Bosnian gets 18-year jail for US Embassy attack

Updated 07 December 2012
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Bosnian gets 18-year jail for US Embassy attack

SARAJEVO: A Bosnian court sentenced yesterday a militant who opened fire at the US Embassy in Sarajevo last year to 18 years in prison.
“Mevlid Jasarevic committed a terrorist act by shooting 105 bullets over 50 minutes towards the American embassy,” judge Branko Peric said. “This court sentences him to 18 years in prison.”
Jasarevic opened fire on the embassy in October 2011 with an automatic weapon before being shot by police and arrested. One police officer was injured in the attack.
“Jasarevic wanted to express his dissatisfaction with the position of Muslims in Bosnia and the world,” the judge said. The court rejected the charges that Jasarevic had organized a terrorist group but the sentence was the heaviest ever handed out by the Bosnian judiciary on terrorism charges.
The court acquitted his two co-accused, Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic, charged with helping him prepare the Oct. 28 attack and later covering up evidence.
The three defendants were not in court when the verdict was announced.
“We are satisfied with the sentence given to Mevlid Jasarevic as it is almost the maximum one for the act of terrorism,” the prosecutor’s spokeswoman Selma Hecimovic said.
“However, we will lodge an appeal for the part of the verdict acquitting Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic because we consider that they had helped Jasarevic to commit the terrorist act,” Hecimovic told AFP.


Egypt denies Sinai battle is choking off food and medicine supplies

Updated 19 min 19 sec ago
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Egypt denies Sinai battle is choking off food and medicine supplies

  • Human Rights Watch warned of a wider humanitarian crisis if North Sinai continued to be cut off from the Egyptian mainland, saying the army’s actions “border on collective punishment.”
  • Air strikes and raids have killed scores of suspected militants, the military says, as it imposes curfews and tight movement restrictions around towns in North Sinai.

CAIRO: An Egyptian military campaign to defeat Daesh militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula is choking essential food and medical supplies to thousands of residents in the desert region, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. The army denied the charge.
The New York-based organization warned of a wider humanitarian crisis if North Sinai continued to be cut off from the Egyptian mainland, saying the army’s actions “border on collective punishment.”
The army launched an operation in February to crush militants who have waged an insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers, police and residents over many years.
Air strikes and raids have killed scores of suspected militants since then, the military says, as it imposes curfews and tight movement restrictions around towns in North Sinai. The army has said it is winning the battle.
A military spokesman denied there were shortages, saying it was providing food and medical support throughout the areas it operated in, The HRW report had used “undocumented sources” in its report, he said.
“Thousands of food parcels have been and are being provided to people in North Sinai,” Col. Tamer Al-Rifai, the spokesman, added.
International news outlets are prevented from traveling to North Sinai to report.
Residents said food supplies, medicine and fuel were insufficient and that movement restrictions meant most people were unable to leave the region, HRW reported.
“A counter-terrorism operation that imperils the flow of essential goods to hundreds of thousands of civilians is unlawful and unlikely to stem violence,” HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson said.
The report said authorities had banned the sale of petrol and cut communication lines, water and electricity in some areas of North Sinai including near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Residents told Reuters last month they often waited for hours for bread handouts which were not guaranteed to arrive.
Defeating the militants and restoring security after years of unrest that followed Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising has been a promise of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who was re-elected in March in a landslide victory against no real opposition.
El-Sisi’s critics say he has presided over Egypt’s worst crackdown on dissent. Supporters say such measures are needed to bring stability and improve the country’s hard-hit economy.
In Sinai, analysts and foreign diplomats say heavy-handed military tactics including air strikes and demolitions of populated areas have failed to defeat the insurgency.