Pakistan attack: Taliban militants storm agricultural college in Peshawar

Pakistani security personnel take position outside an agriculture training institute that was attacked by Taliban militants in Peshawar on December 1. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2017
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Pakistan attack: Taliban militants storm agricultural college in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants stormed a training institute in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar Friday, injuring at least seven people.
Two to three gunmen entered the Agriculture Training Institute Friday morning, where they began firing indiscriminately, Peshawar police chief Muhammad Tahir Khan said.
“A number of people have been injured and the military and other law enforcement agencies are carrying out an operation to clear the area,” he said.
The militants are believed to remain inside the compound. An AFP reporter at the site saw a helicopter hovering over the area and heard gunshots from inside the building.
A residential area also within the training institute compound is being evacuated.
Wasim Riaz, a senior police official, said seven people injured so far have been shifted to the government-run Lady Reading Hospital.
A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.
“Our mujahids have attacked the building because it was used as office for ISI, God willing our fighters will fight till the last drop of blood,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the city including the university of Peshawar.
An interior ministry official said that cellular networks have been suspended in various cities across the country for security reasons.
Security was also tight after weeks-long anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad that saw seven killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with police.
Violence erupted over the weekend after police and paramilitary forces launched a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in, igniting fresh demonstrations in cities across the country, including in Lahore and Karachi.
The protests were finally ended just days ago under a military-brokered deal.
In December 2014, a Taliban attack on the army-run school in Peshawar killed 151 people, mostly schoolchildren.


Film review: ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem:’ An affair to remember

A still from ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.’
Updated 21 November 2018
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Film review: ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem:’ An affair to remember

TOKYO: Countless movies have tackled extramarital affairs, but Palestinian auteur Muayad Alayan gives the theme a new twist to his second feature outing, “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.”

Screened at the recent 31st Tokyo International Film Festival, the movie is a heartrending account of the humiliation and harassment an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man face when they are caught having an adulterous relationship. Not by their families, but by intelligence officers, underlining how political rivalries have begun to slip between the sheets. What seems utterly cruel is the kind of punishment the man has to undergo by authorities.

Written by Alayan’s brother, Rami, the first scenes in the film show Sarah (Sivane Kretchner) and Saleem (Adeeb Safadi) in the throes of their love affair. While she is married to an Israeli intelligence officer and runs a cafe, he is a struggling Palestinian delivery boy with a pregnant wife. Sarah and Saleem are complete opposites — geographically and religiously — but meet at night.

During the day, they lead pretty unexciting lives. She has a moody husband in David (Ishai Golan), and he has a sweet wife, Bisa (Miasa Abd Elhadi), who dotes on her husband. Things carry on until Saleem, in an act of sheer bravado, takes Sarah on a trip to Bethlehem.

Alayan gets the best out of his actors and while Kretchner and Safadi are entirely believable as their characters, it is Elhadi who scores top marks as the patient wife whose spirited life slips into darkness when she finds out about her husband’s affair. She conveys her anguish with a touch of brilliance.

Cinematographer Sebastian Bock uses a handheld camera, which provides the right degree of intimacy and lights up his sets imaginatively to convey the contrast between East and West Jerusalem. What feels like a bit of a drag, however, is the legal process that plays out later in the movie, although it does not harm the film as a whole.