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More than 100 migrants missing after boat sinks off Libya coast

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

More than 100 undocumented migrants remain unaccounted for after their boat sank off the Libyan coast, the Libyan navy announced Thursday. A naval patrol managed to rescue 30 migrants who had been aboard the doomed vessel, which, survivors said, had sunk off the coast of Libya’s Sidi Said area west of capital Tripoli, navy spokesman Bahar Ayoub Qasim told Anadolu Agency. Qasim quoted survivors as saying that the boat had taken on water and eventually sank after running out of fuel Friday. The rescued migrants are of various African nationalities, he said, noting that the navy was still working to recover the bodies of victims. Since the collapse of central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s Mediterranean coast has become […]

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UN team to collect evidence of Islamic State crimes in Iraq

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday approved the creation of a UN investigative team to collect, preserve and store evidence in Iraq of acts by Islamic State that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a British-drafted resolution, after months of negotiations with Iraq, that asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a team “to support domestic efforts” to hold the militants accountable. Use of the evidence collected by the team in other venues, such as international courts, would “be determined in agreement with the Government of Iraq on a case by case basis.” UN experts said in June last year that Islamic State was committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the minority religious […]

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Gabriel: Germany will strive to save Iran nuclear deal

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Germany will do all it can to persuade the United States not to abandon the Iranian nuclear agreement, whatever the outcome of German elections on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday. Gabriel told reporters any US move to cancel the Iran deal and impose new sanctions on Tehran would discourage powers such as North Korea from negotiating an end to their own nuclear programmes. Germany would work with the European Union, France, Britain and where possible China and Russia to press Washington to preserve the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear work in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, he said on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are poised […]

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8 Arab nationals arrested in India for marrying children and abusing them

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad have arrested five Omani and three Qatari nationals who had arrived in the city to select minor Indian girls as their brides. The police have also arrested three Qadis (Muslim judges), including a chief Qadi of Mumbai who allegedly prepared fake certificates for such marriages. The legal age of marriage for Indian girls is 18 years. Another 35 people have been identified as middlemen who facilitated meetings between Arab Sheikhs and poor Indian families who were ready to get their daughters married off to older foreigners in exchange for a sum of money. Hyderabad police say they were in the know about the alleged child bride racket but were unable to take stern action due to a lack of cooperation from victims’ families and witnesses who were willing to testify. However, they found a major lead […]

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UK: Balfour Declaration was a catastrophe

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Britain acknowledges that the Balfour Declaration was a Nakba, or catastrophe, for the Palestinians, the government’s Arabic spokesman Edwin Samuel has said. In a television interview with Al-Ghad Al-Araby television station, Samuel maintained that apologising and recognising the State of Palestine is detrimental to the settlement of the conflict. “Britain’s position is that an apology and recognition of an unrealised Palestinian state does not help the situation,” he said. British policy has been consistent for a long time; two independent states, with justice and security as a result of direct negotiations between the parties. “Britain maintains its position that East Jerusalem is an occupied city,” he added. “There is no alternative to a two-state solution.” In his address to the […]

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Turkey destroys PKK positions in northern Iraq

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkish fighters have attacked positions held by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. In a statement issued yesterday, the Turkish General Staff said: “The fighters continued operations against the terrorist organisation’s targets in northern Iraq, destroying weapons depots, ammunition and bunkers in Zap, Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions.” The statement noted that the fighters returned to their bases safely after successfully completing their mission. The Turkish security forces and army have repeatedly targeted PKK sites south and north of Iraq in retaliation for attacks against Turkish targets. Read: Turkey mourns teenage boy killed during clash with PKK The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union, has waged a more than three-decade insurgency against […]

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Khashoggi under fire for criticising Saudi Arabia

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Famous Saudi journalist and writer Jamal Khashoggi has come under renewed criticism by Saudis, including Prince Khalid Al Saud after publishing an article on the Washington Post, Rassd.com reported yesterday. On his Twitter account, Khashoggi wrote: “Adherence to the leadership and the country is represented by saying the right word and casting advice. This is what I have done and what I will continue doing.” This post was one of his replies to the tirade of criticism he received following the publication of his article. Prince Khalid Al Saud wrote: “Save your advice for yourself. Our guided leadership does not need advice from you and your likes.” Khashoggis replied: Be a little more humble Prince. The leadership which does not […]

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Libya mass grave discovered near Benghazi

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Saiqa Special Forces in Libya have found a mass grave containing 80 bodies at a site of ancient ruins near the Sidi Khribesh lighthouse in Benghazi’s Sabri district. According to Mari Al-Houti, the head of investigations with Saiqa, the Red Crescent collected the bodies and took DNA samples so that they could be identified. The mass grave is believed to contain the bodies of those killed in recent fighting in the city between militants and the Libyan National Army. The Red Crescent urged the families who have members missing to come forward to help identify the bodies. Following an increase in kidnappings and discovery of bodies in Benghazi, Saiqa Brigadier Wanis Bukhamada warned residents that terrorist sleeper cells still exist […]

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Bedouin village in Negev urges Israel to connect schools to electricity

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

An “unrecognised” Bedouin village in the Negev is urging the Israeli authorities to connect its schools to the national electrical grid. Currently, Wadi El-Na’am’s schools and kindergartens – attended by some 3,000 children – are powered by diesel generators. There are in fact electrical power lines already running through village, but they only serve nearby chemical plants. Legal rights centre Adalah wrote to senior Israeli government officials on 6 September, on behalf of the Wadi El-Na’am parents committee and the local village council, demanding that all the schools and kindergartens are connected to the national grid. “The diesel deliveries take place during the school day when students and staff are all onsite, which undoubtedly poses a danger to their health […]

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Kuwait ready to commence Yemen peace talks

September 21, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Kuwait is ready to host parties to the Yemen civil war to sign a final peace agreement, Kuwait’s news agency KUNA reported. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, representatives of the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah and Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah said: “We express out readiness again to receive our Yemeni brothers to sign a final agreement once they conclude it.” Kuwait has previously hosted a United Nations initiated negotiation for the Yemen civil war in 2016 to finalise a peace agreement, but failed to succeed. Today marks three years since the Ansar Allah armed group – otherwise known as the Houthis – took control of Yemen’s […]

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