KMCC throws its weight behind Air Kerala project

Updated 06 December 2012
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KMCC throws its weight behind Air Kerala project

The Kerala Muslim Cultural Center (KMCC), which is one of the largest Indian expatriate groups in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, has pledged its full support to the Air Kerala project to make the new airline a big success.
The KMCC voiced its support during a meeting with Kerala’s Industry Minister and Muslim League leader P.K. Kunhalikutty and M.A. Yousuffali, a prominent Gulf-based businessman and director of the airline.
“We have decided to collect maximum shares for the project in order to realize the dream of Gulf Malayalees and solve their travel problems,” said EP Ubaidulla, acting general secretary of KMCC Jeddah Committee.
He said KMCC aims at mobilizing the support of all Keralite expatriates for the project by making them shareholders. “We’ll ask our 70 area committees, district committees and some 10,000 family security fund members to join the project,” Ubaidulla said.
Kunhalikkutty had told the committee members that the airline’s project report would be ready shortly. Kerala’s Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has stated that the new budget airline would start operations to the Gulf with five leased aircraft, charging affordable fares.
According to informed sources, the project would require an initial investment of Rs.2 billion, of which 26 percent would come from the state government and the rest through the issue of shares priced at Rs. 10,000 per share, open to the general public.
“Soon after getting official approval for the airline we’ll start collecting shares in order to avoid delay for its operation,” the KMCC leaders said, adding that they would ensure full legal protection for expatriates’ shares.
The committee members who held talks with Kunhalikkutty and Yousuffali were: Ahmed Palayatt, president, Ubaidulla, Anwar Cherankai, PT Muhammad, Kawungal Muhammad, Sahal Thangal, N. Muhammad Kutty, KVA Gafoor, CK Shakir and VP Mustafa.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 12 min 33 sec ago
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.