Five killed in latest bloodshed in Kashmir

Indian government forces clash with Kashmiri protestors after the funeral procession of slain militant Yawar Nissar at Shipora in Anantnag, South of Srinagar, on August 4, 2017. Two Indian soldiers and two rebels were killed in armed clashes on August 3, officials said, in another day of bloodshed in Kashmir where tensions are high following the death of a prominent militant. The rebels were killed in Kulgam, south of the main city of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir, when they walked into an ambush laid by Indian soldiers. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2017
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Five killed in latest bloodshed in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, INDIA: Two soldiers and three rebels were killed in an overnight gunbattle in Kashmir, officials said Sunday, in the latest bloodshed in the disputed Himalayan territory.
Hundreds of Indian soldiers and counter-insurgency forces surrounded Awneera, a village about 50 kilometers (32 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar, on Saturday evening following a tip-off about armed militants in the area.
A fierce firefight broke out in which three militants and two soldiers were killed, army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia told AFP.
A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militants were identified as locals.
As news of their death spread, hundreds of residents from neighboring villages took to the streets in protest, throwing stones at soldiers and chanting slogans against Indian rule.
In a separate incident early Sunday rebels fired at an army convoy in the northern are of Hajjin and injured two police officers and a soldier, the same police officer said.
On Saturday a civilian and a soldier were killed in gunfire between Indian and Pakistan soldiers along the heavily militarised de facto border splitting the territory.
At least 130 militants and 39 soldiers have died in clashes so far this year, officials say.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.
Rebel groups have fought since 1989 in Indian Kashmir, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan, and tens of thousands — mostly civilians — have been killed.


Britain would not block death penalty for Daesh suspects

Updated 18 min 15 sec ago
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Britain would not block death penalty for Daesh suspects

  • Britain was prepared to waive its long-standing objection to executions in the case of captured fighters, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh
  • Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said Britain wanted the militants to be tried in the most appropriate jurisdiction

LONDON: Britain’s interior minister has indicated London would not object to Washington seeking the death penalty against two British Daesh militants if they are extradited to the United States, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.
According to a leaked letter published in the newspaper from British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Britain was prepared to waive its long-standing objection to executions in the case of captured fighters, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh.
The two men are suspected of being two of four militants, dubbed the “Beatles” because of their English accents, who took part in the kidnap, torture and murder of Western hostages.
They were captured in Syria in January by a US-backed Syrian force, and Britain and the United States have been in discussions about how and where they should face justice.
According to the Telegraph, Javid wrote to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying Britain was not intending to request that the two men be sent to the United Kingdom, saying a successful prosecution in the United States was more likely.
Furthermore, he said Britain would not insist on guarantees the men would not be executed.
“I am of the view that there are strong reasons for not requiring a death penalty assurance in this specific case, so no such assurances will be sought,” the letter said.
“As you are aware, it is the long held position of the UK to seek death penalty assurances, and our decision in this case does not reflect a change in our policy on assistance in US death penalty cases generally, nor the UK Government’s stance on the global abolition of the death penalty.”
A Home Office spokesman said the government would not comment on leaked documents and Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said Britain wanted the militants to be tried in the most appropriate jurisdiction.
“It’s a long-standing position of the government to oppose the death penalty ... as a matter of principle,” the spokeswoman told reporters. “We are continuing to engage with the US government on this issue and our priority is to make sure that these men face criminal prosecution.”
Guantanamo
The opposition Labour Party accused Javid of “secretly and unilaterally” abandoning Britain’s opposition to the death penalty.
“By doing so he is not just playing with the lives of these particular terrorists but those of other Britons — including potentially innocent ones — all over the world,” said Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti.
The Telegraph also reported that other documents suggested that Britain would not oppose the men being sent to the US-run Guantanamo Bay military facility.
However, the Home Office spokesman appeared to reject this saying: “The UK government’s position on Guantanamo Bay is that the detention facility should close.”
The most notorious of the four so called “Beatles” was Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John,” who is believed to have been killed in a US-British missile strike in 2015.
He became the public face of Daesh and appeared in videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and other hostages.
The mother of James Foley said she did not want the men to be executed if found guilty.
“I think that would just make them martyrs in their twisted ideology. I would like them held accountable by being sent to prison for the rest of their lives,” Diane Foley told BBC radio.