Portugal: 57 killed in deadly forest fire



By Senhan Bolelli


MADRID (AA): A forest fire on Saturday has claimed 57 lives in Portugal, according to Jorge Gomes, the secretary of state for internal affairs.

The fire broke out in the Pedrogao Grande area, a municipality about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of capital Lisbon.

The death toll rose from 25 to 39, Gomes told Portuguese news agency Lusa in a statement Sunday but has now increased to 57.

Gomes also said 18 of the 59 injured have been taken to the hospital. Five, including four firefighters, are in critical condition.

Portuguese media reported that 18 people were incinerated in their cars as flames swept over a road.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said,“It is the biggest tragedy of human life that we have known in years”.

More than 1,500 firefighters are battling the fire that is rapidly spreading to homes in the area, due to high temperatures and wind.

Additional report by The Muslim News

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/europe/portugalᇍ-killed-deadly-forest-fire/

Afghanistan: 5 Afghan officers killed as Taliban storm police HQ

By Shadi Khan Saif


KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): The Taliban in Afghanistan stormed a regional police headquarters following a suicide car bombing on Sunday killing at least five officers, officials have confirmed.

The Afghan National Police (ANP) headquarters in the city of Gardez, provincial capital of the southeastern Paktia province is a two-hour drive from the national capital Kabul.

Assadullah Sherzad, spokesman for the ANP in Paktia, told Anadolu Agency a suicide car bombing close to the main gate of the police headquarters at around 7.00 a.m. (0230GMT) was followed by an exchange of fire between militants and security forces.

“We fear a large number of civilian casualties as there were shops and customers near the police headquarters where the attack took place. Five of our policemen have embraced martyrdom and 10 more have been wounded,” he said.

The Taliban have taken responsibility for the attack. Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the group, claimed to have killed “scores of security personnel” in this attack.

Besides the ANP, the headquarters in Paktia is also home to the ANPâs Special Forces, the Public Order Police and the central command of the 303-Spin Zar regional police force for the southeastern parts of the country.

Last month, armed militants stormed a private bank in Gardez, leaving at least six people, including three attackers, dead.

[Archive Photo: Taliban attacked airport in Kandahar, Afghanistan on 9 December, 2015 killingಮ. Photographer: Aziz Sana/AA]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/middle-east/afghanistan-5-afghan-officers-killed-taliban-storm-police-hq/

Canadian politician joins Muslims for Ramadan fast

By Barry Ellsworth


TRENTON, Ont. (AA): A Canadian politician who is fasting for the month of Ramadan told Anadolu Agency on Friday he began the practice to raise money for a food bank, but has been overwhelmed at the support received from Muslims.

Mark Holland, Liberal Member of Parliament for Ajax, a city near Toronto, said a friend asked him in 2015 to raise money for Give 30, a food bank that asks people to take the savings gleaned from fasting during the holy month and contribute those savings to local food banks.

“I didn’t hesitate when I was asked if I would fast with the community as a show of support,” Holland said.

He joined the nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide to observe the fast of Ramadan in the interests of charity and to focus the light on people who are too often forced to fast.

“As anyone who has fasted knows that that not eating during the day is difficult, but too many don’t have a choice when it comes to deciding whether or not to eat and local food banks play a vital role in helping those in need,” he said.

Give 30 supports 14 of the largest food banks in communities across Canada and the U.S., according to the organization’s website.

As of June 9, more than $CAN75,000 had been raised in across the country, so the amount should be substantially more by the end of Ramadan that will end June 24.

“I would love to see Give 30 beat its amount raised from last year which was $170,505,” the 42-year-old father of three said.

While the goal is to help the charity, joining in the Ramadan fast has paid other dividends.

“We are fortunate in Ajax to have an incredibly diverse Muslim population; the outpouring of support from the community has been bewildering and incredibly touching,” Holland said. “When I first fasted I thought it would be a good way to raise some awareness about a worthy charity doing admirable work.

“I still fast in support of Give 30, but also now it has really served as a great bridge between groups in our community.

“I was fortunate enough to be elected in 2015 and I have been given a platform that I hope I have been able to use to educate non-Muslims about Ramadan and what it is about,” he said.

“I hope that I have played some small role in bringing communities together in Ajax and Canada.”

[Photo: Mark Holland, Liberal Member of Parliament for Ajax]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/ramadan/canadian-politician-joins-muslims-ramadan-fast/

Palestine: 3 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier killed in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AA): Three Palestinians were killed on Friday after carrying out two separate shooting and stabbing attacks in occupied East Jerusalem, resulting in the death of one Israeli soldier, according to the Israeli police.

In a statement, police said that three Palestinians armed with knives and semi-automatic weapons were shot dead after carrying out two separate attacks near Jerusalem’s Old City.

One female police officer was critically injured, and later died, while four bystanders were wounded in the attacks, said the police.

According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, two Palestinians opened fire on a group of border police stationed on East Jerusalem’s Sultan Suleiman Street, while a third Palestinian stabbed a 22-year-old border policewoman near the Old City’s Damascus Gate.

The Palestinian Health Ministry, for its part, confirmed that Baraa Saleh, 18, Adel Ankoush, 18, and Amer Badwi, 31 — all from Deir Abu Mashal village, west of Ramallah, in central West Bank. — were shot and killed by police in Jerusalem.

The police and the soldiers fired many live rounds, killing the three Palestinians, and wounding two Palestinian bystanders; one suffered a moderate injury, and the other was mildly wounded.

Following the incident dozens of Israeli soldiers and officers were deployed in the area, closed all the gates leading to Jerusalem’s Old City, and assaulted many Palestinians, especially in the areas leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The soldiers also assaulted many Palestinains, and clashed with local youths, wounding many with live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets.

One of the wounded Palestinians was shot with a live round in his spine, and another round in his kidney, while the soldiers chased the ambulance to the Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem, but were unable to invade it, after dozens of Palestinians clashed with them, and prevented them from entering the hospital.

In addition, dozens of soldiers surrounded and completely isolated Deir Abu Mashal village. Local sources said the soldiers imposed a strict siege on the village.

The soldiers warned that they will shoot and kill any Palestinian who is seen walking outside at night, and that the siege will continue until further notice.

The slain Israeli officer has been identified as Hadas Malka, 23; Israeli daily Haaretz said the officer was stabbed while trying to reach for her gun.

Since October 2015, more than 285 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli police during — or immediately after — alleged attacks on Israelis or in clashes with Israeli security forces, according to Palestinian figures.

Israeli authorities, meanwhile, say almost 50 Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians over the same period.

Additional report from imemc.org

[Photo: Bara’ Ibrahim Saleh, 18, Adel Hasan Ankoush, 18, and Osama Ahmad Ata, 19, all from Deir Abu Mashal village, west of Ramallah, in central West Bank. Photo by imemc.org]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/palestine/palestine-3-palestinians-and-one-israeli-soldier-killed-in-east-jerusalem/

Canada: Muslim women file human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia

By Barry Ellsworth


RENTON. Ont. (AA): Three Muslim workers have filed a human rights complaint alleging Islamophobia after they were fired from a maintenance project in western Canada, Canadian media reported Thursday.

Amino Rashid told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that she and two of her colleagues were dismissed from a maintenance project at the Husky Energy facility in Lloydminster, along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, after reporting incidents of harassment from other staff.

Rashid said two male workers told her “there are people who feel uncomfortable” with her wearing a hijab, and the one of the pair told her to take off the “hoodie”, the CBC reported. She told them it was not a hoodie, but a religious headscarf.

Rashid said she reported the incident to management at her employer, Newcart Contracting Ltd. – the firm had been contracted by Husky Energy to do the maintenance work at the Lloydminster facility – but the harassment continued. The two other Muslims were also targeted with remarks a few days later on June 3.

That same day, the three were dismissed.

“I was shocked,” Rashid told the CBC, “because usually in a situation like that you fire the person who was the one who was being the bully. You don™t fire the victim. You don’t fire the person who was trying to stand up for themselves.

Rashid said that when she was hired, supervisors for both Husky and Newcart said they had no problem with her wearing a hijab.

On Tuesday, the three filed complaints with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, as well as Husky, and when informed of the incident, Husky launched an investigation.

“Given the seriousness of these allegations, we will be investigating with the contractor to ensure all of Husky’s policies and procedures were being followed,” company spokesman Mel Duvall told the CBC. Husky, a large energy company in the Alberta Oilsands, requires all its contractors to follow a workplace diversity policy.

Newcart officials declined direct comment on the situation, but did note that more than 30 percent of its workforce is born outside of Canada.

Reaction on a Facebook page dedicated to the incident was mixed, with some citing safety rules regarding headgear on a work site.

One person wrote: “Safety rules apply to everyone, there’s no religious exceptions. Do Muslims want to be treated equally or are they asking for special privlages (sic) here??”

Another commented: “Not a safety concern: the employer clearly says it’s not an issue.”

[Map of Canada. By E Pluribus Anthony/Wikipedia/Public Domain]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/islamophobia/canada-muslim-women-file-human-rights-complaint-alleging-islamophobia/

US man sentenced to 20 years for seeking Mosque burning

By Michael Hernandez


WASHINGTON (AA): A Tennessee man has been sentenced to nearly 20 years behind bars for seeking to recruit others to burn down a New York mosque, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Robert Doggart, 65, of Signal Mountain was sentenced to 235 months for seeking to recruit others on the internet to burn down the Islamberg mosque.

Islamberg, a small hamlet in central New York, is home to a large Muslim community.

Doggart was convicted in February of soliciting a person to violate federal civil rights laws, and for arson solicitation.

“People of all faiths have the fundamental right to worship freely, and this administration will not tolerate attempts to violate that right,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “The defendant solicited people to commit acts of violence in an effort to terrorize a community simply because of its Islamic faith.”

Doggart ran for federal office in 2014, finishing with less than ten percent of the vote in the eastern Tennessee district.

In a separate development, the Justice Department announced Gerald Wallace, 35, of Florida is being indicted by a grand jury on a hate crime charge for threatening to shoot congregants at a Miami Gardens, Florida mosque.

“The defendant is alleged to have left a profanity laden message against Islam, the prophet Mohammed, and the Koran, during which he threatened to go to the mosque, and stated, â€I’m gonna shoot all y’all,’” the Justice Department said.

Wallace is now charged with obstructing the free exercise of religion and sending threatening messages across state lines.


[Photo of a mosque in New York, US. B Jim Henderson/Public Domain]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/islamophobia/us-man-sentenced-20-years-seeking-mosque-burning/

Afghanistan: Suicide attack targets Shia Muslim mosque in Kabul killing six

By Shadi Khan Saif


KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): Two suspected suicide bombers attacked a mosque belonging to the Shia Muslim community in the capital Kabul on Thursday, leaving at least six persons dead and five others injured, according to an official. Daesh has claimed responsiblilty for the terroirst attack.

The mosque was located in the western part of Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi area, which is home to several ethnic Shia Hazara people.

According to Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Najib Danish, security forces had stopped a suspected suicide attacker from entering the al-Zahra mosque but a second suspected bomber somehow managed to detonate his explosives.

The blast left a suicide bomber dead and two security personnel wounded, Danish told Anadolu Agency.

Afghan media network Tolo TV quoted eyewitnesses as saying the death toll was as high as six in the attack.

Last year, up to 80 people got killed when two pro-Daesh suicide bombers hit a protest rally organized by the Hazara community in Kabul. This was followed by another suicide attack on the Baqar Ulom Mosque run by the Shia community, killing at least 27 more.

Additional report by The Muslim News


[Archive photo: Bomb attack at car park of a mosque in Herat, Afghanistan on June 6, 2017. At least 7 people were killed on the attack. Photographer: Ali Ahmad Folady/AA]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/middle-east/afghanistan-suicide-attack-targets-shia-muslim-mosque-kabul-killing-4/

Somalia: 10 killed in suicide attack in Mogadishu

By Mohammed Dhaysane


MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA): At least 10 people were killed when a suicide car bomb attacked a popular hotel here Wednesday, officials said.

Mohamed Bulle, a police captain in Mogadishu said armed men from the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, stormed the restaurant at the Posh hotel after the explosion.

“Mogadishu special forces and the police launched rescue operation inside the hotel. We have rescued more than seven people, including foreigners from Kenya and Ethiopia,” Bullet told Anadolu Agency.

The operation is currently in progress and there is sporadic gunfire inside the hotel, according to local media.

The attack is largest in the Somali capital in the past month.

Somali-based al-Qa’ida affiliated group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack via radio Andalus.

The group said that the hotel was a night club.

[Archive photo: Wreckage of car after suicide attack in Mogadishu on 31 July, 2016. Photographer: Nour Gelle Gredi/AA]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/campaign-on-terror/somalia-10-killed-suicide-attack-mogadishu/

UK: Death toll rises to 12 in London residential block fire

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal


LONDON (AA): The death toll in a massive blaze which destroyed a residential tower block in London on Wednesday morning has climbed to 12, police said. Witnesses reported that if it wasn’t for the Muslims who were the first ones to have arrived to the fire scene, many more people would have died..

More than 200 firefighters raced against time to tackle the fire which engulfed the 24-story Grenfell Tower in North Kensington Area leaving 74 others injured.

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Metropolitan Police, confirmed at least 12 deaths but said this figure “will sadly increase”.

A “complex recovery operation” was expected over the next few days, he added.

Emergency services said 74 people were in various hospitals; 20 of them were in critical condition.

The fire started at around 1 a.m. local time and is believed to have taken hold of the whole building, which contained 120 apartments.

“It is likely to take some time before we are in a position to confirm the identity of the victims and it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire,” the Metropolitan Police added.

Describing the fire earlier as “an unprecedented incident,” London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything on this scale.”

A search-and-rescue operation is ongoing as the fire has been mostly brought under control.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said hundreds members of the emergency services were dealing with the situation, and described the fire as a “major incident”.

Deniz Candas, a Turk who lives in the area told Anadolu Agency that there were some Turks who lived in the Grenfell Tower.

He said he knew a family who lived in the block but did not hear anything from them.

Tariq Gotteeh, a resident of the block said he was one of the first who had noticed the fire.

He said: “I was up for the suhoor. I was taking the rubbish out. I felt a strange smell†I checked around and saw the flames.

The area has been cordoned off and adjacent properties evacuated with nearby roads closed to traffic.

There has been overwhelming support from the public, local and from across London. Churches and mosques have opened their doors to those affected by the fire. Many charities have also come to the rescue. The response has been so great that mosques, churches and other rescuing institutions had to say no to the support.

Individuals brought their clothes, trainers, food, water, clothing and toys.

Iftar was provided for everyone Wednesday evening.

Al-Manaar Mosque and Centre, which is located near the building, said they are open for use as a temporary shelter by anyone affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. Anyone of any faith or no faith is most welcome to walk in to have some rest, sleep, and or have some water and food. Al-Manaar staff and volunteers will also be trying to deliver water, dates, and other emergency essentials to the affected area. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.” said the Mosque.

Mosque contact details: 02089641496 or 07500223914 or 07754271744. Address: 244 Acklam Road London W10 5YG

St. Clements Church has turned into an evacuation centre.

The cause of the blaze remains unknown. Prime Minister, Theresa May, said “an investigation will take place into the cause of the fire and if there are any lessons to be learned”.

Meanwhile, Kensington Council has introduced emergency accommodation plans with hundreds of stranded families being offered accommodation for the night in a local gym.

Addtional report from The Muslim News

[Photo: Overwhelming support from the public to the fire engulfing the 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road, West London in the early hours of this morning on June 14, 2017 in London, England. Photographer: Kate Green/AA]


Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/uk/uk-death-toll-rises-12-london-residential-block-fire/

UK: Huge blaze in London apartment block claims six lives

LONDON (AA The Muslim News): London’s senior fire fighter has said there has been fatalities from a huge fire which ripped through a 27-story apartment block in the U.K. capital overnight. Six people have died, the number is expected to rise. Local mosques and churches have opened their doors to those affected by the fire.

The blaze at Grenfell Tower — a residential building in the north Kensignton area — began overnight. London’s Ambulance Service said it had taken 50 people to five hospitals.

However, it is reported people on higher levels of the building may have been trapped as firefighters tried to tackle the blaze.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said 40 engines and 200 firefighters were involved in trying to rescue residents and described the fire as a “major incident€.

The area has been cordoned off and adjacent properties evacuated.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that he is “truly devastated to see the horrific scenes of the major fire” at Grenfell Tower in Kensington.

He said “my heart goes out to everyone affected and confirmed the news that there have been fatalities and more than fifty people have been taken to hospitals.”

“One of the concerns that we have is itâs a 24-storey building but for obvious reasons, with the scale of the fire, our experts weren’t able to reach all the way to the top, so of course these are questions that need to be answered as soon as possible,” he added.

Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale.”

Many local people are helping those affected by the fire. Churches and mosques have opened their doors to them.

Al-Manaar Mosque and Centre, which is located near the building, said they are open for use as a temporary shelter by anyone affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. âAnyone of any faith or no faith is most welcome to walk in to have some rest, sleep, and or have some water and food. Al-Manaar staff and volunteers will also be trying to deliver water, dates, and other emergency essentials to the affected area. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.€ said the Mosque.

Mosque contact details: 02089641496 or 07500223914 or 07754271744. Our address: 244 Acklam Road London W10 5YG

St. Clements Church has turned into an evacuation centre.

The cause of the blaze remains unknown.

[Photo: Firefighter team extinguish a huge fire engulfed the 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road, West London in the early hours of this morning on June 14, 2017 in London, England. Photographer: Kate Green/AA]

Article source: http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/uk/uk-huge-blaze-london-apartment-block-claims-lives/