Muslim World News

Muslim World News

Arab fund cuts off Iraqi debt of $100 mln

By Xinhua, Amman : The Abu-Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund has written off 100 million U.S. dollars out of Iraq's a total of 500 million dollars debt, a visiting Iraqi official revealed here Saturday. Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabr made the confirmation at a press conference after Iraq and the Arab fund signed an agreement in this regard. Many Western nations have dropped Iraqi debt but Sunni Arab neighboring states, wary of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government and its ties with Iran, have been reluctant to follow suit.

Hamas dismisses Rice visit as useless

By Xinhua, Gaza : Islamic Hamas movement on Sunday slammed the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Israel and the West Bank, calling it as useless and a waste of time. Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in a written statement sent to reporters that the visit of Rice and her meetings with Palestinian officials "won't bring anything good for the Palestinian people." "Rice came to the region to exert pressure on President (Mahmoud) Abbas and to spoil the efforts aiming at launching a Palestinian comprehensive dialogue," said Barhoum.

Kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia call on unity among Arabs

By Xinhua, Amman : Kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia stressed that the unification of Arab attitudes and activating joint Arab cooperation are the best way to address the challenges facing the nation and preserve its interests, the Royal Hashemite Court said on Sunday. The two heads made the remarks during Sunday's talks in Jeddah, which focused on the political developments on Arab and regional arenas, efforts to achieve regional peace and stability as well as ways to activate all-round bilateral relations.

Car bomb kills 50 in Iraq

By DPA, Baghdad : A car bomb blast in northern Baghdad left more than 50 people dead and 80 wounded Tuesday, a police source said. "The car that was parked in a garage in al-Hurriya district, north Baghdad, has exploded leaving at least 130 casualties. All of them are civilians," sources told DPA. The bomb ripped through the garage and a bus stop as well as striking an outdoor market and apartments in Hurriya, a predominantly Shia neighbourhood, according to the CNN website.

Somali president escapes roadside bomb attack

By DPA, Mogadishu : A roadside bomb killed three policemen, one of them a senior officer, in Mogadishu Wednesday just minutes after a convoy carrying Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed had driven past. The bomb went off near Al-Mathal school in southern Mogadishu, as an armoured vehicle went past on patrol, instantly killing the head of police in west Mogadishu, officials told DPA. "The commander died in the blast and two other policemen died in the hospital," a government official who requested anonymity, said.

Roadside bomb attacks decline in Iraq

By Xinhua, Washington : Roadside bomb attacks at the Iraq-based U.S. troops declined by nearly 90 percent from the last year, according to a newspaper report on Monday. The USA Today report was released as one more American soldier was killed and five others wounded in an ambush in Baghdad. Citing the Pentagon records and interviews with military leaders, the report said that a total of 11 U.S. troops were killed in May by roadside bomb blasts, compared to 92 in the same month last year.

One British soldier killed in S Afghanistan

By Xinhua, London : British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that one British soldier was killed in a firefight in southern Afghanistan. The soldier from 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment was killed on Tuesday morning during a firefight in Helmand province, the ministry said in a statement. "He was on a deliberate operation against the Taliban in the Upper Sangin Valley when he was fatally wounded," said the ministry, adding that next of kin had been informed.

Iran parliament speaker warns the West over nuclear program

By Xinhua, Tehran : Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned here on Thursday that the West will suffer if it continues to speak with Iran in the language of force, saying that pressuring Iran is a mistake, Iran's Press TV satellite channel reported. Speaking at a commemoration ceremony for the martyrs in a bombing, Larijani accused the western powers of practicing "cruel methods" to curb Iran's technological advancement by unjustly taking advantage of nuclear and human rights issues.

Suicide bomber kills 15, wounds 17 west of Baghdad

By Xinhua, Ramadi, Iraq : A suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of tribal leaders and local officials in Anbar province on Thursday, killing 15 people and wounding 17 others, a provincial police source said. The attacker blew up his explosive-belt in the building of the municipal council of the town of Garmah, near the city of Fallujah, when Sunni Arab tribal leaders and local officials were holding a meeting there, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Jordan, Britain sign nuclear co-op memorandum

By Xinhua, Amman : Jordan entered into a preliminary nuclear accord on Sunday with Britain in a bid to take advantage of the latter's expertise to facilitate its civil nuclear program, a senior Jordanian official said. Chairman of Jordan Atomic Energy Commission Khalid Touqan told reporters that the U.K. and Jordan have agreed in a memorandum to join efforts to promote "the establishment of a reliable source of nuclear fuel for future civilian light water nuclear reactors" in the energy scarce kingdom.

UAE gas company announces new oil discovery in Egypt

By Xinhua, Abu Dhabi : Dana Gas of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the largest private-sector natural gas company in the Middle East, announced on Sunday that it has made a new oil discovery in its concessions in Egypt. The new discovery by the Sharjah-based Dana Gas is the company's first discovery in its major drilling campaign in 2008, according to a press release by the company. "This is the first discovery for Dana Gas in its major drilling campaign for this year," said Ahmed Rashid Al Arbeed, the company's Executive Director for Upstream.

Blast at Iran gas canister centre, 15 feared dead

By SPA, Tehran : An explosion at a gas distribution company in a town near the Iranian capital was thought to have killed 15 people, Iran's Fars news agency said on Monday. The cause of the blast late on Sunday was not immediately clear, but Fars said a large number of gas canisters used in homes for cooking had exploded. "It is not yet clear if (the blast) was intentional or not," Fars reported, adding that the explosion occurred at a gas company in a suburb of Karaj, west of Tehran.

Syria returns princeless archeological artifact to Iraq

By NNN-SANA, Damascus : Syrian Minister of Culture Dr Riadh Naasan Agha has handed over here a priceless archeological artifact to the Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Archeology Mohammad Abbas al-Uraibi. The artifact was confiscated by Syrian authorities while it was being smuggled from Iraq to Syria. The artifact, 100 cm high and 40 cm wide, is part of the Nimrod Temple, which is located in northern Iraq, near al-Mosul. It depicts the Assyrian Nimrod engraved on a type of stone that stores light during the day, making it glow in the dark.

Arab League Chief optimistic that Lebanese cabinet will be formed within hours

By NNN-KUNA, Cairo : Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa expressed on Saturday his optimism that the awaited Lebanese cabinet would be formed within hours, saying that there were "serious indications" in this regard. He clarified in a press release that talks being held on this matter were back on track and were headed toward a mutual agreement. Moussa received and made intensive phone calls with several Arab and Lebanese parties of concern, noting that he sensed "real progress" towards forming Lebanon's cabinet and expecting to wrap up this debate within hours.

Al-Assad stresses necessity of intensifying efforts to realise Palestinian unity

By NNN-SANA, Damascus : President Bashar al-Assad has stressed the necessity of intensifying efforts to realise Palestinian unity, saying that "national unity among Palestinians is the only way for them to regain rights and achieve aspirations in the establishment of a Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital." Al-Assad held two meetings with President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas on the situation in Palestine and the peace process.

U.S. condemns car bomb attack near Indian embassy in Kabul

By Xinhua, Toyako, Japan : The United States on Monday condemned the suicide bomb attack near India's embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul, which killed at least 28 people. "We condemn this needless act of violence, and offer our sincere condolences to those injured and especially to those families who lost loved ones," said U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe. At least 28 people were killed and 141 others injured in the suicide attack near the Indian embassy in Kabul Monday morning, according to an Afghan Health Ministry spokesman.

Remembering the diplomat son lost to a terror strike

By IANS, Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh) : A day after the suicide bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, a pall of gloom enveloped the house of V. Venkateshwara Rao, an Indian diplomat who lost his life along with 43 others. "He told me over phone that he will come to celebrate his birthday on Aug 26 and take us to Delhi, where we will live together," Rao's father Vadapalli Appalacharyulu said as tears roll down his cheeks. "He also wanted to know what he should bring for me from Kabul," Appalacharyulu added.

Israel officially confirms signing of prisoners swap deal with Hezbollah

By KUNA, Gaza : Israel has officially confirmed the signing of a deal to exchange prisoners with Hezbollah, the Israeli radio reported on Monday. The radio quoted sources in the Cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that Ofir Dekkel, the official in charge of the file of prisoners and missing soldiers, and the UN envoy Gerhard Conard signed the deal.

Israel to close crossings with Gaza Strip – source

By KUNA, Gaza : Israel announced Monday evening that it would be closing all crossings linking it with the Gaza Strip. Haaretz newspaper said on its website that an Israel military source has affirmed that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the closure of the three crossings providing Gaza with its needs of food and vital supplies. The decision was taken after mortar shells fell on the Karni crossing without causing any casualties.

Explosion in Gaza kills 2

By SPA, Gaza City, Gaza Strip : An explosion went off early Tuesday at a Hamas training camp in Gaza, killing two members of the group and wounding three, a Palestinian health official and Hamas said. The Israeli military said it was not involved, according to a report of the Associated Press. The blast came during a three-week-old truce between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel.

Terrorism cannot be fought only by using force: Gilani

By IANS, Kuala Lumpur : Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has spoken of "a new, multi-pronged strategy" to combat terrorism at home, making it clear that it could not be won only by using force. Stressing the need for a political dialogue with the pro-Taliban tribals and militants who have been battling the government for long, Gilani told the New Straits Times: "The fight against terrorism cannot be won merely through short-term military, legislative or administrative measures."

Iran urges UN to help free kidnapped diplomats

By NNN-FNA, Tehran : Iran is seeking the assistance of the United Nations to help secure the release of four Iranian diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon in 1982. Tehran believes the four - three diplomats and a journalist - are being kept in Israel, but the Zionist regime has so far denied holding the four.

Palestinian officials to Washington amid low expectations for peace

By Joe Macaron, KUNA, Washington : Palestinian negotiators arrive to Washington on Tuesday to hold talks with US officials in what could be a last bid to overcome the stalemate in a peace process that seems out of reach before the end of the year. "The meeting in Washington is to talk to the Americans about what can be achieved before President George W. Bush leaves office," said the Director of Middle East Democracy at Brookings Tamara Cofman Wittes in an interview with KUNA. "It is impossible and too complicated to get a final status agreement before next January," she added.

22 PKK rebels killed in operation in SE Turkey

By Xinhua, Ankara : A total of 22 rebels of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) were killed in the operations staged by the Turkish security forces in Sirnak province in southeastern Turkey in the past four days, a Turkish military statement said on Tuesday.  

Palestinian officials arrive in Washington amid low expectations for peace

By NNN-KUNA, Washington : Palestinian negotiators have arrived here to hold talks with US officials in what could be a last bid to overcome the stalemate in a peace process that seems out of reach before the end of the year. "The meeting in Washington is to talk to the Americans about what can be achieved before President George W. Bush leaves office," said Director of Middle East Democracy at Brookings, Tamara Cofman Wittes in an interview with KUNA. "It is impossible and too complicated to get a final status agreement before next January," she added.

Concerns over Darfur escalation after war crime charges

By Michael Logan, DPA, Nairobi/Khartoum : The official levelling of war crimes charges against Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir has been welcomed in many quarters, but fears remain that the decision could cause an escalation of violence in Darfur and more misery for millions of long-suffering displaced Darfuris.

Israel, Hezbollah swap prisoners

By DPA, Tel Aviv/Beirut : A long-anticipated exchange of prisoners between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah got underway Wednesday morning, with officials of the radical Shia organization handing over the bodies of two Israeli soldiers to Red Cross officials on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel. Two black vehicles brought the two black coffins, confirming long speculation about the fate of the two soldiers kidnapped two years ago by Hezbollah.

China to participate in Geneva talks on Iran

By Xinhua, Beijing : China Thursday announced that it would send a senior diplomat to Geneva to attend the international talks on Iranian nuclear standoff slated for Saturday. Assistant Fforeign Minister Liu Jieyi will represent China in the talks which will primarily be between Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said here Thursday. Diplomats from the US, Russia, Britain, France and Germany will also attend the talks as observors.

Bush, Maliki, agree on ‘time horizon’ for US troop cut

By AFP, Tucson, Arizona : US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have agreed to set a "time horizon" for US troop withdrawals as part of a long-term security pact, the White House said Friday. But any reduction in the US force presence "would be based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal," spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.

UN-AU Darfur mediator arrives in Khartoum

By NNN-KUNA, Khartoum : Joint mediator of the UN and African Union (AU) to Darfur Djibril Yipene Bassole arrived here Saturday for talks with Sudanese officials on the situations in the troubled province, and Khartoum's efforts to enforce peace and stability in the western province. Minister of state at the Sudanese foreign ministry Ali Karti told reporters Bassole's two-day visit, the first since assuming his mediator's post, was to get acquainted with the situation in general in Darfur.

Obama arrives in Baghdad

By IRNA, Baghdad : US Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad on Monday, on the second stage of a major foreign tour. Obama, who is visiting as part of a Congressional delegation, will meet senior Iraqi officials and US military leaders. "Afghanistan had to be the central focus of the war on terror," Obama said during his visit to Afghanistan on Sunday.

UAE’s Air Arabia celebrates 10 million passenger mark

By NNN-WAM, Sharjah : Air Arabia has announced that it has flown more than 10 million passengers since its launch in October 2003. The carrier passed the mark at the end of June 2008. In the first half of 2008, Air Arabia carried more than 1.6 million passengers, an increase of 33 per cent compared to 1.2 million passengers in the corresponding period last year. Passenger average load factor -- passengers carried as a proportion of available seats -- for the first half of 2008 stood at 86 per cent, a 3 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

U.S. troops capture suspect linked to Iranian-backed Shiite militants

By Xinhua, Baghdad : U.S. soldiers captured a suspected propaganda specialist affiliated to Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen during a raid on his house in southeastern Baghdad on Monday, the U.S. military said. Based on intelligence reports, the troops raided the house of the suspect who believed to be affiliated with the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq in the Baghdad al-Jadida neighborhood, or New Baghdad, a military statement said.

Coalition soldier, several militants killed in Afghanistan

By KUNA, KabulA soldier of the US-led coalition troops died of wounds he had suffered during a roadside bomb blast in Helmand province of Afghanistan. A statement from the coalition forces' Bagram base said the soldier died this (Monday) morning. His identity and nationality were not released. Earlier in the day, the NATO-ISAF had also announced the death of one of its soldiers in fighting in the southeastern province of Khost.

U.S. Secretary of State Rice starts visit to UAE

By Xinhua, Abu Dhabi : U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday arrived in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), starting a two-day visit to the Gulf oil-exporting country, the official Emirates News Agency reported. Rice held talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crownprince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, over bilateral relations between the two countries and a series of regional issues.

Several militants killed in Afghanistan — coalition

By KUNA, Kabul : The US-led coalition troops announced Wednesday the killing of several militants during an operation in Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan in an operation conducted in Said Abad district, along the Kabul-Kandahar Highway. "Coalition forces searched several compounds in Said Abad targeting a Taliban commander suspected of conducting attacks on coalition forces, including the June 26 attack in Wardak resulting in the deaths of three coalition service members and an Afghan interpreter," said a coalition statement.

Hamas launches crackdown against Fatah following Gaza blasts

By Xinhua, Gaza : Hamas forces launched a crackdown on supporters and charities linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement in Gaza Strip early Saturday following a mysterious blast that killed a number of Hamas people. Among the detainees was a colonel working in the pro-Abbas intelligence service and a cameraman works for the German ARD television.

Musharraf to attend Beijing Olympics opening ceremony: spokesman

By IRNA, Islamabad : Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will be visiting China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on August 8, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. Briefing newsmen in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said the President will visit China at the invitation from the Chinese Government. The President will also hold meetings with the Chinese leadership including President Hu Jintao, the spokesman said.

Pakistan army again open fire on Indian side

By IRNA, Srinagar, India : Pakistani forces again opened firing on Indian troops in the Nariya post, in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, Wednesday. No casualty reported so far. Earlier, on Monday evening at least 12 Pakistani troops crossed into Indian territory and opened fire in the Lepa Valley of Nawgam sector in Kupwara district killing an Indian jawan. Indian forces returned the fire driving the intruders back. Four of the intruders were reportedly killed in the exchange of firing.

Mullah Omar Operates Taliban From Pakistan

By Bernama, New Delhi : Taliban's reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is believed by Afghan and Western officials, to be running the militant organisation from his base near Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province in Pakistan. Mullah Omar runs a shadow government, complete with military, religious and cultural councils, and has appointed officials and commanders to virtually every Afghan province and district, just as he did when he ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban claim, PTI quoted the New York Times as saying Monday.

IAEA official due in Tehran Thursday – spokesman

By NNN-IRNA, Vienna : The United Nations nuclear watchdog's deputy director general, Olli Heinonen, is to visit Iran on Thursday, an IAEA spokesman said. Talking to IRNA Wednesday, the spokesman did not say how long Heinonen would stay in Iran. Heinonen is the International Atomic Energy Agency's deputy director-general for regional department of safeguards operation. He visited Iran in May.

Indians now number around 420,000 in Qatar

By IANS, Dubai : The population of expatriate Indians in Qatar stood at 419,096 as of July 31, more than double that of the local Qatari population, a minister said. The country's Minister of State for Interior Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani revealed the figure in the course of a meeting with India's Ambassador to Qatar George Joseph, the Gulf Times newspaper reported. The meeting was part of a series of farewell calls the ambassador is making prior to his departure from the Gulf nation.

UAE commits $10 million to nuclear fuel reserve proposal

By NNN-WAM, Abu Dhabi : The United Arab Emirates has contributed $10 million towards a fuel bank proposal originally launched by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in 2006.

Dhaka, Malaysia to sign money laundering pact

By IANS, Dhaka : Bangladesh is to seal a pact with Malaysia on sharing information over money laundering, a newspaper report here said. The Bangladesh Bank and Bank Negara Malaysia, the central banks of the two countries, will sign the agreement Monday, the the New Age newspaper reported. Bangladesh also wants similar agreements with several countries including India. The central bank is also trying to join the Egmont Group, an organisation of financial intelligence units, to share information on and combat money laundering and terror financing.

Dhaka prepares bailout package for industries

By IANS, Dhaka : The Bangladesh government will unveil a cash subsidy package ranging between Taka 25 billion and 30 billion ($357-427 million) to export-oriented industries hit by the global meltdown, a minister said. "Only the affected exporters will be given bailout assistance from the package, and it may be Tk 2,500 crore to Tk 3,000 crore," Commerce Minister Faruk Khan told media Wednesday. Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith said the recession package would be announced before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves for Saudi Arabia on an official visit April 22.

Cyclone Bijli hits Bangladesh coast

By DPA, Dhaka : Cyclone Bijli hit the Bangladeshi coast late Friday night, but the tropical storm had weaken slightly before reaching the southeastern shoreline, officials said. A Bangladesh meteorological department statement said that the cyclone - with a wind speed of 90 km per hour - would take five to six hours to cross the coast. Several thousand inhabitants of islands in the Bay of Bengal were already evacuated earlier Friday, ahead of the storm.

US ready to help Pakistan disrupt Taliban supply lines

By Arun Kumar, IANS, Washington : The US says it is working closely with the intelligence services of Pakistan and other countries to disrupt the weapons supply lines of Taliban extremists posing a threat to other nations as well. "Yes, we know that the extremists are being supplied," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday at her first briefing for the foreign media through what was billed as a global press conference.

Anti-Taliban cleric among 12 killed in Pakistan blasts

By DPA, Islamabad : A prominent cleric who supported the military offensive against the Taliban in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley was killed Friday along with 11 other people in two separate mosque bombings in the militancy-plagued country, officials said. The explosions came a day after security forces repulsed a militant raid on the residence of a regional army commander in the northwestern region, killing two attackers and arresting five after a shoot-out.

Taliban commander among six killed in Pakistan

By IANS, Islamabad : At least six militants, including a Taliban commander, were killed in two separate clashes in northwest Pakistan, Geo TV said Friday. The report said the security forces bombed two Taliban hideouts Thursday in the Chapri Feroz Khel and Atman Khel areas, killing at least six militants including a local Taliban commander. In separate developments Thursday, the Pakistani forces also captured several Taliban militants during fighting in Orakzai, South Waziristan and Kurrum regions, officials said.

24 kids die after taking paracetamol in Bangladesh

By IANS, Dhaka : A private pharmaceutical firm in Bangladesh was ordered to be sealed after 24 children died on consuming paracetamol suspension, an official said. The drug administration ordered the firm to suspend manufacturing and marketing of their products including vitamin and paracetamol suspension, New Age said Thursday. The government ordered a seven-member committee to probe the cause of deaths.

Two more British soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By DPA, London : Two more British soldiers have died in separate bomb blasts in Afghanistan, bringing the total killed there so far this month to 22, the defence ministry in London said Monday. It said one of the men who died was taking part in the second stage of Operation Panther's Claw, the US-led offensive in southern Afghanistan. Both deaths occurred Monday. July has proved the "bloodiest" month so far for British troops in Afghanistan, where 191 service personnel have now died since operations began in 2001.

Pakistan checking reports on Baitullah Mehsud’s death

By DPA, Islamabad : A Pakistani security official said late Wednesday the intelligence agencies were trying to confirm reports that Taliban head Baitullah Mehsud had died in a suspected US missile strike that killed his wife in tribal region near Afghan border. "We have been busy for hours to check the information coming from the area that Baitullah also died with his wife," a local intelligence officer said on condition of anonymity. "Whether confirmation or disconfirmation will definitely be available in next couple of hours," he added.

Will fraud mar credibility of Afghan elections?

By DPA, Kabul : Afghanistan observers say they expect irregularities in the voting for Thursday's presidential elections but added that their concern lies in whether the problems would rise to a level that would impact the credibility of the balloting.

Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud is alive, says rebel commander

By IANS, Wana (Pakistan) : A commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Monday said his organisation will select a new chief in the next five days according to the instruction of their leader Baitullah Mehsud, a media report said. Waliur Rehman, commander of the group in South Waziristan, said: "We have thousands of suicide attackers, who can destroy their (government) targets anywhere." He added that Baitullah Mehsud is alive, but seriously ill. "Baitullah Mehsud has entrusted the organisation's affairs to me two months back," he said.

Curbs lifted on A.Q. Khan’s movements: Lawyer

By IANS, Islamabad : A court has ordered the government to remove any restrictions on Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan who was accused of running an illegal proliferation network, a lawyer said Friday. Khan's lawyer, Ali Zafar, said the Lahore High Court ruled Friday that "nobody can restrict the movement of Abdul Qadeer Khan". "It is excellent and heart warming and very gratifying," Dawn quoted Khan as saying. "I think the people who have been involved in playing mischief with me will get the message and allow me to live a peaceful, private life as a citizen."

Spain mulls sending more troops to Afghanistan

By EFE, Madrid : Spain is considering whether post-electoral security conditions in Afghanistan require an increase in the contingent that Madrid has deployed to the war-ravaged nation, Defence Minister Carme Chacon has said. Spain is waiting to find out if there will be a second round of voting to decide whether to extend the presence of the so-called electoral battalion for another month. More than 1,300 Spanish troops are serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, including 450 sent to bolster security for the Aug 20 general elections.

Three killed in Indonesia police raid

By DPA, Jakarta : Indonesian police killed four suspected Islamic militants Thursday in a siege on a house in Central Java province, media reports said. Police began surrounding the house before midnight Wednesday on the outskirts of Solo city after arresting a man at a nearby market, the state-run Antara news agency said. Police fired shots and killed four people in the house, including a woman, TVOne reported.

Third UN team arrives to probe Benazir killing

By IANS, Islamabad : A third UN team has arrived here to probe the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The six-member team is scheduled to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders, as also officials of the interior ministry and the law enforcement agencies. Pakistan had earlier this year sought a UN probe into Bhuttto's killing after its own investigations and one by Scotland Yard failed to make headway.

US Congress set to vote on Pakistan aid with ‘no terror’ conditions

By Arun Kumar, IANS, Washington, Sep 30 (IANS) The US Congress is set to take the final step to triple non-military aid to Pakistan, but with stringent conditions demanding action against extremist groups on its soil and preventing attacks on neighbouring countries, namely India. Though the bill scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives Wednesday does not mention India so as not to hurt Islamabad's sensitivities, it specifically lists extremist movements Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the outfit behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Egypt doubts soon resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

By RIA Novosti, Cairo : The Egyptian foreign minister said he doubts that the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis would be resumed in the nearest future. "I strongly doubt that the talks between the two sides will resume soon," Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit said after his meeting with the White House Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, in Cairo. The top Egyptian diplomat said that Mitchell, who is currently on a Mideast tour, is only forming a platform for the resumption of talks.

Afghan poll review panel completes probe in fraud charges

By DPA, Kabul: A UN-backed Election Complaints Commission announced Monday its verdict on contested ballots from the Aug 20 Afghan presidential election, but it was not known if the rulings would push the country to a runoff vote. "The ECC has finalised all of its decisions with respect to polling and counting for the presidential elections and has officially communicated them to the IEC," the election panel said in a statement.

Afghan provincial governor escapes assassination attempt

By DPA, Kabul : The governor of the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar escaped unhurt Monday when an attacker opened fire on his convoy, a government spokesman said. Gul Agha Sherzai was en route to the provincial capital Jalalabad when an assailant equipped with a rifle and hand grenades attacked his convoy, the governor's spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said. "The governor and his team were not harmed in the firing," he said, adding that security forces captured the attacker.

Pakistani PM assures free media, package for Balochistan province

By NNN-APP, Islamabad : Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday categorically opposed any curbs on media and assured the National Assembly that media would not be gagged through any draconian law. “I direct the Information Minister not to accept any amendments that curb media and to ensure that media performs freely,” he said in a statement on floor of the House. “I feel it imperative to take the House into confidence on the government policy that no such amendments be introduce that bar the media from freely functioning,” he added.

Suicide bombing kills 16 in Peshawar

By IANS, Peshawar : Yet another terror attack took place here Thursday when a suicide bomber struck at a court complex, killing at least 16 people and injuring 25. This was the ninth terror strike in the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province since early October. District Coordination Officer Sahibzada Anis said that a suicide bomber wanted to enter the complex of courts on the city's busy Khyber Road, but the police stopped him. The bomber resisted and later detonated his bomb, he said.

Pakistani court seeks report on US agency Black Water

By IANS, Lahore : The Lahore High Court has sought a detailed reply from the government on an application alleging that US security agency Black Water was indulging in illegal activities in Pakistan and had a hand in the recent bomb blasts in Peshawar. Holding there was possibility that Black Water was behind the Peshawar terror acts, the petition, filed by advocate Zafarullah, has asked that it be banned, Online news agency reported Friday.

Suicide bombing at volleyball match kills 95 in Pakistan

By DPA, Islamabad : At least 95 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), with many children feared to be among the victims. More than 100 people were injured in Friday's attack, which took place at a volleyball match in Shah Hassan Khan village, some 30 km south of Lakki Marwat town. Mohammad Ayub Khan, the district police chief, said the bomber detonated his explosives-laden car near the sporting field where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the match.

Israel remains ‘close friend,’ says UK

By IRNA, London : The British government is seeking to reassure the Israeli regime that it remains a key ally despite threats that its leaders face prospect of being arrested for alleged war crimes if they visit the UK. “Israel continues to be a strategic partner and a close friend of the UK. We shall continue to foster a close relationship with Israel and are determined to protect and develop these ties,” Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis told MPs.

Rana, Headley also planned to blow up Danish daily

By IANS, Chicago : Two Pakistani origin men, Tahawwur Rana and his associate David Coleman Headley, indicted for the Mumbai terror attacks, also planned to use truck bomb filled with explosives to blow up a Danish newspaer. A fresh indictment against Rana and Headley unsealed in a Chicago court Thursday also charges retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of terrorist organisation Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) in Pakistan described as having been in regular contact with Al Qaeda's No. 3, Sheikh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid.

Suicide bombing kills 10 in Pakistan

By DPA, Islamabad : At least 10 tribal policemen were killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a security convoy in Pakistan's northwestern region near the Afghan border, officials said Wednesday. Fifteen policemen were injured in the bombing that took place in the Khyber Agency tribal district. The suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a vehicle carrying the policemen along a main highway leading to Afghanistan, said Manzoor Ahmad, an official of the local administration.

Zardari wants partners help Pakistan

By IRNA, Islamabad : Asif Ali Zardari has said Pakistan looks forward to its partners in this war to assist the country in overcoming over difficulties so that the goal of democratically elected government to meet the expectations of the people of Pakistan could be achieved. "Pakistan needs trade and market access for its product in order to set its economy on the path of stability and prosperity," the President said during meeting with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Halbrooke, the Presidential spokesamn said.

Jordan confirms receiving NATO request to train Afghan army

By DPA, Amman : The Jordanian government Wednesday confirmed that it had received an official request from the NATO alliance to train the Afghan army. "We have received a request for training Afghan policemen and we are still studying it," Minister of State for Media Affairs Nabil Sharif said at a press conference.

One killed, several trapped in Bangladesh coal mine accident

By IANS, Dhaka : A miner was killed and several others remained trapped Tuesday in a coal mine accident in northern Bangladesh, a media report said. The accident took place about 400 metres underground in Barapukuria coal mine at Dinajpur in northern Bangladesh. The dead was identified as Ranjit, The Daily Star reported on its website. Sources at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd said 13 workers were trapped when a roof collapsed around 8.30 a.m. Eight workers were rescued and rushed to the company's hospital. The body of Ranjit was also recovered.

Nobel laureate accusing Israel of ‘slow genocide’

By IRNA, London : Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire has accused Israel of committing “slow genocide” against the Palestinian people after being forcefully prevented from delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. “Gaza has been cut off from the world for over three years. The people of Gaza don't have enough basic things for their needs,” 66-year old Maguire said after being deported by Israel with four other Irish activists aboard the MV Rachel Corrie.

Bangladesh’s political rivals woo China

By IANS, Dhaka : Setting aside their political rivalry, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia have urged the visiting Chinese vice president to forge stronger economic ties and military cooperation with Dhaka. Meeting Xi Jinping separately Tuesday, they covered similar issues, seeking a bridging of trade gap that is several times in favour of China and Beijing's entry in strategic areas like space and port building.

UAE’s non-oil trade up 7 percent

By IANS/WAM, Abu Dhabi: The UAE's non-oil foreign trade grew by 7 percent to Dh 56.04 billion (around $15 bn) in April this year as compared to Dh 52.34 billion in 2009. "Non-oil exports saw a 42 percent rise to Dh 6.45 billion in April 2010 from Dh 4.55 billion in same month last year. Re-exports surged 12 percent to Dh 12.31 billion from Dh 10.95 billion while imports rose slightly by 1 percent to Dh 37.3 billion from Dh 36.84 billion," the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) has said.

UAE seeks investment in non-oil sector

By IANS/WAM, Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to promote investment in non-oil sectors to boost the country's economic diversification process. The decision to place the emphasis on goods, resources and services was set to bring about a further increase in the non-oil-related contribution to the GDP of the country, said Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna bin Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi. "The UAE always works to bolster revenue sources via diversification and is attracting most of the foreign investment flows to the region," she said.

Giant unmanned airships to patrol Afghanistan skies

By IANS, London : Giant unmanned airships that can fly for up to three weeks at a time could soon be providing cover for British soldiers in Afghanistan, a media report said Monday. The LEMV (long endurance multi intelligence vehicle) is being developed by a team of British and American engineers and will give troops on the ground valuable surveillance information, Daily Mail reported on its website. The helium-filled drone will, when it takes to the skies sometime next summer, become the world's longest endurance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).

US unable to account for $8.7 bn in Iraqi funds

By IANS, Washington : US Defence Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1-billion fund earmarked for reconstruction of Iraq between 2004 and 2007, an audit report has said. According to Los Angeles Times, the reconstruction money was from oil revenue the Pentagon was entrusted with and the report underscores a pattern of poor record-keeping during the period.

Pakistan flood causes crop loss worth $2.35 bn

By IANS, Islamabad : Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said the devastating floods in the country have affected 2.6 million acres of cultivated land, with the loss of crops worth $2.35 billion. Zardari, while addressing a meeting of the country's banking sector Thursday, said Pakistan is facing a huge loss of human lives and infrastructure due to the floods and around 75 districts have been badly affected, Xinhua reported.

Malaysian PM vows to fight racism and extremism

By IANS, Kuala Lumpur : Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has vowed to fight "racism and extremism" and appealed for public cooperation by being "calm and rational".

Pakistan welcomes additional assistance for flood victims

By DPA, Islamabad: Pakistan Monday welcomed the additional 185 million dollars of flood aid announced on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Israeli illegal settlements ‘highly provocative,’ says UK minister

By IRNA, London : Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell has accused the Israeli regime of being “highly provocative” by continuing to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories.

Loans worth Rs.62 bn written off, Pakistan court told

By IANS, Islamabad : Loans worth over Rs.62 billion granted to top business firms had been written off over a 12-year period, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) told the Supreme Court.

Briton MP stabbed ‘in revenge for Iraq war’, court told

By IRNA, London : A woman stabbed Labour MP and former minister Stephen Timms twice at his east London constituency in revenge for his vote for the Iraq war, it was claimed in court Monday.

Malaysia top favorite ‘halal holiday’ destination

By IINA, Jeddah : Malaysia tops the world’s favorite destinations for Muslim travelers, according to a survey released on Tuesday. The United Arab Emirates and Turkey...

KABUL, Afghanistan, February 08, SPA -- Bitter cold, nowstorms and avalanches have killed at least 654 people in Afghanistan this winter, a government official said. Weather-related incidents have also left 84 people injured and killed at least 100,000 cattle, said Abdul Matin Edrak, head of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Commission. Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries and is largely mountainous, with winter temperatures often plunging well below freezing, the Associated Press reported.

Kuwait opens door for first batch of Police Women Institute cadets

By NNN-KUNA, Kuwait : Kuwaiti Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah has issued a decree to open the door for the first batch of cadets of its Police Women Institute. The decree constitutes a landmark move in the history of the Kuwait police force, director-general of Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Science Youssef Al-Madhahka told reporters here Monday. "This is a qualitative move in supporting and rehabilitating the human resources of the Interior Ministry so that they could meet all security needs.

Eight security personnel killed in Peshawar blast

By IANS, Peshawar : Eight security personnel were killed when an abandoned car they sought to check exploded on the outskirts of Pakistan's Peshawar city Saturday. Residents of Badahber village had alerted the police to the car parked on a roadside with a man's body inside. As the police team approached it, the vehicle blew up, the authorities said. A media report identified the dead as five policemen and three Frontier Constabulary soldiers. At least six people were injured. Dawn News quoted a police official as saying that a remote-controlled bomb was planted in the car.
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