SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Praising the swift and dedicated work of law enforcement officials to identify the perpetrators of Boston marathon bombing, a leading US Muslim organization has rejected the ‘heinous’ attacks as contradicting with Islam and all faiths.
“While we do not yet know the motivation for these heinous attacks, people of all faiths know that the horrific acts committed by these perpetrators go against everything to which God calls us,” Imam Mohamed Magidb, the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Friday, April 19.
“It is rather the loving, selfless acts of those who immediately responded on the scene that best uphold His teachings.”
“At times like this, I am reminded by a verse from the Holy Qur’an which is similar to one in the Old Testament: if anyone kills a person, it is as if he kills all humanity, while if any saves a life, it is as if he saves the lives of all humanity.”
Twin bombings rocked Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, killing at least three people and injured scores.
Late on Thursday, the FBI has released several images of two men they were hunting in relation to the bombing.
Suspects include Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, said to be 19 and of Chechen origin, after he escaped a shootout with police in which a second suspect, named in the US media as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed.
Heavily armed police started a house by house search, urging residents of Watertown and surrounding areas, including the whole of Boston, to stay indoors.
On Friday afternoon, Col Timothy Alben of the Massachusetts State Police said officers in Watertown were searching "door to door, street to street" for the suspect, but there was as yet no word on his whereabouts.
"Things change, they change quickly," the officer said, adding: "We are working on several new leads that have just developed in the last few minutes."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said there were "continuing developments" in the investigation, and that an order to stay indoors remained in place across the whole of Boston and surrounding suburbs.
As two brothers of Chechen origin were named as suspects of staging the Boston bombings, their father accused FBI of setting up his children because they are Muslims.
“In my opinion, my children were set up by the secret services because they are practicing Muslims,” Anzor Tsarnaev told the Interfax news agency from the North Caucasus Russian city of Makhachkala.
“Why did they kill Tamerlan? They should have taken him alive," said the father.
The father insisted that his sons were innocent, but said he would appeal to his son to "surrender peacefully."
"Give up. Give up. You have a bright future ahead of you. Come home to Russia," the dad said.
The father warned, however, "If they killed him, then all hell would break loose."
"If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame," the father told ABC News.
"Someone, some organization is out to get them."
Friends of his younger son, Dzhokhar, confirmed that the young man was smart and studious.
"He never seemed out of the ordinary at all," high school classmate Sierra Schwartz told "Good Morning America" today.
"This is not someone who seemed troubled in high school or shy. He was just one of us. It's very weird."
Steven Owens told ABC News, "I met him when I was in seventh grade and he was just a great kid. He was fun to be around. Very studious, very smart.”
“I don't remember a time when he was ever having trouble in school. He was a great athlete. Great to be around," he added.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from 7-8 million Muslims.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A high-ranking Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official has linked the deadly Boston attacks to the U.S.-backed French war in Mali.
Essam Elerian, vice chairman of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), wrote in a statement posted in Arabic on his Facebook account that the “events began with the sending of French battalions to Mali in a war against organizations that are said to be part of al Qaeda.”
Elerian expressed sympathy with the families of the victims, but said the attacks “do not stop us from reading into the grave incident.”
“Who interfered in democratic transformations, despite the difficult transition from despotism, corruption, poverty, hatred and intolerance to freedom, justice, tolerance, development, human dignity and social justice?” he asked. “Who created Islamophobia through research and media? Who funded this violence?”
Earlier, Elerian’s FJP party published a statement in English condemning the “heinous attacks in Boston,” which killed three people and wounded more than 170 others.
The party said it “offers heartfelt sympathies and solemn condolences to the American people and the families of the victims.”
“Islamic Sharia [law] strongly condemns the attacks on civilians and the terrorizing of innocent people.”-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Arabiya
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Armed men dressed in Somali police uniforms have stormed the court complex in the capital Mogadishu killing a number of people, before a gun battle erupted with security forces besieging the compound.
Hours after the attack at the court on Sunday, a large blast hit an area on the road to the Mogadishu airport, residents said.
Somali officials told Al Jazeera that nine fighters dressed in police uniforms attacked the court complex killed ten national security officers outside the court complex before entering.
Once inside the court, the fighters killed at least three people, including two lawyers and a spokesperson of the court.
An al-Shabab spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attacks, telling Al Jazeera that as a state institution the court complex was a "legitimate target".
Hours later, a car bomb exploded at a building housing Somali intelligence along the road to the airport as Turkish and African Union (AU) vehicles were passing, police and witnesses said.
Government forces then opened fire and blocked the road.
"The car bomb exploded near the gate of a building housing the Somali security. AU and Turkish cars were also passing there. We are still investigating the target and casualties," Qadar Ali, a police officer told the Reuters news agency.
A Turkish official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that one of its Red Crescent vehicles was passing at the time of the explosion. A Somali driver was killed and three Turkish passengers were wounded, the official said.
In total, Somali officials said more than 30 people were killed on Sunday, including the nine fighters who stormed the court.
'Sign of desperation'
In control of much of the capital Mogadishu between 2009 and 2011, al-Shabab has been forced out of most major cities in central and southern Somalia by African Union peacekeepers.
But the al-Qaeda-linked fighters have claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings in Mogadishu this year.
Last month at least 10 people were killed by a car bomb claimed by al-Shabab in Mogadishu, police said.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called Sunday's attacks a “sign of desperation by the terrorists, who’ve lost all their stronghold and are in complete decline right across Somalia.”
"Somalia is moving and will keep moving forward and will not be prevented to achieve the ultimate noble goal, a peaceful and stable Somalia, by a few desperate terrorists," Mohamud said in a statement.
Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reporting from neighbouring Kenya said it’s clear that the Somali capital isn’t “as safe as the government would like to believe.”
“But there is a certain degree of stability and security that we haven’t seen there for two years, and I know that the government is very keen to try and make sure that it stays that way.” -www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Four bomb attacks have targeted four Shia mosques in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least 23 people.
According to police officials, the car bomb blasts hit three neighborhoods in Baghdad within an hour of each other and an area of south Kirkuk.
The explosions hit outside mosques where people had gathered for Friday prayers.
The attacks come amid a rise in violence across the country as Iraqis prepare for their first elections in three years. The provincial polls are due to be held in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces on April 20.
On March 20, two people were killed and four others wounded in a car bomb explosion in the Iraqi capital.
A day earlier, a wave of attacks in mainly Shia-populated neighborhoods of Baghdad killed at least 65 people and injured over 200 others.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – North Korea, usually blamed for hacking others, has accused the United States of staging cyber attacks against its Internet servers after reports of disruptions to its main news services, the latest twist from an increasingly bellicose North.
Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency said a “powerful hacker attack” from abroad had brought down Internet servers inside the North, disabling access to some websites.
The accusation comes at a time of increased tension between reclusive North Korea and South Korea, along with the South’s ally the United States.
The North has threatened a nuclear war with the United States in response to new United Nations sanctions over its latest nuclear test and to strike back at the South and the United States during military drills they are staging.
South Korea’s MBC television said the North’s state media services were among those affected by the cyber attack.
These included the websites of the KCNA news agency and the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which were said to be experiencing disruptions even though they were operating normally on Thursday and Friday.
“It is nobody’s secret that the U.S. and the South Korean puppet regime are massively bolstering up cyber forces in a bid to intensify the subversive activities and sabotages against the DPRK,” KCNA said on Friday.
“Intensive and persistent virus attacks are being made every day on Internet servers operated by the DPRK,” it said.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, is the North’s official name.
KCNA and Rodong Sinmun have carried the North’s increasingly strident rhetoric of late, accusing the United States and South Korea of staging preparations for war and vowing to scrap the armistice that stopped fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.
The North has also threatened to use nuclear weapons against what it called hostile forces.
North Korea in turn has been blamed for spreading malicious software that crashed the websites of government agencies and businesses, and for a cyber attack on a South Korean state-run bank server in 2011 that took more than a week to restore.
North Korea denies charges of cyber attacks and accuses the South of a conspiracy to fuel confrontation, although defectors from the North have warned that Pyongyang was recruiting thousands of computer engineers to its cyber warfare unit.
Military experts said cyber warfare was a major threat from North Korea, along with its conventional forces and its weapons of mass destruction program, that posed a security risk to utilities and communications networks in the South.
North Korea also has been accused of jamming global positioning system signals affecting hundreds of flights at South Korea’s main airport.
Earlier this week, U.S. spy agencies said for the first time that cyber attacks and cyber espionage had supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the United States.
The United States and China also are embroiled in a row over cyber warfare, with U.S. President Barack Obama calling his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss the issue this week.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The head of the United States Cyber Command says the US is developing 40 new teams of cyber-agents that will both protect America’s critical infrastructure from hackers and as well as launch attacks against the country’s adversaries.
Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads both the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the 40 online support teams should be ready for action by 2015, with 13 of those units existing specifically to attack other countries.
Alexander has been reluctant to go into detail about how the newly-designed teams will engage in cyber battle with America’s enemies, but he did say that the 13 squads of offensive fighters won’t be sitting around waiting for hackers from abroad to strike first. The NSA chief described the groups as ‘‘defend-the-nation’’ teams but also stressed that their role will be one that puts them on both sides of the action.
“I would like to be clear that this team. . . is an offensive team,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“The teams are analogous to battalions in the Army and Marine Corps — or squadrons in the Navy and Air Force,” said Alexander. “In short, they will soon be capable of operating on their own, with a range of operational and intelligence skill sets, as well as a mix of military and civilian personnel.”
Chris Strohm, a national security reporter for Bloomberg, says the units will “focus on missions such as protecting vital computer networks from attacks, supporting combat operations and keeping the Pentagon’s information-technology systems secure.”
The Associated Press reports that Gen. Alexander likened the teams’ duties to “knocking an incoming missile out of the sky before it hits a target,” and that they’d serve as defensive teams with added offensive capabilities. What offensive actions the teams will engage in exactly will likely remain unknown for now, however, as the US has continues to closely guard its secretive cyber operations. An order signed by President Barack Obama last year outlining the offensive capabilities of US cyber squads remains classified four months later, but it has been described as being the most aggressive cybersecurity directive ever. Meanwhile, the commander-in-chief and other administration officials have only said that attacks aimed at US infrastructure are increasing in frequency.
"What is absolutely true is that we have seen a steady ramping up of cyber security threats,” Pres. Obama told ABC News during an interview filmed on Tuesday.
And while Gen. Alexander’s 40 new teams won’t be ready for either side of a cyberbattle until 2015, meanwhile Washington is looking for other ways to protect an onslaught of attacks. In addition to the classified order signed by Mr. Obama in November — Presidential Policy Directive 20 — the White House has also released an executive order that will pave the way for the country’s private businesses to share threat information with the US government.
“I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy,” Pres. Obama said during last month’s State of the Union address. Moments later during his speech, he also urged Congress to act fast on their own “by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.” One day later members of Congress reintroduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, and again this week Pres. Obama asked for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to act on it.
"There are ways that we can harden our critical infrastructure, our financial sector," Obama to ABC. "They need to get this done."
Gen. Alexander and Pres. Obama’s statements come on the heels of a series of cyberattacks aimed at America’s military computers, government servers, utility companies and banks. Iran has been largely considered responsible for a series of recent attacks on US banking websites, and China has repeatedly been linked to both cyber-espionage and cyberattacks on the US Department of Defense, Department of State and the private sector. Earlier this week, hackers claiming to be from the Tunisian Cyber Army took credit for hacking a handful of government websites, and say that, along with the al-Qaeda Electronic Army and a crew of Chinese hackers, will continue to attack US websites as part of Operation BlackSummer, or #OpBlackSummer.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Malaysian soldiers launched an attack on Tuesday against an armed clan in the Philippines, part of a continued effort to end a three-week long standoff in Sabah after violence in recent days that already killed at least 27 people, a Malaysian government official said.
The operation to take over an area occupied by about 180 Filipinos, dozens of them armed, began early Tuesday, a spokesman for Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said.
The government sent seven army battalions to the area on Monday to reinforce police, Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reported, adding that an "all-out assault" could follow. No casualties have been reported in Tuesday's attack.
Ismail Omar, Malaysian police inspector-general, said in a press conference that the ongoing military operation is centred in the area of Kampung Tanduo, which has been "sealed off" within 4km radius.
A firefight first broke out on Saturday, when the Malaysian police tried to force the group to surrender, initially killing at least 10 people. The armed group launched a counter-attack killing at six Malaysian police, but also losing an additional seven of its members, raising concerns the violence was spreading.
"After the first attack, I have asserted that the intruders must surrender and if they refuse the authorities of this country will take action," Najib said in a statement.
The ongoing violence has already displaced many native Filipinos living in Sabah. There are an estimated 800,000 Filipinos living there.
On Sunday evening, about 300 Filipinos have arrived in Zamboanga in southern Philippines after being "deported" from Sabah, Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reported.
"A crackdown on Filipinos are expected to intensify in the coming weeks," Alindogan said.
Earlier, Philippine president Benigno Aquino had called on members of the Sabah clan to surrender, saying negotiations can only proceed if they lay down their arms.
Centuries-old territorial claim
Members of a Muslim royal clan, who call themselves the Royal Sulu Army and hail from the southern Philippines, landed in a coastal village in Sabah on February 9 to claim the territory as their own, citing ownership documents from the late 1800s.
They are also demanding an increased payment from Malaysia for their claim as the rightful owners of Sabah.
The Malaysian government continues to pay the Kiram clan of Sulu a supposed annual rent of $1,500 for the use of more than 73,000 square kilometres of land in Sabah.
Malaysia has refused their demands and, along with the Philippine government, has urged the group to return home.
The violence has sparked a political crisis ahead of elections for both the Philippine and Malaysian governments and raised concerns of instability in resource-rich Sabah state.
The crisis also comes a crucial stage of peace negotiations arranged by Malaysia between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines.
The group has ignored appeals from Aquino to leave Sabah or face prosecution at home on charges of triggering armed conflict. -www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Shia Muslims in Pakistan have called on the government to take decisive action after a bombing by a Sunni group killed 84 people in Quetta, even as the country’s interior minister assured better security for the beleaguered minority.
"We want to register our protests. We demand that the Pakistani army and judiciary take notice of the blasts and launch targeted operations against those responsible for such acts of terrorism," Fida Husain Sadiq, a Shia leader, told Al Jazeera on Sunday.
Rahman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, told Al Jazeera: "We are taking every possible measure to provide full security to the Shia community."
"We really feel sorry for the victims. Obviously those who are trying to destabilise Pakistan through sectarianism, I think that they have a plan… We have been handling it, and we will handle it further."
On Sunday, the government issued a $1m reward for information leading to the attackers.
The latest attack comes barely a month after nearly 95 Hazara Shia community members were killed in a terrorist attack in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an armed Sunni group, claimed responsibility for both the attacks.
The provincial government was sacked after the January attack, which led relatives of the victims to refuse to bury their dead while they held a 76-hour protest sit-in.
The governor has said the blast was the result of a failure of the provincial security and intelligence agencies.
"Officials and personnel of these institutions are scared [of the terrorists]. Therefore they don't take action against them," Zulfiqar Magsi said in comments that were broadcast on local television.
'Hunt for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi'
But Malik, the interior minister, assured that action was being taken by the government to allay fears in the region.
"I have in fact instructed this afternoon to Frontier Corps [paramilitary force] and the police that they should hunt those Lashkar-e-Jhangvi guys wherever they are."
Aziz Hazara, vice president of the Hazara Democratic Party, said government was responsible for the killing of Hazara community.
"We are giving the government 48 hours to arrest the culprits involved in the killing of our people and after that we will launch strong protests," he said.
The families of some of the victims have said they will not bury their dead until the army steps in to protect Shias, said Hasnain Zaidi, a spokesman for an alliance of Shia groups called Majlis Wahdat al-Muslimeen.
The violence touched a chord among Pakistanis elsewhere in the country, with small-scale protests being held in Islamabad, Karachi and at least 12 other cities.
At the Islamabad rally, hundreds of Shias and various civil rights groups demanded the government crackdown on Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group that has been linked to al-Qaeda in the past.
The unpopular government, gearing up for elections expected within months, faces growing anger for failing to deliver stability.
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Quetta, said: "It's after all a government that nobody takes seriously and [an]interior minister that nobody takes seriously, either, because he has been claiming that he would bring the situation under control and then it spirals out of control.
"The situation here in Quetta is once again becoming dangerous."
Last year was the deadliest so far for Pakistan's Shia Muslim community, which accounts for about 20 percent of the population, with more than 400 people dead in targeted killings.
Violence has been especially intense in Balochistan, which has seen more than 200 deaths in the last 35 days.
Since January 10, more than 204 people have died in attacks in the southwestern city. The majority of the victims have been from the Shia minority.
January 10: 117 killed, over 200 injured Alamdar Road
January 12: 2 killed on Brewery Road
January 15: 3 killed in Bakra Mandi
January 19: 4 killed in Khameesa Khan Bugti area
January 21: 3 killed near Saryab Road
January 23: 1 killed in fighting
January 24: 2 barbers killed
January 25: 7 bodies found outside Quetta
February 7: 3 killed in Archar Road gunfight
February 9: 1 killed in Kachlak
February 16: At least 84 killed in Hazara Town
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – One hardline Muslim cleric on an Egyptian TV station justified sexual assaults on women protesters. Others issued religious edicts saying opposition leaders must be killed. Television screeds by ultraconservative sheiks are raising fears of assassinations here a day after a top anti-Islamist politician was gunned down in Tunisia.
Egyptian security officials on Thursday beefed up security around the homes of Egypt’s main opposition politicians, citing the possibility of a Tunisia-type killing after the edicts, or fatwas. The office of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his prime minister denounced the edicts and the top prosecutor began an investigation into one of the clerics.
Two well-known ultraconservative clerics sparked an uproar with their edicts several days ago saying Shariah, or Islamic law, required the killing of opposition figures. A third fanned the flames by justifying a string of mob sexual assaults on women protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
"They are going there to get raped," cleric Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah said, depicting them as loose women. He spoke of their curly hair, saying "these are devils named women ... They speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear ... Learn from Muslim women, be Muslims."
On his TV show on the private Al-Umma station Wednesday, Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, derided opposition statements that attacking women was "a red line" that must not be crossed.
"Does that apply to these naked women?" he said. "Nine out of 10 of them are Crusaders (Christians) and the rest are ... widows with no one to rein them in" to ensure they remain modest.
Sexual assaults on women protesters have spiked in Egypt’s wave of unrest since late January, with at least 19 reported on Jan. 25 alone. In many cases, mobs stripped women, penetrating them with knives and other objects, according to rights groups.
The TV screeds by the clerics reflect the fury with which some ultraconservatives have reacted to nationwide protests against Morsi, which turned into deadly clashes as police cracked down on the demonstrators.
Aides to Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood officials have depicted the protesters as thugs and criminals and have accused opposition politicians of condoning or even fueling violence in an attempt to undermine Morsi.
The hardline clerics took up that same rhetoric, but went further and declared that protesters and opposition leaders must face punishments under Islamic law for those who cause chaos or try to overthrow the ruler, including death, crucifixion or amputations of limbs.
Their edicts took on a new light after Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid, a sharp secular critic of that country’s Islamist-led government, was gunned down outside his home Wednesday.
Belaid’s assassination "sounds danger alarms from Tunisia to Cairo, and warns of the cancerous growth of terrorist groups cloaked by religion and carrying out a plot to liquidate the opposition morally and physically," Egypt’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, said in a statement.
A day earlier, the Front’s leader Mohamed ElBaradei denounced what he called the government’s silence "as another fatwa gives license to kill opposition in the name of Islam."
On Thursday, Morsi’s office said in a statement that it "stresses its full rejection of hate speech cloaked by religion" and called on all national, religious and intellectual leaders "to stand as one line against unacceptable inciteful language."
Prime Minister Hesham Kandil warned that such edicts could lead to "sedition and disturbance" and said they "are not related to Islam."
Interior Ministry spokesman Gen. Hani Abdel Latif said security authorities will increase patrols in residential areas where opposition leaders live in. He told the website of the state Al-Ahram newspaper that security officials have "put into consideration" the assassination of the Tunisia’s Belaid.
A security official said ElBaradei’s home and several other leaders’ homes will be put under observation for their protection. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Egyptians saw a series of assassinations of top statesmen and writers after religious edicts were issued against them back in 1990s during a bloody Islamic extremist insurgency.
Islamists have accused the opposition of trying to now overthrow Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, by stirring up violence in the streets. Protests against Morsi turned to clashes in many places, and demonstrators have cut off roads and held strikes outside government buildings. Dozens were killed in police crackdowns on protesters. Last Friday, protests outside Morsi’s presidential palace turned into riots as police rained tear gas and fired birdshots at demonstrators throwing stones and firebombs, and then set fire to protesters’ tents.
In further unrest, workers striking over a contract dispute shut down Egypt’s key Red Sea port of Ain Sukhna for a seventh day, leading four ships to cancel plans to dock there on Thursday, state news agency MENA reported.
During a recent talk show on the popular Salafi TV channel, Al-Hafez, cleric Mahmoud Shaaban said the leaders of the National Salvation Front are "setting Egypt on fire to gain power."
"The verdict against them under God’s law is death," he said.
He mentioned ElBaradei and another Front leader, Hamdeen Sabahi, saying "they have repeatedly spoken about toppling Morsi." Later in the program, he clarified that the government should carry out the verdict, not private citizens.
Separately, another hardline cleric Wagdi Ghoneim issued a video statement pleading with Morsi to crack down heavily on those outside his palace. "The verdict under Shariah for those who seek corruption on earth is to be fought, or crucified, or have their arms or legs cut off or be exiled from earth," he said.
"Strike with an iron fist. Otherwise, the country will be lost at your hand and they’ll say it is your fault. They’ll say Islam doesn’t know how to rule and that it’s the Islamists who wrecked the country," he said. He said that if Morsi’s government doesn’t act, private citizens will.
"We will kill the criminals, the thugs, the thieves and those who give them money and those who help them with words. No mercy with them," Ghoneim shouted.
Top prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim on Thursday ordered an investigation into Shaaban for his fatwa.
In another development, one of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s most trusted men has been released from prison pending further investigation into corruption charges, according to a security official.
Safwat el-Sherif, the country’s former parliament speaker, has walked out of Torah prison in southern Cairo district, late Thursday, the official says. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
El-Sherif, who served also as information minister for two decades and headed the former ruling National Democratic Party, spent nearly 18 months in prison. He was one of Mubarak’s strongmen.
El-Sherif is among a long list of other former Mubarak associates — businessmen, ministers and others — who were tried and face trial over alleged corruption.
Popular complaints of endemic graft in government circles were behind 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: The province
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Foreign-backed militants in Syria have stepped up their deadly attacks on Syrian Kurds in northeastern Syria near the Turkish border, Press TV reports.
On Tuesday, at least 56 people were reported to have been killed in a week of fighting between the militants, using tanks and mortars, and the Kurds, who make up almost ten percent of Syria’s population.
The militants also clashed with the Kurds near the southeastern Turkish town of Ceylanpinar which borders the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasaka province.
Ceylanpinar, whose residents are victims of stray bullets, has been on the receiving end of the fierce clashes.
Schools in the Turkish city remain closed and people have been asked to stay home.
On January 19, the Kurdish National Council -- a coalition of Kurdish parties in Syria -- condemned the ongoing assault "against unarmed civilians," saying militants were shelling Ras al-Ain indiscriminately.
It demanded that the militants’ leadership “put pressure on these armed groups to stop this criminal war.”
The Kurds accuse the militants of collaborating with Turkey, engaged in a long-running battle against ethnic Kurds.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.-www.shfaqna.com/English