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Iraq probes ‘rights abuses’ by troops
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Interior Ministry said it launched an investigation into allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by its forces fighting the Daesh group in Mosul. The allegations were first reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine last weekend. The report, authored by an Iraqi photographer reportedly embedded with the police unit, claims he witnessed killing, torture and rape of Daesh suspects. The ministry’s spokes
 
 
Saudi defends Bahrain crackdown on village
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday defended the actions of Bahraini authorities who opened fire on a protest by supporters of a top Shiite cleric, killing five people. The security of Bahrain “is an integral part” of Saudi security, the official Saudi Press Agency quoted a source in Riyadh’s foreign ministry as saying. “The source affirmed the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the measures being taken,” including in Diraz
   
US says Kurdish freedom must to avoid conflict
WASHINGTON: An Iraqi Kurdish push for independence from Baghdad appears likely to be a question of “not if but when,” in a significant challenge to Iraq’s stability, the head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said on Tuesday. The DIA’s director, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, told a Senate hearing that the ability of Iraq’s Kurds to reach an understanding with the government in Baghdad would be essential to avoid
 
 
Dakhil urges others to help keep focus on Yazidis’ plight
OSLO: An Iraqi parliamentarian and Yazidi activist known as Daesh’s “most wanted woman” wants other Yazidis to step onto the global stage to keep the plight of her people in the spotlight. Vian Dakhil hit world headlines in August 2014 when she broke down in tears in Iraq’s parliament when she plead for help for the religious minority under attack by Daesh militants in Sinjar, northern Iraq, home to about 400,000 Yazidis.
   
Over 30 migrants drown off Libya
ROME: More than 30 migrants, mostly toddlers, drowned on Wednesday when about 200 people without life jackets fell from a boat into the sea off the Libyan coast before they could be hauled into waiting rescue boats. The boat was near a rescue vessel when it suddenly listed and many migrants tumbled into the Mediterranean, Italian Coast Guard commander Cosimo Nicastro told Reuters. “At least 20 dead bodies were spotted in the
 
 
Daesh claims first suicide attack in Somalia
MOGADISHU: The Daesh group has claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia that left five dead as it steps up activities in a region dominated by the Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab. The group’s self-styled news agency Amaq claimed the “martyrdom-seeking operation with an explosive vest” in a statement carried by the Site Intelligence Group which noted it was the first suicide bombing by the militants in Somalia. The suicide bomber
   
Australian abducted in Yemen freed
SYDNEY: Australia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that an Australian citizen kidnapped in Yemen last year has been released following assistance by the sultanate of Oman. Oman’s Foreign Ministry said the country helped free the Australian citizen with the help of Yemeni tribal leaders. Its statement, carried by the state-run Oman News Agency, said the Australian had been “missing” in Yemen. It said the Australian
 
 
Top Daesh militant killed, says Syrian army
BEIRUT: The Syrian army said on Wednesday it had killed Daesh’s military commander in Syria during operations in the north of the country, where the Russian-backed government forces are seizing more territory back from the militant group. If confirmed, this would represent a major blow against Daesh ahead of an attack which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters — are expected to
   
Egypt releases rights lawyer on bail
CAIRO: An Egyptian prosecutor on Wednesday released on bail a human rights lawyer and possible presidential candidate, Khaled Ali, pending his trial later this month on charges of “offending public decency,” his lawyer said. Ali, 45, was detained on Tuesday. He is being sued by a private citizen over a photograph in which he appears to make a rude hand gesture on the steps of a Cairo court house, according to his lawyer Malek
 
 
Shabaab attack claims 3 Kenyan police officers
MOMBASA: Three police officers were killed in eastern Kenya on Wednesday when their vehicle hit a landmine, a senior official said, in an attack claimed by Somali militant group Al Shabaab. The officers were part of a three-vehicle early morning patrol in the Somali border region when their truck hit the improvised explosive device (IED), North Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Ali Saleh said. “The police car ran over an IED
   
Daesh kills 50 people in Syria assault
Beirut: The Daesh group killed more than 50 people in an attack on two government-held villages in central Syria’s Hama province on Thursday, a monitor said. The extremists executed some of those killed in the assault, which comes as Daesh loses territory elsewhere in Syria and in neighbouring Iraq. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on the villages of Aqareb and Al-Mabujeh killed at least 15
 
 
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