Muslim World News

Muslim World News

Israeli minister justifies decision against toppling Hamas

Jerusalem : Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday his country took the right decision to refraining from toppling the Hamas regime during the recent Gaza war.

"It would have been a mistake to instruct the army to oust Hamas... all the cabinet ministers understood that it wasn't worth removing them from power," Ya'alon told a defence conference in Tel Aviv, according to an audio recording released by his office.

US slaps sanctions on Pakistan-based terror groups

Washington : The US Tuesday targeted two terrorist groups based in Pakistan by slapping sanctions on their leader and financial supporters.

The Department of Treasury branded Fazl-ur Rehman Khalil, the leader of Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HuM), and Muhammad Naeem Sheikh and Umair Naeem Sheikh, two alleged financial supporters of Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT), as specially designated global terrorists, Xinhua reported.

Hamas wants Islamic state on all Palestinian lands: Official

Gaza : A senior Hamas official announced Tuesday that his movement still believes in establishing an Islamic state on all the lands of Palestine.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, the Hamas strongman, said in a ceremony to honour police officers killed in the last Israeli offensive on Gaza that "we don't want to establish an Islamic emirate in Gaza; we want an Islamic state in all Palestine", Xinhua reported.

Iraq: Kurds launch offensive against three IS positions

Mosul (Iraq) : Kurdish fighters, known as the Peshmerga, launched an offensive against three positions of the Islamic State (IS) jihadi group in northern Iraq Tuesday and retook lost territory, sources told Spanish news agency Efe.

Peshmerga spokesman Helgurd Hikmet said that the Kurds made progress in the town of Rabia near the Iraqi-Syrian border where they regained control of several villages, including Zumar on the outskirts of of Mosul, and Daquq, south of Kirkuk city.

Over 230 killed in Syria since launch of US-led attacks

Beirut : At least 233 people have died in Syria since the airstrikes launched by the US-led international coalition against Islamic State (IS) positions, the manager of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Rami Abderrahman, told Spanish news agency Efe Tuesday.

Abderrahman said during a phone conversation that at least 211 jihadis had died since Sep 23 when the coalition started its bombardments in Syria.

The activist added that this figure includes at least 60 members of the Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Libyan Islamist alliance rejects reconciliation talks

Tripoli : Libyan Islamist armed alliance Libya Dawn Tuesday rejected the UN-brokered reconciliation talks with the Libyan parliament, sticking to a "military solution" to the current crisis in Libya.

According to a statement issued by its information office, Libya Dawn said it will not stop its military operations until all "counter-revolutionaries" are hunted down and accused the internationally recognised parliament, now exiled in the eastern town of Tobruk, of masterminding airstrikes against the Libyan people, Xinhua reported.

Israeli settlers seize houses in east Jerusalem

Jerusalem : Dozens of Jewish settlers, escorted by heavy police force, took over at least seven empty buildings in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem Tuesday.

The buildings are located in the Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood of Silwan, only some 300 metres across from the volatile area of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and the Jewish Western Wall, Xinhua reported.

A few Palestinian youths hurled stones at the force.

One of them attempted to enter one of the seized buildings, but failed.

IS releases third video of British hostage

Beirut : The Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical organisation has published a third video of British journalist and hostage John Cantlie in which he criticizes US President President Barack Obama's strategy against the militants.

Cantlie, in the five-and-half-minute-long recording, introduces himself as "the British citizen that was abandoned by his government and a long-term prisoner of the Islamic State".

Afghanistan, NATO sign agreement

Kabul : The Afghanistan government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Tuesday signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) here.

Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security Mohammad Hanif Atmar and NATO's senior civilian representative to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems signed the agreement, Xinhua reported.

Under the agreement, a limited number of NATO forces, probably more than 2,000 service members, would remain in Afghanistan after the 2014 pullout of troops to provide training and advice to Afghan security forces.

Afghanistan, US sign Bilateral Security Agreement

Kabul : Afghanistan and the US Tuesday signed the long-awaited Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to allow a limited number of troops to remain in Afghanistan after the drawdown later this year of the NATO-led troops in the country.

Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security Mohammad Hanif Atmar and US Ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments, Xinhua reported.

Under the agreement, the US would keep around 10,000 military service members in Afghanistan to train and advise the Afghan security forces.