Qatar unwavering as deadline extends by 48 hours

Speaking on the list of demands put forward by the Saudi-led coalition against Qatar, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that “he hopes they will be reasonable and actionable”. The list, which was subsequently presented to Qatar, invited widespread criticism; many have called the list un-actionable and unreasonable. Qatar, on the other hand, has rejected the list of demands. According to Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdurahman Al-Thani the demands “were made to be rejected”. Amongst the demands presented to the Qatari government is the closure of Al Jazeera Media Network. The UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement that the demand to close Al Jazeera is “extraordinary, unprecedented and clearly […]

Army announces ceasefire in southern Syria

The Syrian army said it would suspend combat operations in southern Syria until Thursday, including in Quneitra province where Israel has hit army outposts in recent days, according to a statement carried by state television. The army general command said the ceasefire took effect from midday (09:00 GMT) yesterday and was being done to support “reconciliation efforts”, in the second unilateral ceasefire in the last two weeks. Read: 10 killed in bomb explosion in Idlib province  On 17 June, the army announced a ceasefire that only affected fighting in the southern city of Dara’a along the border with Israel. This latest announcement extends the ceasefire alongside Daraa city to the whole of southern Syria, including the strategic southwestern Quneitra province near […]

Iraqi students attack teachers with knives, grenades

Iraqi police have recorded 32 attacks against school teachers during the recent exam period, with one leading to the death of a teacher. Teachers have been stabbed, beaten, kicked, and had grenades fired at their homes. The majority occurred in the south of the country and in the capital, Baghdad, at the hands of middle school students. Read: Iraqis call for Maliki to be held accountable for 1,700 student deaths One student attacked a teacher with stones as he left school causing his death. Colonel Ahmed Fawzi, of the community police department of the Interior Ministry in Baghdad, said: “We have 18 students in prison, all under the age of 18, because of assaults on teachers, while others were released after […]

Morocco remains world’s largest cannabis producer

Morocco has remained the world’s largest producer of cannabis, according to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last week. The annual “World Drug Report 2017” showed that the area of ​​cultivation of cannabis in Morocco reached 47,000 hectares in 2015. Some 38,000 tonnes of cannabis was being produced in the kingdom annually. The majority of which is exported to Europe and other North African states. Morocco is a central country in the global trade in cannabis, the report said. The drug is taken across to Spain and then by land to France, Italy and the Netherlands for distribution across Europe. A law enforcement agency in Europe said there was an emerging route to […]

Somalia: Bomb kills two in Mogadishu

An improvised explosive device struck a minibus in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing two people and injuring six, according to Reuters. The explosion occurred in the Elasha district, 20 kilometres north east of Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for the attack, although the group frequently attacks the capital and civilian populated areas. Al-Shabaab has been fighting for years to impose a strict version of Islamic law across Somalia. The African Union and Somalia national army have driven the group out of key strongholds and ports, but struggled to pre-empt improvised and suicide attacks in the capital. Read: At least 20 people being held hostage in Somali capital after suicide attack

63 terrorists killed in Algeria this year

Sixty-three terrorists have been killed and 22 others arrested this year, according to a report published by the People’s National Armed Forces this week. The operations of the ANP have resulted in the discovery of five bodies of terrorists, the arrest of around 100 people linked to terrorist groups and four arms traffickers. A large amount of weapons and ammunition was also seized, including 167 Kalashnikov, 2 SPG9 type guns, three RPG2 rocket launchers, three RPG7s, four heavy rifles, twelve FMPK-type machine guns, 46 shotguns and 23,542 bales of different calibres. Read: Algeria’s foreign currency reserves down $6bn During the same period, the elements of the ANP discovered and destroyed 272 bombs, 121 mines and 12 homemade guns. In addition, […]

UAE must cooperate on secret prisons investigation, says HRW

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher has called on the UAE to cooperate with the commission to investigate its secret prisons in Aden and Al-Mukalla in Yemen, Al Jazeera reported yesterday. Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and UAE researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Division of HRW, was concerned that the Yemen government only gave a 15-day deadline for the official investigation committee, which is to probe several forced disappearance and torture cases. She also questioned whether this committee would have access to the official and non-official detention centres, as well as if this commission is qualified to take recommendations and prosecute officials responsible for violations. Read: The UN is playing down Saudi-UAE human rights abuses in Yemen On Twitter she […]

44 Haftar loyalists killed in June

Forty-four soldiers allied with Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar were killed in June, according to a medical source in the city. The troops were killed in Benghazi during fighting with militants in the Al-Sabri and Soug Al-Hout districts which were the last militant strongholds in Benghazi, according to Hani Al-Aribi, the spokesman for the health ministry in eastern Libya. Haftar’s forces have retaken most of Benghazi from militants. The city has been war-ravaged since a militant takeover in 2014. Read: UAE violates embargo and sends arms to Libya’s Haftar Since Libya’s revolution in 2011, lawlessness and a power vacuum has allowed militant and tribal groups to dominate the political scene leading to lawlessness in the country and a diminishing security situation. However, […]

327 Palestinians killed during Jerusalem Intifada

Israeli occupation forces have killed 327 Palestinians since the start of the ongoing Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015, according to figures released by Al-Quds Centre for Palestinian and Israel Studies yesterday. According to the statistic, Israeli occupation forces have killed 48 Palestinians since the start of this year. The largest number of deaths were of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, where 81 Palestinians were killed, followed by Jerusalem with 65, Ramallah with 33, Jenin with 25, Nablus with 23, Bethlehem 20, Tulkarm 8, Salfit 5, Qalqilia 4 and Tubas 1. Read: Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Gaza Strip, injure 8 others Meanwhile, the statistic said that 52 Palestinians were killed in the besieged Gaza Strip, seven […]

PA-Jordan coordinating to resume peace talks with Israel

The Palestinian Authority is coordinating with Jordan in an effort to resume peace talks with Israel, the Safa news agency reported Jordanian sources saying yesterday. According to the sources, PA Ambassador to Amman, Attalla Khairy, said: “PA President Mahmoud Abbas is currently exerting intense political and diplomatic efforts with full coordination with Jordan and Arabs to prepare for resuming talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the two-state solution.” This came as a direct result of the latest Arab League meeting which was held in Amman in March, he explained, and the Arab-Islamic-American summit held in Riyadh in May. Read: Israel, PA discuss increasing economic ties Abbas is carrying out a tour of Africa, the Middle East and Europe tour […]