Don’t turn Daesh fight into battle against all Muslims: German minister

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2017
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Don’t turn Daesh fight into battle against all Muslims: German minister

MUNICH: German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned on Friday against turning the fight against Daesh into a battle against all Muslims.

“We should take care not to turn this fight into a front against Islam and Muslims in general,” von der Leyen said, according to the text of her speech, in a thinly veiled warning to the US.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would issue a new executive order to replace his controversial directive suspending travel to the US by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. He has said the directive was aimed at protecting the country from terrorist attacks.

Daesh militants, meanwhile, are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now.

Residents said the fighters have been opening passages in the walls between houses to allow them to move from block to block undetected, disappear after hit-and-run operations and track government troop movements.

Separately, a terrorist group has executed 41 fighters from Al-Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate and allied factions in infighting between the extremists in Syria’s Idlib province, a monitor said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Jund Al-Aqsa group had executed the 41 fighters in the town of Khan Sheikhun on Monday but the deaths were only confirmed on Friday amid fierce fighting between the radical factions.


10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

Updated 22 April 2018
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10 killed in Nicaragua protests against pension reform plan

  • Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police.
  • Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
MANAGUA: Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua's pension system have left at least 10 people dead over two days, the government said Friday.
In the biggest protests in President Daniel Ortega's 11 years in office in this poor Central American country, people are angry over the plan because workers and employers would have to chip in more toward the retirement system.
The government is willing to hold a dialogue and Ortega will issue a formal call on Saturday, Vice President Rosario Murillo said, adding: "At least 10 compatriots have died."
Demonstrations rocked the capital Managua and nearby cities for a third day.
The new law, besides increasing employer and employee contributions, would cut the overall pension amount by five percent.
"We are against these reforms, which means we're against this government taking from the pockets of Nicaraguans," said Juan Bautista.
He said riot police brutally attacked demonstrators like him because "the dictator does not like people to protest."
A woman nearby shouted: "The people are tired of this repression!"
Students from Polytechnic University have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police. Other students took refuge in nearby buildings or residences.
In Las Colinas, south of the capital, demonstrators raised small barricades and with their hands raised asked the riot police not to target them.
Four independent television outlets were taken off the air after they broadcast the demonstrations on Thursday, and two were still blocked on Friday.
Murillo compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda."
The opposition said more than 20 people were wounded while the writers group Pen Nicaragua said that at least 11 journalists were attacked while covering the demonstrations.
"We call on the Nicaraguan authorities to act to prevent further attacks on demonstrators and on the media," said Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights."
She urged the government to let people "exercise their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and association," and urged protesters to demonstrate "peacefully."
She also said demonstrators were attacked by government supporters in the city of Masaya.
Miguel Mora, director of the private television channel 100% Noticias -- which the government blocked -- accused Ortega of applying the same censorship he imposed in the 1980s during the Sandinista Revolution.
When Ortega returned to power in 2007 he promised to "never censor a media outlet -- and today he is doing just that," Mora told Channel 14.