set up in 1910, but the Regent?s Park location was only secured in the 1940s and building work was finally completed in 1977. Although there are around 1,500 mosques in Britain, fewer than 20 percent are purpose-built according to Heritage England, which compiles the listings. The country?s first purpose-built mosque opened in Woking, a town south-west of London, in 1889. The Shah Jahan Mosque was upgraded on Tuesday to Grade I status, a ranking shared with sites such as royal residence Buckingham Palace. An Ahmadi place of worship in the Southfields area was also listed as a Grade II building. It is the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya community and was London?s first purpose-built place of worship when it opened in 1926.
  3. File photo BENGHAZI: Twin bomb blasts struck a mosque in Benghazi in eastern Libya on Friday, killing one person and wounding more than 62, the city's main hospital said. The explosions hit the mosque at the start of weekly prayers in Libya's second city, which lies 1,000 kilometres east of Tripoli, a security source told AFP. One bomb was hidden in a coffin in the courtyard of the mosque and another in a shoe cabinet at the entrance, the source added. At least one person was killed and 62 wounded, according to a spokeswoman for the city´s Al-Jala hospital, Fadia al-Barghathi. The blast follows twin car bombings on January 24 outside a mosque in Benghazi that left nearly 40 people dead. There was no claim of responsibility for that attack, which underscored the ongoing chaos in the Benghazi region which is controlled by the forces of military strongman Khalifa Haftar. Haftar, who opposes a UN-backed unity government based in Tripoli, announced Benghazi's "liberation" from militants in July last year after a three-year campaign, but sporadic violence has continued. Libya has been wracked by violence and divisions since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising. On September 11, 2012, suspected militants linked to Al-Qaeda attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, killing ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
  4. LONDON: A Briton who deliberately drove a van into a group of worshippers near a London mosque, killing one man, was on Friday sentenced to life in prison with a minimum 43-year term. Darren Osborne, 48, from the Welsh capital Cardiff, was found guilty of murdering 51-year-old Makram Ali and trying to kill others in the Finsbury Park area of north London in the June 19 attack. Passing sentence at a London court, judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb told Osborne: "This was a terrorist attack. You intended to kill." She added that he had been "rapidly radicalised" and that his "mindset became one of malevolent hatred". Darren Osborne. -File/AFP "In short you allowed your mind to be poisoned by those who claimed to be leaders." The unemployed "loner" had pleaded not guilty, telling the court that a man called "Dave" was driving at the time - a claim police denounced as a fabrication.The May Manchester suicide bombing and the June London Bridge van attack and stabbing rampage further fuelled his obsession. Witnesses recalled Osborne saying: "I've done my job, you can kill me now" and "at least I had a proper go" in the immediate aftermath of the attack. After two weeks of evidence, the jury took one hour on Thursday to find him guilty. Osborne had watched a BBC television drama which told the story of three victims of a child abuse ring, and quickly grew angry at what he deemed as inaction over the scandal, the court heard. The May Manchester suicide bombing and the June London Bridge van attack and stabbing rampage further fuelled his obsession, the court was told. Osborne began researching far-right material online, police said. He then hired a van and drove to London intent on ploughing into a pro-Palestinian march, but was prevented from doing so by road closures. Osborne then drove around London looking for a target before heading to Finsbury Park, where worshippers were leaving a mosque and an Islamic centre after Ramazan evening prayers.
  5. LONDON: A British man who grew "obsessed" with Muslims was found guilty on Thursday of murder and attempted murder after deliberately driving into a group of people outside a London mosque. Jurors found Darren Osborne, 48, from the Welsh capital Cardiff, guilty of murdering 51-year-old Makram Ali and trying to kill others in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19. Unemployed "loner" Osborne had pleaded not guilty, telling London's Woolwich Crown Court that a man called "Dave" had taken his place in the driver's seat of his van minutes before the attack. But witnesses recalled Osborne saying, "I've done my job, you can kill me now" and "at least I had a proper go" to members of the public in the immediate aftermath of the attack. The jury of eight women and four men took one hour to convict the father-of-four, whose obsession with Muslims began a month before the attack after watching a BBC drama "Three Girls", which told the story of a child *** abuse ring in northern England. A handwritten note found in the van with Osborne's fingerprints on it read: "terrorists on our streets. "Don't people get it? This is happening up and down our green and pleasant land. The Crown Prosecution Service said Osborne "planned and carried out this attack because of his hatred of Muslims". "He later invented an unconvincing story to counter the overwhelming weight of evidence but the jury has convicted him," said Sue Hemming from the state prosecutors. "We have been clear throughout that this was a terrorist attack, and he must now face the consequences of his actions." He will be sentenced at a later date.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.