Al-Abadi raises flag in border area taken from Daesh

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi erects a national flag in Al-Qaim on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 06 November 2017
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Al-Abadi raises flag in border area taken from Daesh

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s state TV said the prime minister has raised the Iraqi flag at a border crossing with Syria days after Iraqi forces retook it from Daesh.
Al-Iraqiya TV said Haider Al-Abadi visited the newly-liberated town of Qaim and the nearby Husaybah border crossing in far western Iraq on Sunday. Both sit along what was once an important supply route used by Daesh when the group controlled large areas in Syria and Iraq.
Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition drove Daesh from Qaim and surrounding areas last week, in what coalition officials said marked the end of the conventional war against the extremist group in Iraq.
The militants are expected to rely more on insurgent-style attacks now that they no longer hold significant territory.
Meanwhile on Sunday, a twin suicide attack killed at least six people in Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk city, a security official said.
The attackers struck near a former police station used by Saraya Al-Salam, a Shiite paramilitary force led by powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Twelve people were also wounded in the two explosions, about 15 minutes apart.
The first attacker blew up an explosives-rigged car, followed by the second, who used an explosive belt, the official added.
The attack struck Atlas Street, a key shopping area in the heart of the city of a million residents.
Sadr’s force, formerly known as the Mahdi Army, is part of the Hashed Al-Shaabi paramilitary alliance that has battled both Daesh and Kurdish forces.
Iraqi security forces backed by the Hashed in mid-October seized oil-rich Kirkuk province from Kurdish peshmerga forces in the wake of a Kurdish independence vote held in defiance of Baghdad.
Kurdish media have since accused the Hashed, an alliance composed mainly of Shiite militias, of carrying out a campaign of retribution against Kurdish civilians.


Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in border clashes: Gaza ministry

Updated 24 September 2018
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Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in border clashes: Gaza ministry

GAZA CITY: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in fresh clashes on the Gaza border Sunday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said.
Imad Ishtawi, 21, was shot in the head, the ministry said, as Palestinians again gathered along the border east of Gaza City late Sunday in the latest in months of often violent demonstrations.
The strip’s rulers Hamas had been rumored to be seeking a lasting truce with Israel but the indirect talks have seemingly stalled, with protests subsequently increasing in number.
In recent weeks the demonstrations, which typically involve burning tires and throwing stones, have also taken place at night, though with far smaller numbers than the regular Friday daytime gatherings.
At least 186 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began on March 30.
One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
Israel has maintained a crippling blockade of Gaza for more than a decade it says is necessary to isolate Hamas.