Two pilots martyred as UAE fighter jet crashes in Yemen

Updated 16 March 2016
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Two pilots martyred as UAE fighter jet crashes in Yemen

RIYADH: Two Emirati pilots were killed when their fighter jet crashed on Monday in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed rebels, the alliance said.
The Mirage jet crashed at dawn “due to a technical fault,” said the coalition statement published by SPA, hours after the UAE said one of its jets had gone missing.
In a statement on the UAE’s official WAM news agency, the Emirati armed forces had said the jet was “missing.”
It is the first known case of an Emirati jet from the coalition crashing since the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels began in March last year.
Coalition warplanes turned their crosshairs on Yemen’s second city Aden, home to a growing terrorist presence, for the first time last week.
Security officials and witnesses in Aden said a jet had crashed into a nearby mountain as coalition warplanes operated in the vicinity after clashes erupted between Yemeni forces and terrorists.
Footage from the foot of a hill near Aden showed locals pointing to debris strewn in the area and saying it belonged to the crashed jet.
A government official said a coalition jet had carried out an air raid against the home of a local Daesh commander at dawn, killing his 18-year-old son near the plane crash site. Apache helicopters were also taking part in the fighting on Monday, security officials said.
“We saw Apache helicopters fire rockets and open machine gun fire at Al-Qaeda militants” in Aden’s Mansura district, one witness said.
Meanwhile, Houthi rebels on Monday confirmed carrying out a prisoner exchange with Saudi Arabia and said they were open to negotiating a peace deal with the coalition.
He said the exchange of a captive Saudi army officer for seven fighters earlier this month came as part of an “initial and preliminary” stage of negotiations, which would be followed by “gradual steps”...


Iran detains British-Iranian academic, New York-based rights group says

Updated 51 min 21 sec ago
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Iran detains British-Iranian academic, New York-based rights group says

BEIRUT: A British-Iranian academic was detained in Iran by the country’s Revolutionary Guards in mid-April, the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported on Wednesday.
Britain’s Foreign Office (FCO) said it was urgently seeking information from Iran about the reported arrest of Abbas Edalat, a dual British-Iranian national who is a professor of computer science at Imperial College in London.
CHRI said Edalat had traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date for academic purposes. Quoting an unnamed source, it said the Guards had confiscated a computer, CDs and notebooks from Edalat when he was arrested.
A CHRI statement said Edalat’s family posted bail for him on April 21 but the Revolutionary Court in Tehran did not release him, citing problems with documentation.
CHRI did not specify what charges may have been brought against Edalat. The Iranian judiciary could not be reached for comment.
At least three other British-Iranian dual citizens are known to be held in the Islamic Republic.
“Iran’s continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and the denial of due process is extremely concerning,” CHRI executive director Hadi Ghaemi said in the release.
Edalat is a founder of the US-based Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), an advocacy group that opposes foreign intervention in the Islamic Republic, according to CHRI.
The Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, most for alleged espionage, Reuters reported in November.