British woman killed in Kashmir; Dutchman arrested

Updated 07 April 2013
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British woman killed in Kashmir; Dutchman arrested

SRINAGAR: A British woman was found dead in a pool of blood in a houseboat in the Indian portion of Kashmir yesterday and a Dutchman has been arrested in connection with the incident, police said.
Police officer Ghulam Jeelani said the British tourist, who was in her 20s, was found dead in her houseboat room on Dal Lake in Srinagar, the region’s main city.
“The woman had multiple stab wounds all over her body and we found a knife next to her,” said Afadul Mujtaba, another police officer.
Police said the Dutchman smashed open the door of the woman’s room during the night. Later, he fled with only his passport, leaving behind all his belongings, Mujtaba said.
He said the man, who is in his 40s, was later arrested in Qazigund, a town nearly 75 km south of Srinagar, while trying to escape from the region.
Police were questioning the man, but he has not been charged with anything, Mujtaba said.
Mujtaba said the victim’s body was sent for medical examination to determine whether she was sexually assaulted before being killed.
The woman spent more than a month in the houseboat, and the Dutchman booked into a separate room on Thursday, police said, adding that they were investigating whether the two knew each other.
Police said they have informed the victim’s family and the British High Commission in New Delhi about the incident. Britain’s Foreign Office said it was aware of the death of a British national and was providing consular assistance to the victim’s family.
Srinagar has been relatively peaceful after years of armed rebellion, and tourism has revived in the region — an area popular with adventure tourists, backpackers and honeymooners.


Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

Updated 45 min 5 sec ago
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Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”