Suicide bomber kills Iraqi Muslim lawmaker

Updated 16 January 2013
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Suicide bomber kills Iraqi Muslim lawmaker

FALLUJA, Iraq: A suicide bomber killed an influential Iraqi Muslim lawmaker and his bodyguard yesterday in Anbar province, where thousands of protesters have been rallying daily against Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
Posing as a construction worker, the attacker targeted Efan Al-Esawi, a member of the Iraqiya bloc, who once helped organize a campaign against Al-Qaeda at the height of the war after the 2003 US-led invasion, police and local officials said.
No one claimed responsibility for the bombing but it may point to attempts by insurgents to fan tensions over the mass Muslim protests, which have revived worries of a slide back into the sectarian bloodletting of Iraq's recent past.
"One of the workers at the site went toward him, he thought he wanted something, the worker hugged him and then blew himself up," said Sadoun Ubaid, deputy head of Anbar provincial council.
"This man was targeted because he led the fight against Al-Qaeda. That is why they would target him."
The protests have become a serious test for Maliki since they erupted in late December after authorities arrested the bodyguards of Finance Minister Rafaie Al-Esawi, on terrorism charges.
Iraqi leaders said the arrests were part of an extended campaign to unfairly target their minority sect by security forces.


Kuwait arrests 2 Filipinos accused of helping runaway maids

Updated 23 April 2018
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Kuwait arrests 2 Filipinos accused of helping runaway maids

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has banned workers from heading to Kuwait over abuse cases
  • The two countries have since been negotiating for new rules governing Filipino workers there
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti police arrested two Filipinos for allegedly convincing housemaids to run away from their employers’ homes as the Philippines’ ambassador faced questions for comments about his embassy’s work in aiding abused workers, authorities said Sunday.
The arrests, reported by the state-run KUNA news agency, come as relations are tense between Kuwait and the Philippines, which sends many domestic laborers to the Gulf Arab emirate.
Already, the government of President Rodrigo Duterte has banned workers from heading to Kuwait over abuse cases, culminating in a February incident that saw a Filipino’s body discovered in a freezer at a Kuwait City apartment abandoned for more than a year.
KUNA said Sunday the two Filipinos acknowledged convincing the maids to leave. It wasn’t clear what law the two men were accused of breaking, though KUNA said the two “confessed to the crime in addition to other similar offenses that had been committed in various regions of the country.”
The arrests came after Kuwait summoned the Philippines ambassador over comments he made that were reported in local press about the embassy’s effort to rescue domestic workers who are abused by their employers. Ambassador Renato Villa was quoted as saying his embassy moves in to help the abused if Kuwaiti authorities fail to respond within 24 hours.
Villa’s office said he was unavailable for comment Sunday.
Duterte in January complained that cases of abuse reported by Filipino domestic workers “always” seem to be coming from Kuwait.
There have been prominent cases of abuse in the past, including an incident in December 2014 where a Kuwaiti’s pet lions fatally mauled a Filipino maid.
The Philippines banned workers entirely from Kuwait after the discovery of Joanna Demafelis’ body in a freeze in February. In late March, Lebanese officials said 40-year-old Lebanese national Nader Essam Assaf confessed to killing the woman along with his Syrian wife, who remains at large. Authorities say Assaf faces a possible death sentence.
More than 260,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many of them as housemaids. Kuwait and the Philippines have since been negotiating for new rules governing Filipino workers there.
Philippine officials have demanded that housemaids be allowed to hold their passports and cellphones, which is normal for skilled workers like teachers and office workers. But many Kuwaiti employers seize their phones and passports.