First Sudan security death as coup opponents keep up protests

Update First Sudan security death as coup opponents keep up protests
People gather during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2022

First Sudan security death as coup opponents keep up protests

First Sudan security death as coup opponents keep up protests
  • Police said an officer was killed while providing security to the protest close to the presidential palace
  • Demonstrators, mostly young people, marched in different locations in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman

KHARTOUM: Sudanese anti-coup protesters stabbed to death a police general on Thursday, authorities said, as thousands who kept up rallies against an October military coup faced tear gas.
Brig. Gen. Ali Bareema Hamad, “fell martyr while doing his duties and securing protests” in the capital Khartoum, a police statement said on Facebook.
Hamad “received deadly stabs by groups of protesters ... in different parts of his body,” police spokesman Idris Abdalla Idris told Sudan TV.
Other police personnel “suffered severe wounds,” he added.
Hamad’s was the first fatality announced among security forces since protests calling for a return to civilian rule began more than two months ago.
A security crackdown has left at least 63 people dead and hundreds wounded, according to medics, who said many of the protesters were killed by live rounds.
Thursday’s rallies converged from several parts of Khartoum and came after a United Nations bid to facilitate talks between rival Sudanese factions received tepid support.
The UN push aimed at resolving the crisis since the October 25 military coup led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the resignation of the civilian prime minister Abdalla Hamdok earlier this month.
Sudan has no government, foreign aid has been suspended, and regular demonstrations against the coup — attended by up to tens of thousands — are routinely met by a violent response from authorities.
Demonstrators also took to the streets in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman as well as in Port Sudan in the country’s east, according to witnesses.
Protesters in Khartoum converged on the city center chanting: “With all our power, we are heading to the palace.”
Following a repeated pattern, security forces fired volleys of tear gas to disperse the protesters in Khartoum and Omdurman, witnesses said.
Online footage appeared to show demonstrators hurling stones and unexploded canisters of tear gas at security forces near the presidential palace.
The military takeover derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule following Omar Al-Bashir’s ouster.
Authorities have repeatedly denied using live ammunition in confronting protesters and insist scores of security forces have been wounded during demonstrations that have often “deviated from peacefulness.”

On Monday, UN special representative Volker Perthes said he was launching “consultations” with political and social actors as well as armed and civil society groups.
The UN push has received a mixed response.
“We don’t accept this initiative at all,” 62-year-old protester Awad Saleh said.
“It’s not clear what points it constitutes and so for us it is deficient.”
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an independent trade union confederation instrumental in organizing the protests, said it completely rejects the UN initiative.
The mainstream faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change, the leading civilian pro-democracy group, said it will “discuss” the invitation internally before announcing its stand.
But spokesman Wagdy Saleh said the FFC rejected “any partnership” with the military.
The ruling Sovereign Council — formed by Burhan following the coup with himself as chairman — has welcomed the proposed talks, as have the United States, Britain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
On Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called for stability in Sudan saying it “will not be reached except by consensus among all forces.”
Burhan has insisted that the military takeover “was not a coup” but only meant to “rectify the course of the Sudanese transition.
Hamdok resigned as prime minister on January 2, only six weeks after being reinstated following his house arrest in the wake of the coup.
In his resignation speech, Hamdok warned that Sudan was now at a “dangerous crossroads threatening its very survival.”


Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry
Updated 02 July 2022

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry
  • Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria since the 2011 civil war
  • Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks

An Israeli strike on Syria’s western coast wounded two civilians on Saturday, the Syrian defense ministry said.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike” at about 6:30 am near the town of Al-Hamidiyah, the ministry said in a statement, identifying the locations hit as poultry farms, without elaborating.
The strike was conducted from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, and “led to the injury of two civilians, including a woman,” the statement said.
Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbor.
The raids have targeted Syrian government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.
Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.
The Syrian war has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.


UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran
Updated 02 July 2022

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran
  • Iran suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years as major geological fault lines crisscross the country

DUBAI: UAE residents reported feeling tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake that jolted South Iran on Saturday at 3:24 am, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) on Saturday.

NCM added that the quake, which claimed the lives of five people in Iran, did not have any impact on the UAE.

State news agency IRNA said a magnitude 6.3 and 6.1 earthquakes followed the 6.1 quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast, with more than a dozen aftershocks reported.

Iran has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years as major geological fault lines crisscross the country.


Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz
Updated 02 July 2022

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz
  • The militia is also accused of targeting the army’s sites and residential neighborhoods using snipers

DUBAI: The Houthi militia has bombed army bases in Al-Dhabab area, west of Taiz, according to reports by state news agency Saba on Friday.

This comes as part of the militia’s daily violations of the UN truce, wrote Saba.

Yemen’s army has recorded a total of 2,778 violations by the Houthis since the beginning of the truce until Thursday.

The Taiz Military Axis said the violations ranged from artillery shelling, establishing fortifications and new sites, bringing in reinforcements, building roads, laying mines, conducting reconnaissance, and using drones.

The militia is also accused of targeting the army’s sites and residential neighborhoods using snipers.


At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 02 July 2022

At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
  • The quake struck just a minute after a 5.7 tremor

TEHRAN: At least five people were killed by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported, with the area also hit by two later strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.
“Five people have died in the earthquake ... and so far 12 are hospitalized,” Mehrdad Hassanzadeh, head of emergency management in Hormozgan Province on Iran’s Gulf coast, told state TV. “Rescue work has been carried out and we are now providing tents as emergency housing.”

A handout shakemap made available by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows the location of a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hitting around 54km north east of Bandar-e Lengeh, Iran, 02 July 2022. (EPA)

The state news agency IRNA said a magnitude 6.3 earthquake and a magnitude 6.1 quake followed the 6.1 quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast. There were more than a dozen aftershocks.
“All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no-one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes,” said Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
Major geological fault lines crisscross Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

 


Protesters storm into parliament building in eastern Libya

Protesters storm into parliament building in eastern Libya
Updated 02 July 2022

Protesters storm into parliament building in eastern Libya

Protesters storm into parliament building in eastern Libya



BENGHAZI, Libya: Demonstrators broke into the building that houses the eastern Libya-based parliament in Tobruk on Friday, setting fire to parts of it amid protests over months of failed efforts to set the divided country on a path toward elections.
One witness, Taher Amaizig, said thousands joined a march to the parliament building calling for the current political powers to be dissolved and elections to be held. He said that as security guards tried to prevent people from entering, a protester was shot in the legs and other demonstrators then forced their way inside.
Videos circulated on social media showed protesters filing past burning piles. Friday is the first day of the weekend in Libya, meaning the building was likely empty when it was stormed. It was unclear what protesters intended by targeting the building
Other protests demanding elections were staged earlier in the day in several cities around Libya.
The unrest comes a day after representatives of Libya’s rival powers — one based in the east of the country and the other in the west — failed at UN-mediated talks in Geneva to reach agreement on a constitutional framework for national elections.
After more than a decade of war, the country is once again split between competing administrations, sliding backwards despite a year of tentative steps toward unity.
Oil-rich Libya has been wrecked by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, leading to a rise in rival governments. The administration based in the east is backed by military commander Khalifa Haftar, and a UN-supported administration is based in the capital of Tripoli. Each side is supported by different militias and foreign powers.
Tobruk, the seat of Libya’s House of Representatives, has long been allied with Haftar. More recently the parliament there elected Fathy Basghagha as prime minister to a government that rivals the Tripoli-based administration. Bashagha, a powerful former interior minister, is now operating a separate administration out of the city of Sirte.
Libya’s plan for elections last Dec. 24 fell through after the interim administration based in Tripoli, headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, failed to go ahead with the vote. The failure was a major blow to international efforts to end a decade of chaos in Libya.
The deteriorating economic situation was also a factor in Friday’s protests. In Tripoli, hundreds came out earlier in the day in opposition to the political crisis but also to rail against electricity shortages and rising prices for fuel and bread.