Diyarbakir attack shows ‘ugly face’ of terrorists

Updated 01 April 2016
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Diyarbakir attack shows ‘ugly face’ of terrorists

WASHINGTON: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said an attack in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Thursday that killed seven people and wounded 27 showed the “ugly face” of militants “as they are cornered.”
“This shows terrorism’s ugly face again. The determination of our security forces will put an end” to terrorism, Erdogan said in a speech to the Brookings Institute.
He is in the US for a nuclear security summit. A local official in Ankara said all the dead were members of the security forces.
The police officers were killed in an explosion caused by a bomb-laden car in Diyarbakir, Turkish news agencies reported. The explosives detonated as a vehicle carrying special forces and riot police passed by.
The Anadolu Agency said a vehicle carrying special forces was caught in the blast.
The private Dogan news agency blamed terrorists for the incident.
The blast damaged several cars and shattered almost all the windows of a high rise building in the area.
At least six ambulances deployed to collect casualties and security forces rushed to seal off the area.
The attack comes one day before Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is due to visit the city, including the historic Sur district where several neighborhoods are under curfew.
Turkey has been imposing curfews in several districts of the southeast since August to flush out militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.


Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

Syrian children are pictured at a refugee camp in the village of Mhammara in the northern Lebanese Akkar region on March 9, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Jumblatt expresses concern over torture of Syrian refugees

  • Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon
  • Jan Kubis: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible

BEIRUT: Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt has expressed concern about reports that Syrian refugees returning to their country from Lebanon face torture and murder.

This coincides with a debate in Lebanon about whether Syrian refugees should return without waiting for a political solution to the conflict in their country. 

UN Special Coordinator Jan Kubis stressed after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday the “urgent need to ensure the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees home, according to international humanitarian norms.” 

Kubis added: “The UN and the humanitarian community will continue to facilitate these returns as much as possible. Another very important message was also to support the host communities here in Lebanon.”

Mireille Girard, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Monday said: “The reconstruction process in Syria may not be enough to attract refugees to return. We are working to identify the reasons that will help them to return.”

She added: “The arrival of aid to the refugees is an element of trust that helps them to return. Their dignity and peaceful living must be ensured.”

Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumdjian said the Lebanese General Security “issued lists containing the names of refugees wishing to return to their homes, but the Syrian regime accepted only about 20 percent of them.”

He added: “The solution is to call on the international community to put pressure on Russia, so that Moscow can exert pressure on (Syrian President) Bashar Assad’s regime to show goodwill and invite Syrian refugees to return to their land without conditions, procedures, obstacles and laws that steal property and land from them.”

Lebanese Education Minister Akram Chehayeb said: “The problem is not reconstruction and infrastructure, nor the economic and social situation. The main obstacle is the climate of fear and injustice in Syria.”

He added: “There are 215,000 Syrian students enrolled in public education in Lebanon, 60,000 in private education, and there are informal education programs for those who have not yet attended school to accommodate all children under the age of 18.” 

Chehayeb said: “As long as the displacement crisis continues, and as long as the (Assad) regime’s decision to prevent the (refugees’) return stands … work must continue to absorb the children of displaced Syrians who are outside education to protect Lebanon today and Syria in the future.”