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Taliban deny contacts with Russia over Daesh militants


KABUL: The Taliban denied reports that representatives had met Russian officials to discuss the common threat from Daesh in Afghanistan as a British newspaper reported that President Vladimir Putin had met the Taliban leader. Last week, a senior Russian official was quoted saying that Russia’s interests “objectively coincided” with the Taliban in the fight against Daesh, which has established a ... Read More »

Brace for retaliation over Qantar’s death, Hezbollah tells Israel


BEIRUT, Lebanon: Hezbollah’s leader said on Sunday that Israel miscalculated by killing prominent militant Samir Qantar in Syria last week, saying that retaliation for his death was inevitable whatever the consequences. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, speaking in a ceremony to mark a week since Qantar’s death, said Israelis should brace themselves for a response either inside Israel or outside. “The response ... Read More »

Ramadi: Anti-Daesh forces close to victory 


BAGHDAD: Daesh terrorists pulled out of their last stronghold in Ramadi Sunday, bringing Iraqi federal forces within sight of their biggest victory since last year’s debacle. Ramadi lies about 100 km west of Baghdad and is the capital of Anbar, which is Iraq’s largest province and borders Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. A victory there would help boost Iraq’s military, ... Read More »

Dozens missing after Myanmar landslide


YANGON: Dozens of people are missing and feared dead after a landslide struck a remote jade mining region in northern Myanmar, the second such incident in a month, officials said Saturday. The landslide occurred Friday in Kachin state’s mining community of Hpakant, said Khin Maung Myint, a local member of the opposition National League for Democracy party. He joined rescue ... Read More »

Houthi terrorists kill more civilians in Taiz, block aid


ADEN: Six civilians were killed and 16 were wounded when Houthi and Salah militias launched artillery shelling on residential neighborhoods in the Yemeni city of Taiz on Saturday. The shelling targeted the neighborhoods of Esefrah, Edh-ha and Thaabat, as the militia continues its siege of all the key city outlets and prevented the entry of medical and relief supplies to ... Read More »

Longest-serving Haram muezzin passes away


MAKKAH: The longest-serving muezzin of the Gand Mosque in Makkah, Mohammed Siraj Ma'arof, died Friday at Al-Noor Specialist Hospital. He took over the job after the death of his father 34 years ago. He was buried at the Al-Ula Cemetery in Makkah after Fajr prayer on Saturday. Read More »

4,000, half of them militants, to leave Damascus suburbs


BEIRUT: Some 4,000 people, half of them fighters, will leave three besieged districts south of Syria’s capital at the weekend as part of a landmark cease-fire, sources told AFP Friday. Daesh and its rival, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, will reportedly quit the districts of Qadam, Hajar Al-Aswad and the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmuk. “An agreement was reached whereby ... Read More »

Stop feeding the beast! American expats rubbish Trump


Riyadh: Americans residing in Saudi Arabia have denounced Republican front runner Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim remarks. Trump has called for a ban on Muslims coming to the US and proposed mass deportations of Muslims, singling Muslims out for surveillance, closing mosques and even forcing American Muslims to register as part of a national database and carry special identification.  Arab ... Read More »

Brunei, Somalia ban Christmas festivities; violators face music


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN/ MOGADISHU: The Sultanate of Brunei and Somalia have banned Christmas festivities. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world’s richest men, announced last year he would push ahead with the introduction of Shariah, eventually including tough penalties. Religious leaders in the country warned this month that a ban on Christmas would be strictly enforced for fear that Muslims ... Read More »

‘Shoot us all … or leave them alone’ 


NAIROBI: There was a sound of gunfire, and the impact of bullets striking steel, and the bus suddenly lurched to a stop just outside the northeastern Kenyan city of El Wak. More than 10 Somali militants clambered on board, heavily armed, witnesses of the Monday attack told the Daily Nation, a Kenyan newspaper. The gunmen began shouting demands at the ... Read More »

Russia rubbishes Amnesty report on civilian deaths


MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday rejected allegations by rights group Amnesty International that Moscow’s strikes in Syria have caused massive civilian casualties, saying its report was made up of “cliches and fakes.”   “We examined this report,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing. “Once again there was nothing concrete or new that was published, only cliches and fakes that ... Read More »

Hyperinflation: Yuan replaces Zimbabwe dollar


HARARE: Zimbabwe has announced a plan to begin using the Chinese yuan as an official currency. The news is just the latest wild twist for the Zimbabwean currency. Six months ago, Zimbabwe’s central bank announced that it was finally phasing out the local currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, after years of hyperinflation had left the currency virtually worthless. Zimbabweans were told ... Read More »

Shelling by Daesh kills 9 students


DAMASCUS: Daesh killed nine Syrian students when they shelled a school in the eastern city of Deir El Zor on Tuesday, SANA reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine girls were killed and another 20 wounded, mostly students from the regime-held district of Hrabesh. “The toll is likely to worsen as some of the injured are in serious ... Read More »

11 migrants including 3 children drown off Turkey


ANKARA: Eleven migrants bound for EU member Greece, including three children, drowned off the Turkish coast on Tuesday when their boat sank in the latest tragedy in the Aegean Sea, Anatolia said. Seven people were rescued in the incident off Turkey’s Aegean Sea resort of Kusadasi but coast guards found the bodies of 11 people, including three children, it added. ... Read More »

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