Thousands of British Muslims celebrated Eid Festival 2019 in London

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London Mayor Sadi Khan has hosted the annual Eid Festival for three consecutive years. (Twitter photo/@MayorofLondon)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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There were performances from diverse acts from around the world. (Social media)
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There were performances from diverse acts from around the world. (Social media)
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London Mayor Sadi Khan has hosted the annual Eid Festival for three consecutive years. (Twitter photo/@MayorofLondon)
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The London mayor was joined on stage by the award-winning Hollywood actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed. (Twitter photo/@MayorofLondon)
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There were performances from diverse acts from around the world. (Social media)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (Social media)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Eid Festival 2019 was held in Trafalgar Square in its 14th edition. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Muslims and non-Muslims from London and beyond turned out for the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Trafalgar Square is located opposite the National Gallery in central London. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Stalls representing different ethnic backgrounds sold delicious foods and drinks common to their countries during the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Eid Festival 2019 was held in Trafalgar Square in its 14th edition. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Eid Festival 2019 was held in Trafalgar Square in its 14th edition. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Eid Festival 2019 was held in Trafalgar Square in its 14th edition. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Muslims and non-Muslims from London and beyond turned out for the event. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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There were performances from diverse acts from around the world. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The London mayor told the joyous crowd that people of all faiths — or of no faith — were all welcome in the capital city. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The London mayor told the joyous crowd that people of all faiths — or of no faith — were all welcome in the capital city. (AN photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The Festival was held on Trafalgar Square for the 14th time as Londoners of all ages, backgrounds, faiths celebrated Eid. (Social media)
Updated 12 June 2019
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Thousands of British Muslims celebrated Eid Festival 2019 in London

  • Thousands of Muslims from across the UK attended the Eid Festival in London
  • In its 14th edition, this is the 3rd time that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has hosted the event

LONDON: Thousands of people celebrated Eid Al-Fitr in London’s Trafalgar Square, with the city’s mayor hosting the free festival.
This is the 14th Eid in the Square in London, an annual event celebrating the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.
“We are celebrating this very important festival and the wonderful thing is that it isn’t just Muslims who are celebrating Eid, there are non-Muslims here as well, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and members of organized faiths and those that aren’t,” Mayor Sadiq Khan told Arab News.
“Here in London you are free to be who you want to be and you’re not simply tolerated, you are respected, you are embraced and you are celebrated,” he added.
Khan told the crowds that people of all faiths and none were welcome in the capital, adding that the “wonderful thing” about the city was that many Londoners realized when Ramadan was ongoing.
“Many non-Muslims are now fasting in solidarity. They know about iftar, they know about suhoor and it demonstrates that here in London you can be a part of London but also of different religions. “This year was wonderful as we had record numbers of non-Muslims here and that should demonstrate to the world why we are a beacon and why we are, in my view, the greatest city in the world."

The Mayor was joined on stage by the award-winning Hollywood actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed onstage.
There were performances from diverse acts including an Indonesian dance troupe, Syrian classical musicians, West African–European contemporary artists and spoken word poets.
Muslims and non-Muslims from London and beyond turned out for the event.  

“Me and my friends decided to come for a day out, just in general, but then we saw the Eid festival was on so I was really intrigued to come and experience the diversity and cultural awareness of this amazing city,” said Ayesha Kholwadia, 19, from north London. She is from India and was raised in the UK. She was visiting the festival for the first time and said it was “beautiful” to see people from different backgrounds come together in the sunshine.
Joanne Clarkson was also at the festival for the first time. “I’m visiting from Bristol and I’m loving being here and celebrating Eid. I love the music and all the aspects of the culture,” she said.

This year’s Eid Festival coincides with #LondonIsOpen, a major campaign launched by the London mayor in 2016, to show that London is united and open for business. “Despite Brexit, London will always be open to the world, proud of our diversity and inclusive to everyone,” a statement on the mayor’s official website stated.


Nigeria death toll rises in Boko Haram triple suicide bombing

Updated 17 June 2019
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Nigeria death toll rises in Boko Haram triple suicide bombing

  • Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall in Konduga

Thirty people were killed late Sunday in a triple suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria, emergency services reported, in an attack bearing the hallmarks of the Boko Haram militant group.

Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall in Konduga, 38 kilometers from the Borno state capital Maiduguri, where football fans were watching a match on TV.

“The death toll from the attack has so far increased to 30. We have over 40 people injured,” Usman Kachalla, head of operations at the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said on Monday.

An earlier toll from the blasts, the bloodiest in months, gave 17 dead and 17 wounded.

The attack happened around 9:00 P.M., Ali Hassan, the leader of a self-defense group in the town, said.

The owner of hall prevented one of the bombers from entering the packed venue.

“There was a heated argument between the operator and the bomber who blew himself up,” Hassan said by phone.

Two other bombers who had mingled among the crowd at a tea stall nearby also detonated their suicide vests.

Hassan said most of the victims were from outside the soccer viewing center.

“Nine people died on the spot, including the operator, and 48 were injured,” Hassan said.

Kachala said the high number of fatalities was because emergency responders had been unable to reach the site of the blast quickly.

Nor were they equipped to deal with large numbers of wounded.

“Lack of an appropriate health facility to handle such huge emergency situation and the delay in obtaining security clearance to enable us deploy from Maiduguri in good time led to the high death toll,” he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack bore the imprint of Boko Haram, which has led a decade-long campaign to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.

The last suicide attack was in April this year when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the garrison town of Monguno, killing a soldier and a vigilante and injuring another soldier.

Konduga has been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers from a Boko Haram faction loyal to longtime leader Abubakar Shekau.

The faction typically carries out suicide attacks against soft civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, often using young women and girls as bombers.

The militants are believed to sneak into the town from the group’s haven in nearby Sambisa forest.

Eight worshippers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in the town last July.

Boko Haram insurgency has claimed 27,000 lives and forced some two million to flee their homes.

The violence has spilled into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to battle the insurgents.