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Egyptians converge on Tahrir Square for 4th day

News4u-News Desk- CAIRO: Egyptians responding to a call for a mass rally began flowing onto Cairo’s centralTahrir Square on Tuesday as protests demanding the country’s military rulers to step down entered a fourth day despite a crackdown by police that has killed at least 29 people.

Activists are hoping to increase the number of protesters in the square, which was the epicenter of the revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak in mid-February, with a demonstration to bolster popular support for a “second revolution.”

Violence also continued, with black-clad security forces backed by military troops firing volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets to block protesters, who responded by hurling stones and fire bombs. The two sides have been engaged in intense clashes since the unrest began on Saturday.

Egypt’s state-TV reported that three people were killed overnight in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, east of Cairo, raising the overall death toll from the protests to 29.

Hundreds of protesters arrived early Tuesday to join several thousand who have been camping on Tahrir Square, sleeping in tents or on the grass rolled up in blankets despite efforts by police to clear the area. The crowds hoisted a giant Egyptian flag and chanted slogans demanding the generals immediately step down in favor of a presidential civilian council.

One man held a sign reading “ministry of thuggery” with photos of Mubarak, the senior military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and others. A few hundred young men nearby chanted “say it, don’t fear, the council must go” and “the people want to execute the field marshal.”

The rally, dubbed “Egypt’s Salvation,” came a day after the civilian Cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf submitted its resignation to the military council, a move that had been widely expected given the government’s perceived inefficiency and its almost complete subordination to the generals. The ruling military council gave no word if the offer had been accepted, but regardless, it failed to satisfy the protesters.

“That was a game, like playing the joker in a game of cards. We want the military council to resign,” said 60-year-old protester Mustafa Mursi, who wore a pair of goggles on his forehead with a gas mask and a laminated picture of his slain son around his neck.

Mursi, who has been at the square since the latest protests began on Saturday, said that his son Mohammed was shot in head on Jan. 28 during clashes with security forces in the earlier uprising.

“I’ll stay until military rule ends and there is civilian rule,” he said.

The clashes came few days before the country’s first parliamentary elections since Mubarak was forced to step down. Fears were high that the turmoil would disrupt elections due to begin on Nov. 28.

Amnesty International harshly criticized the military rulers in a new report, saying they have “completely failed to live up their promises to Egyptians to improve human rights.”

The London-based group documented steps by the military that have fallen short of increasing human rights and in some cases have made matters worse than under Mubarak.

“The euphoria of the uprising has been replaced by fears that one repressive rule has simply been replaced with another,” according to the report, issued early Tuesday.

The report called for repeal of the Mubarak-era “emergency laws,” expanded to cover “thuggery” and criticizing the military. It said the army has placed arbitrary restrictions on media and other outlets.

Egyptian security forces have continued to use torture against demonstrators, the report said, and some 12,000 civilians have been tried in military trials, which it called “unfair.”

A military spokesman, meanwhile, told The Associated Press that the military has set up barbed wire and barricades around the security headquarters to prevent protesters from storming the building. “We are only here to protect the interior ministry,” he said.

The spokesman, who asked not to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to release the information, also said army officers and soldiers had been forbidden to enter Tahrir Square.

The unrest had immediate impact of Egypt’s benchmark stock index which plunged for a third day. The EGX30 index fell by over 3 percent within minutes of the market’s opening on Tuesday, building on the previous day’s 4 percent decline.AP

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Seven killed in ethnic violence in northern Nigeria

News4u - News Desk : Seven people were killed and four others have been injured in ethnic violence when suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked a remote village in Nigeria’s northern state of Plateau.

Brig Gen Hassan Umoru, the Commander of a Special Task Force (STF) dispatched by the government to Plateau after a riotous situation in the state’s capital city of Jos, about 179 km from Abuja, said the victims were residents of a village called Nwachukwu.

Umoru said the attackers were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen because there was an earlier attack in which the herdsmen in Gero village of Jos South LGA of the state were killed.

Among the victims were two men and five women and children, military spokesman Lt Jerry Ayim-Odu said. PTI

Nigeria Flag

Nigeria Flag

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Toll in NDFB violence reaches 22; rebels warns of more attacks

News4u-News Desk-Three more persons were gunned down by NDFB militants on Tuesday while another man succumbed to his injuries, pushing the toll in the overnight violence to 22 as the rebels warned of more killings in Assam.

However, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said “We are not going to be cowed down by terror” and the security forces have launched an offencive against National Democratic Front of Bodoland militants.

The authorities have sounded a state-wide red alert after the killings.

A Hindi-speaking person and another, belonging to a minority community, were shot dead by the militants at Ultapani in Kokrajhar district on the Indo-Bhutan border this morning, while a cycle mechanic Paran Mondal was shot down at his residence in Domgaon village bordering Chirang district, police said.

One of those injured at Batasipur on Monday in Sonitpur district succumbed to his injuries at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital, they said.

Warning of more violence, NDFB spokesperson B Sadbangso told a local news TV channel that the recent violence is in reply of an encounter in Sonitpur district where an “innocent Bodo tribal civilian” Mahesh Basumatary was killed.

“We took revenge for his death. We warn of more violent attacks, if security forces continue their offencive against us,” he said.

On 1st November, a self-styled NDFB lieutenant B Jwngkhang had threatened to take lives of 20 or more people for every Bodo or NDFB cadre killed in “fake encounters” by the security forces.

On Monday, the militants had killed 18 persons, including eight Hindi-speaking and eight bus passengers, and injured over 20.

Most of the attacks took place in Sonitpur district bordering Arunachal Pradesh.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi told Assembly that “We are not going to be cowed down by terror. The army, police and paramilitary forces have already launched massive operations in NDFB strongholds. The government will tackle militancy strongly.”

“The anti-talk group of the NFFB is responsible for the killings and we will not tolerate it. The anti-talk group or whoever breaks the law will not be tolerated,” the Chief Minister said in response to the opposition accusing the government of failing to protect the people.

Pointing that the government had offered peace talks to NDFB chairman Ranjan Daimary and ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, the Chief Minister said, “they have to abjure violence. We condemn the inhuman killing of innocent people.”

assam state map

assam state map

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Karachi city reels after 51 killed

News4u - News Desk :

Pakistan’s largest city reeled on Wednesday after gunmen opened fire in a commercial market, killing 11 people in the latest spasm of violence to underscore the poor state of law and order in this US-allied nation.

At least 51 people, including several political activists, have been killed and dozens more wounded since Saturday in Karachi, a sprawling port city of more than 16 million residents that is prone to political, ethnic and religious strife.

Many killings in Karachi have been linked to gangs allegedly controlled by political parties.

The attack on the market occurred late Tuesday and its victims included eight Pakistanis of Baluch descent, said Sharmila Farooqi, a provincial government spokeswoman.

The wave of violence in the city has coincided with Sunday’s election to replace a provincial lawmaker killed in August.

A major chunk of supplies for US and NATO troops is shipped to the city before traveling overland in Pakistan and into neighboring Afghanistan.

Farooqi said police had detained 55 suspects in connection with the latest violence, and that some were linked to local political parties.

Security forces were patrolling the city to prevent fresh violence on Wednesday, she said.

The MQM claims to represent the Urdu-speaking descendants of those people who came to Karachi from India soon after the birth of Pakistan in 1947.

It is secular and likes to speak out against the so-called Talibanization of the city, a jab at the Awami National Party, which represents the ethnic Pashtuns from the Taliban heartland in the northwest.

Raza Haider, the member of the provincial assembly who was gunned down in August, was a senior member of the MQM.

Both parties were competing for Haider’s vacant seat, but the ANP announced on Saturday evening that it would boycott the election, saying the MQM would rig the vote. The MQM won the seat.

MQM lawmaker Haider Abbas Rizvi said the party had handed authorities a list of 150 alleged criminals it suspects in the attacks but that nothing had come of it.

He not only blamed the ANP, but also faulted the Pakistan People’s Party, which control’s the provincial government.

ANP spokesman Amin Khattak said the MQM was to blame, noting that the killings began shortly after his party said it would boycott the election.

Also Wednesday, a police constable was wounded when someone threw a grenade at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Pakistan’s main northwestern city, Peshawar, said Liaquat Ali, a senior police official.

Peshawar is right on the edge of Pakistan’s tribal belt, a lawless stretch of territory along the Afghan border where many militants shelter.

Pakistan Map

Pakistan Map

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Violence erupts at Serbia’s second ever Gay Pride parade

News4u-News Desk-BELGRADE: Police clashed with hundreds of slogan-shouting anti-gay protestors at Serbia’s second ever Gay Pride march, with nearly 60 policemen and civilians reported wounded in the violence.

Protestors dressed mainly in black and with hooded sweatshirts hurled rocks and other projectiles at police, who retaliated with tear gas and tried to drive the groups apart with the help of several armoured vehicles.

One group attacked the headquarters of the Democratic Party (DS) of President Boris Tadic, who had supported the march. The building caught fire but the flames were quickly put out.

“The building is ruined for a large part, the fire was localised and no one was wounded,” DS spokeswoman Jelena Trivan said.

The central Terazije Square was littered with rocks and debris from the protest, with most of the violence erupting after the march had ended.

B92 television station reported that at least 57 people were wounded — 10 civilians and 47 police officers.

“The hunt has begun,” anti-gay protestors shouted as mounted police kept them at bay at the start of the parade.

They tried to break through heavy police cordons protecting the gay activists but were kept back by security forces.

“It’s bad that we are sealed off by the cops but … maybe in 10 years it will be different,” said one of the marchers, Nikola, who did not want to give his last name.

“After the beatings, after living in fear, this is what we needed, to become visible,” he said.

About 1,000 joined the Gay Pride march, according to an AFP estimate.

This was far below 5,000-10,000 who took part in a protest on Saturday to demonstrate against it, including families with children and young football supporters, some of whom gave Nazi salutes and shouted for the death of homosexuals.

Sunday’s parade included well-known Serbian actress Mirjana Karanovic and representatives of the international community.

“We have to be here to show that we are not afraid, that our gay friends are the same as us,” Karanovic said.

Serbia’s first ever Gay Pride parade in 2001 was broken up by violent clashes provoked by right-wing extremists.

Plans to organise a parade last year were called off after the government said it could not guarantee the safety of participants.

“We are here to celebrate this big day we have been waiting for so long,” said the representative of the European Commission in Belgrade, French diplomat Vincent Degert.

A special representative of the Council of Europe secretary general in Serbia, Constantin Yerpcostopoulos, praised the authorities for supporting the march.

“When Serbia … openly celebrates diversity … we know that our values honouring human rights and liberties are respected and protected,” he said.

The Serbian Orthodox Church spoke out against the parade on Friday but also warned against violence targeting participants.

On Sunday, as the gay activists marched in the Kneza Milosa street next to a church, several nuns, a priest and a man waved with a cross.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has said the gay parade was a test of “the maturity of Serbian democracy.”

Anti-gay sentiment still runs deep in Serbian society and openly gay people are confronted with discrimination on a regular basis.

“We are here and that’s what’s important,” Sara, another marcher who also refused to give her last name, told AFP. “This is the first step on a long road but I’m happy that it finally happend,” she said. afp

Violence erupts at Serbia's second ever Gay Pride parade

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Afghan violence kills 13 civilians

News4u-News Desk-Thirteen Afghan civilians were killed in separate incidents across Afghanistan over the weekend as a result of Taliban insurgent attacks and NATO action.

Seven members of one family died when a roadside bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle in Yahyakhail district of eastern Paktika province on Sunday, provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan told the news agency.

“Seven civilians including three children, all members of one family, were killed in the bomb blast,” he said.

Also on Saturday, three civilians were killed when NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bombed a Taliban meeting in southern Helmand province, during an attack in which 17 militants also died, provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Angar told the news agency.

“NATO bombed the Taliban location based on intelligence information,” Angar said, adding that 17 Taliban and three civilians were killed and four civilians wounded.

He said that the Taliban had summoned seven local people to attend the meeting in the Dara-e-Hazara area.

Angar added there were four Taliban commanders among those killed, adding that the militants took the bodies of the four commanders and left the rest of the corpses.

Two Afghan civilians were accidentally killed Sunday by coalition forces after insurgents attacked an ISAF base in Logar Province, eastern Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Map

Afghanistan Map

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10 killed in Iraq violence, including journalist

News4u-News Desk-Ten people were killed in violence in Baghdad and northern Iraq on Monday, including a journalist for a US-funded television station, medical and security officials said.

Tahrir Kadhim Jawad, a cameraman for the al-Hurra satellite channel, was killed when a magnetic “sticky bomb” attached to his car detonated in the town of Garma, 50 kilometres west of the capital, police in nearby Fallujah said.
International press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned Jawad’s killing, calling for “urgent protection to be provided for the country’s journalists and… (for) authorities to speed up the conclusions of the investigation.”

RSF said last month that the Iraq conflict has been the deadliest for the media since World War II, and in October 2009 ranked Iraq a lowly 145th place for media freedom out of 175 countries.



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Three killed, thirty injured in fresh violence in Kashmir

News4u-News Desk-Three persons were killed and 30 others injured as violent protests continued at several places in Kashmir Valley where curfew remained in force in Srinagar and other major towns for the fifth successive day on Friday.

Five persons were injured when security forces allegedly opened fire to disperse hundreds of people who defied curfew and indulged in stone-pelting at Churpora village of Beerwah, 32 kms from Srinagar, in Budgam district, official sources said.
One of the critically injured identified as Fayaz Ahmad Dar was rushed to SKIMS Medical College Hospital at Bemina where he was declared brought dead by the doctors, they said.
Another youth Ghulam Rasool Bhat was killed and eight others injured when security forces allegedly opened fire and used pump action gun to chase away curfew-defying mob at Tapper Payeen in Pattan, 30 kms from Srinagar in Baramulla district, the sources said.
Bhat was taken to Sumbal sub-district hospital where he succumbed to injuries, they said.
At Shirmal in Shopian, 52 kms from here, a huge mob set on fire two forest huts, seized timber of forest department.
Security forces fired Pellet Action Guns (PAG) on the mob, resulting in injuries to six persons, the sources said.
They said two of the injured were shifted to Pulwama district hospital where one of them, identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Malla, succumbed to injuries.
With the fresh killings, the death toll in the ongoing unrest, since 11th June, in the Kashmir Valley has risen to 94.
Violent protests again broke out at Pattan and nearby areas in the evening and in the subsequent firing, six persons were injured.
The condition of two of the injured, Javid Ahmad and Shoukat Ahmad, was stated to be “critical”, they said.
Three more persons were injured in clashes between security forces and protestors at Sangrama, 45 km from Srinagar in Baramulla district, they said, adding security forces allegedly opened fire to bring the situation under control.
Another person identified as Mohammad Shafi was hit by a bullet in the leg when security forces allegedly opened fire after being attacked by a stone-pelting mob at Chichloora- Magam, 25 kms from Srinagar, on Srinagar-Gulmarg road, they said.
Stone pelting incidents after Friday prayers were reported from Padgampora-Awantipora in Pulwama district, Main Chowk Sopore in Baramulla, Malik Masjid, Aalialpora and Shirmal in Shopian district, Nagam-Kokernag, Khushipora and Dooru in Anantnag district, the sources said.
The protestors were chased away by the security forces using teargas shells and batons, they said adding three persons were injured in the clashes.

Jammu And Kashmir Map

Jammu And Kashmir Map

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Curfew in some parts of Hisar district after violence

News4u-News Desk-Curfew was clamped in Mayyar village and its surrounding areas in Hisar district on Tuesday after protestors seeking quota for Jat community went on a rampage, blocking roads, setting afire some buildings, looting trucks and clashing with security personnel.

In view of the volatile situation, district authorities have sought the help of the Army, officials said, adding that additional police forces have been deployed in the violence-hit areas.

Hisar’s Deputy Commissioner Yudhvir Khaliya said the curfew had been clamped in Mayyar and other sensitive villages to maintain law and order and help restore peace.

The violence broke out in the areas on Monday during which one person was killed and several others injured as police opened fire on protesters.

Activists of Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti, demanding quota for the community under the OBC category, blocked several roads in the district.

Traffic on the Hisar-Delhi National Highway 10 was suspended. An unruly mob set on fire the State Bank of India branch at Hisar Cantt on Tuesday morning.

They also set ablaze H P Cotton Mill in Hisar, besides torching two buses of the company.

A Reliance petrol pump, which was lying closed, had also been damaged by the mob here, police said.

The protestors damaged a generator set at the Uklana railway station and later set it on fire. They also thrashed the security personnel who tried to stop them.

The mob also allegedly looted several trucks which were parked along side the roads.

A large number of people on Tuesday morning blocked roads at the Surewala chowk.

The villagers also blocked roads in village Bithmara and Litany chowk on Hisar-Tohana road. Due to road blockage, the traffic remained affected in the region.

Addressing a function at Hasanpur village in Sonepat on Monday, Samiti President Yash Pal Malik had warned the Central and the State Governments that if its demand for quota was not met by 3rd October, the Samiti will intensify its agitation and block all the roads leading to Delhi.

Malik said that a number of communities, including Gujjars, Ahirs, Sainis and Kurmis, had been included in the Central list of the OBCs, “but the Jats had been excluded”.

He claimed that many states had included the Jats in their OBC list, but the Haryana government and the Central government had failed to meet their demand.

The Hisar depot of state-run Haryana Roadways has suspended its bus services with immediate effect as a precautionary measure, M S Khurb, General Manager of Hisar depot said.

Rail services between Hisar and Bhiwani remained suspended on the second day due to the violence.

A railway official said some of the trains passing through the area has been cancelled while some others have been diverted.

Meanwhile, the All-India Jat Mahasabha has announced that members of the Sabha will organise a token hunger strike on Wednesday at all the district headquarters of the state to press for their demand.

Haryana Map

Haryana Map

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‘Mirwaiz blamed for violence in Kashmir on Eid’

News4u-News Desk-Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Government today accused the Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umer Farooq of not sticking to assurances made by his close aide to the administration that the march to Lal Chowk planned for the day would be peaceful.

Highly-placed sources said the Mirwaiz’s close aide, Shahid-ul-Islam, called a senior official in the Chief Minister’s Office requesting permission for a march to Lal Chowk.

Islam, a former chief of terrorist group Hizbullah, requested for “political space” and assured the official that his activists would ensure peaceful dispersing of the crowd that would gather at Lal Chowk.

The Mirwaiz aide reasoned out that the march was a political necessity for them as the space for separatists in the Valley was shrinking fast, the sources said.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

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