Daesh tried to use woman suicide bomber in foiled Pakistan Easter plot: Army

Noreen Leghari, a would-be Daesh female suicide bomber, is seen in a video confession shown during a news conference by Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Monday. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood)
Updated 19 April 2017
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Daesh tried to use woman suicide bomber in foiled Pakistan Easter plot: Army

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A female would-be suicide bomber who had pledged allegiance to the Daesh group had planned to carry out an attack on a church in Lahore on Easter Sunday, a Pakistan military spokesman said Monday.
Noreen Leghari, a second year medical student, is in army custody after being captured during a raid overnight Friday that left four soldiers wounded and her male accomplice dead, army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters.
A filmed confession was later shown to reporters in which Leghari, dressed in a veil, said: “We were provided equipment on April 1, including two suicide vests, four hand grenades and bullets.
“We were told to use these jackets to attack a church on Easter and I was supposed to be used as a suicide bomber.”
Lahore suffered one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks on Easter Sunday 2016 — a suicide bomb in a park that killed more than 70 people, including many children, and was claimed by the Jamaat ul Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan has seen a surge in militant attacks this year that have dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy.
But Ghafoor said that since launching a new nationwide military operation in February, the army had killed some 108 militants while 558 had been captured or surrendered — including Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.
“The former spokesman of Jamaat ul Ahrar and the Pakistani Taliban Ehsanullah Ehsan has surrendered himself to security forces. He’s not the only one. We will share further details in the coming days,” he said. He did not indicate when Ehsan had handed himself in or give any further details.


Abused and destitute: Wars fuel rise in global number of widows

Rohingya Muslim women, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stretch their arms out to collect sanitary products distributed by aid agencies near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP)
Updated 16 min 1 sec ago
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Abused and destitute: Wars fuel rise in global number of widows

  • One in seven widows globally — 38 million — lives in extreme poverty
  • Deaths through conflict and disease contributed to a 9 percent increase in the number of widows between 2010 and 2015

LONDON: Millions of widows worldwide suffer crushing poverty and persecution, their numbers swelled by a proliferation of conflicts from Syria to Myanmar.
International Widows’ Day on June 23 aims to raise awareness of the often hidden injustices they face.
Many are robbed of their inheritance, while others are enslaved by in-laws, accused of witchcraft or forced into abusive sexual rituals. Here are some facts:
- Experts estimated there were 258.5 million widows globally in 2015, but say the number is likely to have risen.
- Deaths through conflict and disease contributed to a 9 percent increase in the number of widows between 2010 and 2015.
- The biggest jump has been in the Middle East and North Africa, where the estimated number of widows rose 24 percent between 2010 and 2015, partly due to the Syrian war and other conflicts.
- One in seven widows globally — 38 million — lives in extreme poverty.
- One in 10 women of marital age is widowed. The proportion is about one in five in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
- A third of widows worldwide live in India or China. India, with an estimated 46 million widows in 2015, has overtaken China (44.6 million) to become the country with the largest number of widows.
- Widow “cleansing” rituals in some sub-Saharan countries may require a widow to drink the water used to wash her dead husband’s body or to have sex with an in-law, village “cleanser” or stranger.
- Campaigners for widows’ rights say such rituals, which are intended to rid a widow of her husband’s spirit, spread disease and are a violation of dignity.
- Widows are regularly accused of killing their husbands either deliberately or through neglect — including by transmitting HIV/AIDS — in India, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and sub-Saharan Africa.
- Property seizures and evictions by the late husband’s family are widespread in many places including Angola, Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
- A significant number of girls are widowed in childhood — a reflection of the prevalence of child marriage in developing countries and the custom of marrying off young girls to much older men.