25 Macedonians held after clashes in name protest

A demonstrator holds a banner reading 'Macedonia' in front of the parliament building in Skopje on June 13, 2018 during a protest against the new name of the country. (AFP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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25 Macedonians held after clashes in name protest

SKOPJE: Macedonian authorities say seven policemen have been injured and 25 protesters detained during overnight clashes in the capital of Skopje, as demonstrators opposed to the name deal with Greece tried to push their way into Parliament.
The Interior Ministry said police used tear gas to stop the demonstrators, who were throwing stones and firecrackers.  A few thousand people took part in the demonstration.
The clashes came after the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia signed a preliminary deal that would see Macedonia being renamed “North Macedonia,” during a meeting Sunday on the two countries’ border.


Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

Updated 57 min 43 sec ago
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Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

  • Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan
  • The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was exiled by President Ashraf Ghani’s government over allegations of sexual abuse, returned home on Sunday to rapturous reception from supporters and is set to resume his duties as normal.
Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan by his ethnic Uzbek supporters, who blocked several border crossings and government institutions, and threatened to boycott the long-delayed October elections.
The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh in the north recently.
Dostum’s supporters accuse Ghani of having sidelined him. The protests were triggered by the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a senior commander and Dostum loyalist accused of severe human rights abuses and threatening to kill provincial officials.
In a video, government troops were seen beating Qaisari’s handcuffed guards during his arrest, stoking further anger.
Haroon Chakansuri, a spokesman for Ghani, said Dostum had gone to Turkey for nearly 14 months for unspecified medical treatment, and would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and be given an official reception.
Accusations that Dostum had ordered his guards to sexually abuse and torture political rival Ahmad Eschi will be handled independently by the courts, Chakansuri said. Dostum supporters say the allegations about Eschi are a conspiracy.
Ghani picked Dostum, the self-proclaimed leader of ethnic Uzbeks, as his running mate in the 2014 elections.
Ghani last year blocked Dostum’s return from exile when he tried to fly home to form an opposition alliance including senior government members.
The ethnic Uzbek vote is essential for any candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Ghani has said he will stand for office again.