Car bomb claims lives of 17 people in northern Syrian village of Tal Halaf

Destroyed vehicles following a car bomb attack at a local market in the Turkish-held Syrian Kurdish town of Tal Halaf along the border with Turkey in the northeastern Hassakeh province, on November 26, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 November 2019

Car bomb claims lives of 17 people in northern Syrian village of Tal Halaf

  • It blamed the attack on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units

ISTANBUL: A car bomb killed at least 17 people and wounded 20 others in the Turkish-controlled region of northern Syria on Tuesday, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

The attack took place in the Tal Halaf village west of the city of Ras Al-Ayn, which is now controlled by the Turkish military after its offensive in October, the ministry said on its official Twitter account.

It blamed the attack on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara accuses of being the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.

“The PKK/YPG terror group continues its car bombings aimed at civilians. The child murderers this time detonated a car bomb in Tal Halaf village west of Ras Al-Ayn, killing 17 people and wounding more than 20,” the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack but gave a lower toll, saying 11 people — including at least three civilians — had been killed.

But it said the death toll is likely to climb due to the severity of some of the injuries suffered.

Turkish forces and their proxies — former Syrian rebels hired as a ground force by Ankara — launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria on Oct. 9.

The military action came after US President Donald Trump ordered his troops to withdraw in a move that observers condemned as a betrayal of their Kurdish partners in the war against Daesh in Syria.

In its operation, Turkey secured a strip of land in northern Syria after signing separate deals with the US and Russia.

Ankara says it wants to establish a “safe zone” in which to resettle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts on its soil.


Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

Updated 04 July 2020

Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

  • Allegations have been widely circulating on social media detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man
  • Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities on Saturday arrested a man who allegedly sexually abused dozens of girls and women, in a case that has sparked outrage online, a security source said.
Allegations have been widely circulating on social media since Wednesday detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man.
One allegation claimed that he attempted to abuse a 14-year-old girl.
“The person accused of harassing the girls has been arrested and will be facing the prosecution following the allegations carried on social media,” the security source said.
“Those affected should submit formal reports of the harm they endured,” the source added.
The source did not identify the suspect.
According to the social media reports, the first of which was published on an Instagram account, the abuse had been going on since at least 2018.
Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action.
Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) lodged an official complaint with the public prosecutor to investigate the allegations on Saturday.
“The NCW has followed the social media account on Instagram, which was launched by girls and women complaining that a man raped some of them and sexually assaulted and harassed others,” it said on Facebook.
It also said that several victims, who reached out to the council, recounted that the man “blackmailed and threatened to defame them using photos and clips documenting his heinous crimes.”
The council urged the women to submit official complaints to the prosecutor.
Some online reports suggested the perpetrator was a university student.
The American University in Cairo acknowledged the suspect had studied there but said he left the university in 2018.
He “is not a current student at the American University in Cairo,” a statement said.
Sexual harassment is highly prevalent in Egypt.
United Nations surveys have found that most Egyptian women have been subject to harassment, ranging from catcalling to pinching and groping.
Egyptian authorities have criminalized sexual harassment since 2014, but many women complain that the problem remains rampant.