4 ‘terrorists’ killed in attack on Iran checkpoint near Pakistan border

Pakistani troops patrol on a hill top post in Ladha, a town in the troubled tribal region of South Waziristan along the Afghan border, in this November 17, 2009 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 13 March 2018
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4 ‘terrorists’ killed in attack on Iran checkpoint near Pakistan border

TEHRAN: Four “terrorists” were killed after infiltrating Iran and attacking a military checkpoint in a southeastern border area, officials said on Monday.
The attack took place on Sunday near the city of Saravan, about 50 km from the Pakistani border, in the province of Sistan-Balochistan, the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards said in a statement.
Revolutionary Guard troops fought off the attack, it said, saying one of the attackers was killed after detonating an explosive vest.
Two members of the Basiji paramilitary force affiliated with the Guards were wounded in the fight, during which one of the attackers was killed after detonating an explosive vest.
The Guards statement said three assailants had been killed but ground forces commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Marani later updated the figure to four dead.
He said on state television that the assailants had mounted their attack from “the soil of a neighboring country” but did not name the country.
In the past, Iran has accused Pakistan of supporting Jaish Al-Adl, a militant group accused by Tehran of links to Al-Qaeda, which has carried out numerous attacks in Sistan-Balochistan.
Iranian media regularly reports armed clashes between security forces and criminal groups or “terrorists” in the border province, whose residents are mostly Sunni members of the Balochi ethnic minority.
Iran’s population is 90 percent Shiite and predominantly Persian.
From 2005 to 2010, Sistan-Boluchistan was destabilized by a rebellion led by a Sunni Baloch group Jundallah, whose activities virtually ceased after the execution of its leader in mid-2010.


Egypt militant returned from Libya back on trial: media

Updated 29 min ago
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Egypt militant returned from Libya back on trial: media

  • Hisham Al-Ashmawy’s retrial was being held in a military court
  • He is ‘accused of carrying out terror operations against the army, police forces and civilians’

CAIRO: An Egyptian militant captured in Libya and returned to Cairo was put on trial again Tuesday over five terror attacks, including one for which he has already received a death sentence in absentia, according to local media.
Hisham Al-Ashmawy — one of the country’s most-wanted militants — “is accused of carrying out terror operations against the army, police forces and civilians” killing 54 people in total, news website Ahram reported.
His retrial was being held in a military court, the site said.
He was sentenced to death in 2017 in absentia by an Egyptian military court over his involvement in attacking and killing soldiers at a checkpoint near the porous border with Libya.
Authorities have also linked Ashmawy with high-profile attacks including a 2013 assassination attempt on then-interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the 2015 killing of a top public prosecutor.
The militant was flown back to Cairo in May, after being handed over by Libyan National Army chief Khalifa Haftar whose forces captured him in 2018 in the eastern city of Derna.
Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, seized the city of Derna last summer. His forces are backed in particular by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
A former officer with Egypt’s special forces, Ashmawy was dismissed in 2012 over concerns about his religious views.
He joined the Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis but broke with the group after it pledged allegiance to the Daesh group in November 2014.
Known by his nom de guerre “Abu Omar Al-MuHajjir,” Ashmawy announced the formation of an Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Mourabitoun in Libya in July 2015.
He is also accused of being behind attacks in Egypt’s Western Desert region.