Daesh claims London attack

Seven people were killed in a terror attack on Saturday by three assailants on London Bridge and in the bustling Borough Market nightlife district, the chief of London’s police force said on Sunday. The van used in the attack was loaded into another larger van by police at the scene and driven away. (AFP)
Updated 05 June 2017

Daesh claims London attack

BEIRUT: Daesh has claimed responsibility for the London attacks, which left seven people dead, an online news agency affiliated with the terrorist group said Monday.
A “detachment of fighters from Islamic State (Daesh) carried out London attacks yesterday” the Aamaq news agency said, referring to Saturday’s assault which saw three men in a van plow into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a stabbing spree.
Daesh has also urged supporters to weaponize vehicles in attacks against the West.
It was the third attack in Britain this year that Daesh has claimed — after a similar attack on Westminister Bridge in March and the Manchester concert bombing two weeks ago — and one of several involving vehicles in Europe, including last year's Bastille Day rampage in the French city of Nice.
The three attackers Saturday were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, but the belts turned out to be fake. Investigators were working to determine whether others assisted them, Rowley said.
A bystander was also wounded by the gunfire, but the civilian's injuries were not believed to be critical.
Forty-eight people, including two police officers, were treated at hospitals. Twenty-one remained in critical condition Sunday. Among the wounded were German, French and Spanish citizens, officials said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a Canadian was among the dead. A French national was also confirmed dead.
Counterterrorism officers raided several addresses in Barking, an east London suburb, and arrested 12 people there Sunday, police said.
Neighbors at the site of one raid in Barking said a man who lived there resembled one of the attackers shown in news photographs.
Armed officers also conducted a raid in the East Ham area of the city. Video showed police shouting at someone: "Get on the balcony. Stand up and show us your hands!"
The rampage was the third major attack in Britain in the past three months, including a similar vehicle and knife attack on Westminster Bridge in March that left five people dead.
On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in northwest England. Grande and other stars performed Sunday night at a benefit concert for victims under tight security in Manchester.
The Daesh group claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the London attack.


Sharif awaits UK flight go-ahead for urgent medical treatment

Updated 12 November 2019

Sharif awaits UK flight go-ahead for urgent medical treatment

  • Sharif's name had still to be removed from the country’s Exit Control List

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ailing former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, was on Monday awaiting the go-ahead to travel to the UK for urgent medical treatment.

However, the 69-year-old’s name had still to be removed from the country’s Exit Control List (ECL) after his release on bail last month from a seven-year sentence for corruption, due to his ongoing health problems.

According to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, Sharif had been allowed by the government to get medical treatment outside Pakistan, but the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was still considering his no-fly status, which if cleared would then require endorsement from the Ministry of Interior.

Sharif, who has dominated Pakistani politics for three decades and was premier three times, has denied the corruption charges, claiming they were politically motivated.

“All the arrangements for his treatment abroad have been finalized, and we are now just waiting for the government to remove his name from the ECL,” the PML-N party chairman, Raja Zafarul Haq, told Arab News on Sunday.

Haq said Sharif’s younger brother and PML-N president, Shehbaz Sharif, and his personal doctor, Adnan Khan, would travel with him to London.

FASTFACT

Nawaz Sharif, who was Pakistan’s prime minister three times, has denied the corruption charges, claiming they were politically motivated.

Sharif had been scheduled to leave Pakistan for Britain at 9:05 a.m. on Monday with a private airline but was delayed because of the ECL decision hold-up.

On Friday, the Pakistani government granted Sharif permission to go abroad after Shehbaz requested the Ministry of Interior to remove his brother’s name from the ECL.

“The Ministry of Interior has taken all necessary actions keeping in view the urgency of the matter as pleaded by Shehbaz Sharif in his request,” a ministry statement had said.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi added on Friday that doctors had recommended Sharif be sent abroad for further examination. “If that is what the medical treatment requires, the government has been positive,” he told Reuters. “The prime minister (Imran Khan) has said everything possible should be done to show his life is protected.”

Asked if Sharif might be trying to leave Pakistan to seek a second period in exile, Qureshi said: “If their hands are clean, why should they be running away? I hope he recovers. When he recovers, why should he be sticking around in London? There’s no logic, there’s no reason for that.”