Pakistan: Deadly dengue fever outbreak in northern Pakistan

By Islamuddin Sajid


ISLAMABAD (AA):- More than 350 people in the northern city of Peshawar have been diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever, a local doctor said Thursday.

The Khyber Teaching Hospital have tested 359 patients positive for the fever, a deadly mosquito-borne disease, hospital spokesman Dr. Farhad Khan told Anadolu Agency.

Three patients have died since the outbreak emerged in the Tehkal district to the west of the city at the end of last month. Nearly 2,200 people have been screened for the disease.

Tehkal has a high number of businesses involved in producing and selling auto tires, which easily collect water and provide mosquito breeding grounds.

â€So far, three patients have been died and 63 are still admitted in our hospital,” Farhad said.

Last year, more than 12,000 dengue hemorrhagic fever cases were reported in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, resulting in 10 deaths, provincial health officials said.

Local officials have declared an emergency in the city’s hospitals.

According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of dengue fever has grown dramatically in recent decades, with 2.2 million cases reported in 2010 and 3.2 million five years later.

[ Image showing symptoms of Dengue Fever by  Mikael H¤ggström/Public Domain]

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Palestinians decry annulment of Jerusalem residence permits

By Mohammed Majid


GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA): Gazaâs Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) has condemned Israel’s decision to annul residence permits for thousands of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents.

“Israel has abruptly canceled residence permits for 14,595 Palestinians in Jerusalem,” the Hamas-run ministry said in a statement released late Wednesday.

“The Israeli authorities continue to escalate their Judaization campaign in the city, while carrying out settlement projects [in the occupied West Bank] and adopting brutal security measures against Palestinians there,” the statement read.

It went on to note that, last month alone, Israeli forces had demolished dozens of Palestinian structures in and around Jerusalem.

“The Israeli authorities are pursuing a massive settlement project with a view to bringing some 150,000 Jewish settlers into Jerusalem while driving 100,000 Palestinians from the city,” the ministry said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said earlier this week that Israel was pushing Jerusalems Palestinian residents to leave their homes via a systematic transfer policy in violation of international law.

Israel first occupied the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state — a move never recognized by the international community.

International law continues to view the West Bank and East Jerusalem as €œoccupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land as illegal.

Palestinians have long accused Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to “Judaize” the city with the aim of effacing its historical Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.

[Photo: Palestinians gather in front of the Haram  al Sharif, Al Aqsa Mosque Compound, Jerusalem after Israeli authorities decided to remove the iron barricades from the al-Esbat Gate of Al-Aqsa Compound on July 27, 2017. Photographer: Turgut Alp Boyraz/AA]

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Philippines: Military kills terrorists in gunfights

By Hader Glang


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (AA): Philippine military forces continued their offensive against Daesh-linked terror groups in Marawi on Thursday, the military said.

Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson for the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command, told Anadolu Agency at least nine Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists were killed in the latest battles.

She said the troops continued to engage in more intense firefights against the terrorists with military airstrikes and artillery fire starting at around 7 p.m. local time Thursday (2300GMT Wednesday).

“Those enemies who died in the offensives include men of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon who are digging for a tunnel under a mosque trying to escape the battle zone or reach the lake [Agus River],” she added.

The military confirmed earlier that Hapilon was still alive and inside the battle zone, despite earlier reports he had escaped along with Abdullah and Omar Maute, local leaders of the Daesh group.

According to Petinglay, the number of deaths on the side of Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists has increased to 548 due to continuous fighting in the main battle area.

At least 122 soldiers have been killed and 45 civilians have died. The remaining terrorists — said to be 50 – 70, including foreign fighters — have 100 civilian hostages. Four were recently rescued.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the whole island of Mindanao after the Maute group attacked Marawi on May 23.

The armed conflict has resulted in 359,680 people displaced, as of 29 July, with many living in host communities or in 75 evacuation centers.

More than 200,000 children have been displaced. Many of those living in host-communities are affected by scarcity of household resources, including food and school supplies, in one of the poorest areas in the country.

[Archive Photo: Soldiers stage counter terrorism operation against Maute terrorists allegedly conncted with Daesh in Butig town Lanao Del-Suer provincein Minandao Island, south Philippines on 2 March 2016. Photographer: Lito Boras/AA]

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Yemen: Up to 50 teen migrants ‘deliberately drowned’ off Yemen coast

By Fatih Erel


GENEVA, Switzerland, (AA): About 50 Somali and Ethiopian refugees, mostly teenagers, were “deliberately” drowned on Wednesday by a human smuggler who forced 120 migrants into the sea off Yemen’s coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

“The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea, when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast,” the U.N. migration agency’s chief of mission in Yemen, Laurent de Boeck said in a statement.

“They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route. This is shocking and inhumane,” De Boeck added.

The IOM found the shallow graves of 29 migrants on a beach in the southern province of Shabwa during a routine patrol and 22 migrants are reportedly still missing.

âThe approximate average age of the passengers on the boat was 16,” the migration agency said.

The IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants have left the Horn of Africa to come to Yemen since the beginning of the year. More than 30,000 of those migrants are under 18 and from Somalia and Ethiopia, while a third are estimated to be female.

[UN International Organisation for Migration IOM logo by YvonneIOM/Creative Commons]

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Iraq: US shelling kills dozens of Shia Muslim fighters

BAGHDAD (AA) – Dozens of fighters from a Shia militia were killed by U.S. shelling near Iraq’s border with Syria, the group said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Brigade said the U.S. artillery attack would “not go unpunished” and called on the Iraqi government to launch an investigation.

A source within the brigade, a faction of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia, said a convoy of its fighters was targeted inside southern Syria across the border from Al-Rutba district in Iraq’s Anbar province.

“At least 36 fighters were killed and 80 others injured in the attack,” the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

The bodies of those killed in the strike arrived at Baghdad airport late Monday, the source added.

An Iraqi security official, speaking under similar terms of anonymity, said the attack took place after the convoy had crossed into Syria. It remained unclear what the militia fighters were doing in Syria.

The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq had yet to comment on the incident at the time of publishing.

An umbrella group of pro-government Shia Muslim militias, the Hashd al-Shaabi was established in 2014 to fight Daesh.

It has been accused in the past of committing violations against civilians in Sunni-majority areas captured from Daesh — allegations that it has denied.

Last November, Iraq’s parliament endorsed a proposal to formally incorporate the Hashd al-Shaabi into the Iraqi armed forces.

There is no official data regarding the size of the Hashd al-Shaabi, but some sources say it can field as many as Ꮼ,000 fighters.

[Archive photo: Members of Hasdi Sabi after recapturing Fallujahs Saklaviye district from Daesh in Anbar on 4 June 2016. Photographer: Ali Muhammad/AA]

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Yemen: More than 200 children killed in 2017

By Ali Oweida


MAARIB, Yemen (AA): More than 200 children have been killed in war-battered Yemen this year, a UN official said Monday.

“In 2017, 201 children killed in Yemen: 152 boys and 49 girls,” Meritxell Relano, UNICEF Resident Representative in Yemen, said on Twitter.

She said 347 Yemeni children were maimed, including 113 girls, and that 377 boys were recruited in the ongoing fighting in Yemen this year.

The UN official’s statements came a few days after the rebel Houthi group accused the Saudi-led coalition of killing 12 civilians, including children, in an attack in the northern province of Saada.

Relano said four girls and two boys aged between 2 and 14 years had been killed in the attack, but without holding any party responsible for the attack.

At least 1,546 children have been killed and 2,450 others injured in the three-year conflict in Yemen, according to UNICEF figures released in March.

Impoverished Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi [Ansar Allah] overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.

Over 3 million people have fled their homes since the onset of the conflict, and more than 20 million throughout the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

[Archive Photo: Yemenis next to civilian buildings bowling saloon bombed by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Musbahi district in Sana’a on 12 February 2016. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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Palestine: Israel detained 880 Palestinians in July: NGOs

By Qais Abu Samra


RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Israeli forces rounded up 880 Palestinians last month, according to Palestinian NGOs.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said 144 children and 18 women were among those detained in July.

œA total of 425 residents of Jerusalem were among those arrested last month,” said the statement, which was also signed by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Prisoners’ Affairs Agency.

The Israeli army frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns in the occupied territories that ostensibly target Palestinians who are “wanted” by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Around 6,400 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons throughout the Jewish state, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs

[Photo: Palestinians hold a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza City, Gaza on July 31, 2017. Photographer: Mustafa Hassona/AA]

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Turkey, Qatar, Iran to discuss land trade routes

By Seval Ocak Adiyaman and Tolga Albay


IZMIR, Turkey (AA): Ankara, Doha and Tehran want to discuss land trade routes on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony of Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Friday.

“We’re thinking about alternatives for land trade routes with Qatar but the easiest way is passing through Iran,” Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

In early June, a handful of Arab states — led by Saudi Arabia — abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the tiny Gulf country, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups.

The Qatari government has denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law.

“We want to meet all of Qatar’s needs. We want all good providers in Turkey to sell products, including cleaning materials, domestic appliances […] and textile, in Qatar,” Zeybekci stated.

Trade between Turkey and Qatar increased in June and July, Zeybekci said, adding: “We have to make this increase permanent.”

Turkey’s exports to Qatar totaled $52.4 million in June 2017, while they reached $36.2 million in May 2017. Turkey’s imports from Qatar amounted to $23.7 million in June, compared to $19.6 million in May.

Zeybekci said using cargo planes to carry products was not sustainable.

“We want to make it [transportation] economic, sustainable and reliable,” he added.

œShipment by sea will gain importance. We foresee that at least four large tonnage ships would go to Qatar monthly but the land route is an alternative for carrying flexible and smaller packages,” Zeybekci added.

[Archive photo: Qatar Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani with Turkish President Erdogan in Doha on 1 December 2015. Photographer: Yasin Bulbul/Turkish Presidency/AA]

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Jammu & Kashmir: Two Kashmiri militants, two Indian soldiers killed

By Zahid Rafiq


SRINAGAR, Jammu Kashmir, India (AA): Two Kashmiri militants and two soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in two separate gunfights in the disputed Jammu Kashmir region on Thursday morning.

A major of the Indian Army and another soldier were killed when militants attacked a group of Indian forces in Zaipora village in the southern district of Shopian, army spokesman said.

Col. Rajesh Kalia confirmed to Anadolu Agency that Maj. Kamlesh Panday and sepoy Tanzin Chhultim were killed in the attack.

According to sources in the police department, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity, the forces had gone to the village on specific input about the presence of militants.

“But the militants took the armed forces by surprise and carried out a lethal attack. The operation is ongoing,” the police official said.

Earlier in the morning, the Indian forces killed two militants in Kulgam district in south Kashmir during another gunfight.

“The gunfight lasted half an hour. Forces eliminated two Hizbul Mujahideen militants who were involved in many cases,” Shridhar Patil, senior superintendent of Kulgam police, told media.

Both of the slain militants Aqib Itoo and Suhail Rather – are locals of Kulgam district, police sources confirmed.

On Tuesday, top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana, 26, and his 17-year-old accomplice, Arif Ahmad Dar were killed in a gunfight at Harkipora village in Pulwama district.

The killings led to civilian protests during which the Indian forces opened fire killing two civilian demonstrators and wounding at least 30 others.

According to data compiled by the Jammu Kashmir Police Department, 97 militants, 27 civilians and 39 Indian armed forces have been killed in gunfights, protests and ambushes in the region in the first six months of 2017.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 €“ since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir. Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

[Archive Photo: Indian security forces in Nowhatta area in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on ǯ August 2016. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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Afghanistan: 29 dead in suicide attack on Shia Muslim mosque in Herat

By Shadi Khan Saif


KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – At least 29 people were killed and 60 others wounded when a suspected suicide bomber struck a Shia Muslim mosque in western Herat province Tuesday evening, according to a hospital official. Death toll may increase as many of those injured are in critical condition.

The incident took place in Bakat Abad area of relatively peaceful Herat — the third biggest city of the country as people were praying evening prayers.

Herat Regional Public Hospital Mohammad Rafique confirmed to Anadolu Agency the death and injury tolls.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ayub said two attackers were involved in the incident.

A suspected suicide bomber first blew himself up among worshipers, and later a second assailant inside the Jawadia mosque started shooting at people indiscriminately, Ayub said.

Dozens of people were present inside the mosque for late evening prayers called Isha when the attack took place at 8.30 p.m. local time (1600 GMT).

Taliban spokesman Qari Yosuf Ahmadi said in a statement his group had nothing to do with the attack.

On June 15, a terrorist attack on a Shia Muslim community mosque in capital Kabul involving at least two suicide bombers killed at least six people.

On June 6, an improvised explosive device attack at main gate of iconic Jama Masjid in Herat left at least eight people dead.

Additional report by Thre Musilm News

[Photo: A man receives medical treatment after suspected suicide bomber struck a Shia Muslim mosque in western Herat province, Afghanistan on August 1, 2017. At least 20 people were killed and 30 others wounded, according to a hospital official. Photographer: Mir Ahmad Firooz/AA]

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