Remains of Indians killed by Daesh in Iraq to arrive home today

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India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh condemned terrorism and expressed his government’s stance in fighting it. (AP)
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Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit, India's Ambassador to Iraq, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 02 April 2018

Remains of Indians killed by Daesh in Iraq to arrive home today

BAGHDAD: The remains of 38 Indian construction workers captured and killed by Daesh in northern Iraq were handed over to Indian authorities in Baghdad and were flown home later Sunday.
Indian Ambassador Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit said the bodies had been taken to Baghdad International Airport and would be flown back on a military flight, arriving in India on Monday.
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh saluted the remains at the airport as workers loaded the caskets on the aircraft.
Singh condemned terrorism and expressed his government’s stance in fighting it.
“We are against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he told reporters, describing Daesh as “very cruel terrorist organization and our people have fallen to their bullets.”
Daesh abducted and killed the workers shortly after seizing the northern city of Mosul in the summer of 2014. Iraqi authorities discovered the remains in a mass grave last year after retaking Mosul, and positively identified the bodies last month.
The militants initially abducted 40 workers. One managed to escape, while the presumed remains of another have yet to be positively identified. Authorities are awaiting DNA samples from a first-degree relative.
The workers, most from northern India, had been employed by a construction company operating near Mosul. Around 10,000 Indians lived and worked in Iraq at the time. Daesh may have viewed the workers as polytheists deserving of death because of their Hindu or Sikh faith.
Daesh swept across northern and central Iraq in 2014, eventually seizing a third of the country. Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition eventually drove the militants from all the territory under their control in a grueling three-year campaign. The militants are still carrying out insurgent-style attacks.
Dozens of mass graves have been found in areas held by the extremist group, which boasted about massacring its enemies and posted videos and photos of many of the mass killings online. Iraq has only managed to excavate a few of the sites due to a lack of funding and specialized staff.


Malaysia’s Anwar says has ‘strong’ support to form govt

Updated 23 September 2020

Malaysia’s Anwar says has ‘strong’ support to form govt

  • The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since an alliance that swept to power in 2018
  • Muhyiddin Yassin became premier at the head of a coalition backed by a scandal-plagued party which had been ousted at the polls two years earlier
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he had the “strong” backing of lawmakers in parliament and was seeking an audience with the king to form a new government.
The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since an alliance that swept to power in 2018, which was headed by Mahathir Mohamad and included Anwar, collapsed in February amid bitter infighting.
Muhyiddin Yassin became premier at the head of a coalition backed by a scandal-plagued party which had been ousted at the polls two years earlier, but he had only a wafer-thin majority in parliament.
Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, veteran politician Anwar — who has long sought to become prime minister — said he now had the backing of enough MPs to form the government and oust Muhyiddin.
“Conclusively we have a strong, formidable majority,” he said, but did not reveal the number of lawmakers backing him.
“The government under the leadership of Muhyiddin Yassin has fallen.”
A government must command the support of a majority of the 222 MPS in parliament.
The was no immediate reaction from Muhyiddin. He was due to give a televised address to the nation later Wednesday.
Anwar said he had been granted an audience with the king on Tuesday but the meeting was postponed as the monarch is receiving treatment at a heart center in Kuala Lumpur.
The 73-year-old said he would meet with the king, who formally appoints the country’s prime minister, once he recovers, and would reveal more details to the public afterwards.

Anwar said a number of MPs had “expressed their deep dissatisfaction with the current leadership.”
“They recognize that the country must have strong, stable and accountable leadership to manage the crisis and to do so with compassion and concern for the plight of all people who are struggling in this pandemic economy.”
His move came ahead of weekend elections for the legislature in the eastern state of Sabah, which will be a major test of the current government’s popularity.
Muhyiddin’s government has had the difficult task of leading Malaysia through the coronavirus pandemic, and the economy suffered its worst contraction in more than 20 years in the second quarter amid a strict lockdown.
Long-time opposition leader Anwar was a key figure in the alliance that won a shock victory at landmark elections in 2018, toppling a scandal-plagued coalition that had ruled Malaysia uninterrupted for over six decades.
Voters kicked out the old regime in large part due to anger at former premier Najib Razak’s involvement in a massive financial scandal which saw billions looted from state coffers.
Mahathir, now 95, became prime minister for a second time and Anwar was released from jail, where he had been serving a sentence after being convicted of dubious sodomy charges.
Mahathir had promised one-time nemesis Anwar he would hand over power to him once he stepped down, but tensions grew between rival factions amid suspicions that Mahathir would renege on the deal.
Mahathir then quit as premier, leading to the government’s collapse.
Muhyiddin outmaneuvered Mahathir and succeeded in forming a coalition dominated by the country’s Muslim majority that included Najib’s party, and was appointed premier by the king without an election.
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