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New militant group claims responsibility for Friday blast in Cairo

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People gather at the site of a bomb blast in Cairo, April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

People gather at the site of a bomb blast in Cairo, April 18, 2014.

(Reuters) – The Egyptian militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility on Saturday for a blast that killed one police officer in Cairo.

The bomb exploded in Cairo’s Lebanon Square on Friday night, killing the officer and wounding another.

Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said in a statement on an Islamist website that its militants had monitored a police checkpoint in the square before detonating the bomb.

The group formally announced itself in January saying it would target “criminal elements” in the military-backed government.

It has claimed at least six attacks since then, including explosions outside Cairo University which killed a police brigadier-general and one other person earlier this month.

Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on members of the security forces, killing hundreds, since the army toppled Egypt’s first freely elected President Mohamed Mursi in July.

The insurgency threatens national security ahead of a presidential election in May, as well as the vital tourist industry.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri gave his blessing, in a recording released on an Islamist website on Friday night, to Jihadists in carrying out attacks against the army and security forces in Egypt. Al Qaeda is not believed to be linked to Ajnad Misr.

(Source / 19.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Revolution Egypt

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Saadi: The PA security apparatuses only serve the occupation

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JENIN, (PIC)– Islamic Jihad official Mahmoud Al-Saadi deplored the Palestinian Authority security forces for raiding his house in Jenin refugee camp last night and described their act as “reprehensible and intolerable.”

“Yesterday, you broke into the house of martyr Hamza Abul-Haija and today my home and my mother’s home, and before you physically assaulted Wasfi Qabha, so do you want to bring us to the end of the line in dealing with you?” Saadi stated on his facebook page.

“We had told you that we were keen on the national unity and we, the Islamic Jihad Movement, tried to achieve that, but you seem to understand nothing but the language you are using, so we are telling you that your authority will come to demise, God willing, and the people will reject you because you are an authority that only serves the occupation and its plots,” the Islamic Jihad official added.

Before raiding Saadi’s house, according to eyewitnesses, electricity was cut off from Jenin refugee camp and a unit of Israeli troops were deployed on the outskirts of the camp to provide protection for the PA security forces during their campaign.

The eyewitnesses added that the PA security forces stormed the camp amid intensive gunfire and acted proactively towards the residents.

In separate incidents, the PA preventive security agency arrested a university student named Mohamed Abu Saada after summoning him for interrogation.

The PA security apparatuses also summoned yesterday four others from the Hamas Movement for interrogation in different West Bank areas, but no detentions were reported among them.

(Source / 19.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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IOF soldiers brutally attack Palestinian child

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AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have brutally attacked and beaten a Palestinian child in al-Khalil southern occupied West Bank.

According to Wafa News Agency, local sources confirmed that the 12-year-old child Amir Jaber was severely beaten before being detained by Israeli forces on Friday evening.

The child was transferred to Beit Hadassah settlement built on Palestinian lands. He was then released after more than an hour.

(Source / 19.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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Syria’s Deir al-Zour tribes prepare to fight ISIS

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Fighters from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) hold their weapons as they stand on confiscated cigarettes before setting them on fire in the city of Raqqa April 2, 2014.

Tribes in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour have begun recruiting hundreds of fighters in readiness to battle rebels from the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Saturday.

Tribesmen in three villages in Deir al-Zour’s northern countryside issued a joint statement warning that whoever was helping ISIS will be targeted after the radical jihadist group claimed control of areas near the towns of al-Sour and Markada in the eastern province.

ISIS has been fighting the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and other Islamic groups in Deir al-Zour in the province for weeks over territory in Abu Kamal town which was previously captured from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, including oil fields.

Last week an activist from Deir al-Zour told the Associated Press that Nusra Front fighters and their allies brought reinforcements into Abu Kamal city and forced out ISIS gunmen after midnight.

While fighters in Deir al-Zour have succeeded in pushing away ISIS, the tribes expect an imminent assault from the jihadist group especially from the al-Sour and Markada towns where it launched its attacks in early April.

Rejecting conditions

According to the statement, the tribes rejected conditions by ISIS, which stipulated whoever wants to stop fighting should be disarmed.

“Tribes in Deir al-Zour were always disarmed, even before the revolution,” Fahad al-Furati, an activist from the eastern province, told Al Arabiya News Channel on Saturday.

Furati added: “Thousands are deployed in the countryside of Deir al-Zour and ready to fight.”

The tribes have joined list of others who are against ISIS such as the Nusra Front, the Free Syrian Army and the Kurds.

Syrian rebels initially welcomed battle-hardened jihadists to their struggle, but Islamist and non-Islamist groups alike turned on ISIS after it began kidnapping, torturing and killing activists and rival rebels, and imposing its strict version of Islam by force.

Jihadist unity

An interview for al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, which the SITE monitoring service dated to between February and April, was released.

In the interview Zawahiri called for unity amid widening divisions with a rival jihadist organization rooted in the Syrian civil war.

The interview was released after ISIS accused al-Qaeda of having “deviated from the correct path.”

“They have divided the ranks of the mujahideen [holy warriors] in every place,” ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in a statement posted on jihadist forums.

Syria’s uprising began with peaceful protests in March 2011 but escalated into an insurgency and then a civil war after the regime launched a brutal crackdown on dissent. More than 150,000 people have been killed since the revolt began.

(Source / 19.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Besieged Muslims face murder, starvation in C. African Republic town

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General Mohamed Dhaffane (C), Interim President of the Ex-Seleka coalition talks to Seleka fighters in the town of Bria April 9, 2014. (Reuters)

In normal times, the rickety wooden bridges at each end of the red-dirt main street in Boda were gateways to shops and a bustling market in the diamond-mining town in western Central African Republic.

Today, they mark the fine line between life and death for hundreds of Muslims living under siege, encircled by Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militia fighters bent on chasing out the country’s Islamic population.

“We live in a prison,” said Adou Kone, a tailor. “Everything is blocked, nothing comes in. It’s very expensive to buy food … Our life is at a critical stage.”

Boda illustrates the chaos that has gripped Central African Republic since late 2012 when a battle for political power degenerated into clashes between Muslims and Christians that have forced about 1 million people from their homes.

If they stray beyond either bridge, Muslims in Boda say they would be killed, like thousands of other victims of tit-for-tat violence that continue despite the deployment of French and African peacekeepers.

French flags hang from some shacks and a handful of French armoured vehicles sporadically patrol the town, 115 km (70 miles) west of the capital Bangui. In the Muslim neighbourhood, a banner praises French troops – recognition that their plight would have been far worse without the deployment.

The crisis abruptly ended a proud history of Muslims living in harmony alongside the majority Christian population and has prompted warnings of genocide in the former French colony.

“We can wait for 10 years for them to leave – and if they don’t leave, we will still be there, holding our positions,” said Captain Dopani Firmin, the ‘anti-balaka’ chief in Boda, wearing a red Paris St Germain football shirt.

“We cannot accept to live together with Muslims, long-term,” Firmin said. “It’s our right to kill Muslims.”

Ethnic-religious cleansing

Virtually all Muslims have fled Bangui since the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, who seized power in March 2013, were forced to step aside in January. The United Nations has reported a “cleansing” of Muslims from the country’s west.

The United Nations Security Council this month authorised a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission, recognition that 6,000 African peacekeepers and 2,000 French troops had failed to stamp their authority on the country. But the operation will take time to roll out and the siege on Muslims in Boda is taking its toll.

“I go to visit … the children who suffer from malnutrition, particularly severe malnutrition, and we find many of them, more than 200 to 300,” said Adam Moussa, a health worker operating out of an office that used to house gold and diamond traders.

Moussa said that several weeks ago four people were dying every day from malnutrition. The rate has since fallen to one death every two days as some aid from the U.N. World Food Programme started reaching the Muslim community.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says over half the population of 4.5 million needs aid but less than 30 percent of the money needed is available.

Refugees are pouring over the border into neighbouring Cameroon at an average of 10,000 every week. “They arrive in poor health and with machetes and gunshot wounds,” OCHA said.

“New arrivals have been forced to walk through the bush for two to three months before reaching the border due to roadblocks set up by armed militias,” it said in a report on Thursday.

The U.N. refugee agency warned this week that the conflict was getting neither the attention nor the aid needed to save lives, and the operation risked going broke.

While they have failed to restore order, the African peacekeeping mission, MISCA, and the French force, Sangaris, are escorting Muslims to safety, mostly in neighbouring Chad.

“If the Muslims want to leave, MISCA and Sangaris can escort them. There’s no problem … we won’t kill them,” said Simbona Guy Copain, a spokesman for the Christian community in Boda.

“All that we want is their departure,” he added. “Their presence hinders the town. We can’t go to the mine, we can’t work, our children are not going to school. You see, it’s hurting us.”

(Source / 18.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Politics anti Islam

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Syria crisis: Uplifting letters of hope

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Young Somali refugees hold up the letters they've written to Syrian refugees
Young Somali refugees living in the world’s largest refugee camp, in Kenya, have sent letters of encouragement to Syrian refugee children who have also had to flee their homeland.

The young Somali students reside in the Dadaab refugee camp, in north-eastern Kenya. It is home to nearly 400,000 refugees, the majority of whom have fled conflict, drought and famine in Somalia over the last 23 years.

Care International, the aid agency that provides many basic services at the camp, organised the pen pal exchange and delivered the handwritten letters to Syrian children at the Refugee Assistance Centre in Amman, Jordan.

They offer messages of solidarity, encouragement and advice to their “dear brothers and sisters”.

Many urge the importance of studying and gaining an education while in the camps.

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I‘m a refugee like you

A Somali girl holds up the letter she has writtenHibo Mahamed Dubow with her letter

“I am sure 100% that if you practise learning and struggling, you will excel at the end,” writes Hibo Mahamed Dubow. “Last but not least, I tell you not to lose hope because you have been refugees for only three years. What do you think of people who are refugees for about two decades?”

A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child. Includes lines such as "In future you can rebuild your country you will get peace and no longer be a refugee" and "I am really encouraging you not to lose hope".
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Be the stars and the new presidents

Dahir Mohamed holds up his letterDahir Mohamed wrote an inspirational letter

“Our beloved brothers and sisters, go and work hard in school, be the stars and the new presidents of Syria,” says Dahir Mohamed.

Dahir Mohamed's letter has two hearts drawn on it, one with a flag of Somalia and another of Syria, with the words "brother and sister" in between
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We are feeling the same way

Abshir Hussein holding up his letter while wearing a yellow shirtAbshir Hussein entitled his letter ‘Encouragement and hope for the refugees’

“We are praying for you God gives you better life and with the help of God as soon as possible you will get peace in your country because we are feeling the same way you are feeling,” writes Abshir Hussein.

A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child, including the lines: "We are feeling the same way that you are feeling", and "Try to start a new life which is much better than before"
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I am encouraging you to learn

Zahra holds up her letterBe patient, says Zahra Dahir Ali

“Don’t be hopeless, we are with you, and if there is war in your country, tolerance is necessary,” writes Zahra Dahir Ali

The front of Zahra's letter, advising the Syrian refugees to work hard and "be polite"
Zahra's letter on the back, which included a drawing of a flower with the words "I love my country"
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‘We will get peace

Zakariye holds up his letterZakariye Mohamed wrote a message of hope
A colourful heart has been drawn on a piece of paper

“My brothers and sisters, you are not alone,” says Zakariye Mohamed.

A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child. Includes a list advising to "be patient", "respect their teachers" "help each other".
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Syrian replies

The Syrian refugee children received each of their letters with a photo of the writer. The photo below shows a boy holding his envelope with a photo of Zakariye Mohamed inside.

The letters were well received by the young Syrians, says Care International, and they are now writing responses to be delivered back to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

A Syrian boy holds a photo of a Somali refugee who has sent him a letter
A Syrian girl holds a photo of a Somali refugee who has sent her a letter
A photo of a Somali girl is held up next to her letter
A Syrian girl holds a photo of a Somali refugee who has sent her a letter
(Source / 18.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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EU urges Israel to reverse West Bank moves

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Foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton calls on Israel to reverse recent actions, such as announcing new settlements.

Ashton said all sides should “show utmost restraint ” in order not to jeopardise the negotiation process [AP]
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has called on Israel to reverse recent actions, such as announcing new settlements in the occupied West Bank, to bolster faltering peace talks.

Ashton viewed with “great concern” an Israeli decision to declare an area near the Gush Etzion settlement south of Bethlehem as state land and approval of a new Jewish settlement in the southern city of Hebron, a statement from her office said on Friday.

The continued demolition of Palestinian property and the confiscation of EU humanitarian aid were also worrying, Ashton added.

Earlier this month, an EU official said Israel had demolished several EU-funded humanitarian housing shelters in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem.

“The EU calls on the Israeli authorities to reverse these decisions,” Ashton said.

Such events are “not conducive to the climate of trust and cooperation needed for the current peace negotiations to succeed,” she added.

Ashton also said she “condemns the recent killing of an Israeli man in the West Bank and calls for an immediate end to all acts of violence”.

All sides should “show utmost restraint and responsibility in order not to jeopardise the current negotiation process”, she said.

Under an agreement brokered by the US for the resumption of the talks last July, Israel committed to releasing 104 prisoners held since before the 1993 Oslo autonomy accords in four batches.

But in March it cancelled the release of the last group of 26, triggering the ire of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas who retaliated by seeking accession to 15 international treaties and conventions.

‘Wide gap’

The crisis emerged just a month before the deadline of the talks on April 29 and as Washington was striving to extend the negotiations beyond that date.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met separately on Friday with US peace envoy Martin Indyk, a Palestinian source said, a day after five hours of three-way talks failed to bring agreement.

Indyk first met chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat in the West Bank city of Jericho, but no details of their talks were given.

Israeli officials did not respond to requests for information, but media reports said a new tripartite meeting could be held in the coming days.

The previous day’s talks, held in a Jerusalem hotel, were “very difficult”, the Palestinian source said, adding: “The gap… is still wide.”

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said this week that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are striving to reach an agreement to extend their peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli opposition MPs visiting him in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday that if talks were extended, he would want the first three months “devoted to a serious discussion of borders”, Haaretz newspaper reported.

The Palestinians want a state based on the lines that existed before Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Six-Day War.

(Source / 18.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Posted in Politics

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