Over Twenty Killed In Parachinar Vegetable Market Blast

From Tribune:
At least 24 people, including two minors, were killed and nearly 70 others sustained injuries in a blast in Parachinar, capital city of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), on Saturday.

“The blast occurred in Eidgah Market’s Sabzi Mandi as people were busy in buying vegetables,” political agent Kurram Agency Ikramullah told The Express Tribune. “At least two dozen people lost their lives and 67 others got injuries,” he added.

Hours after the incident, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the blast.

A senior security official claimed the explosion was caused by a remote control bomb, which went off at 8:50am, peak hours of business in the area. The official added that it was too early to draw conclusions.

A view of Eidgah Market’s Sabzi Mandi after the blast. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

This was the fourth attack in recent years in Parachinar’s Eidgah Market. According to a political administration official, 2016 was relatively peaceful in the area, however, this incident was going to cast a shadow of doubt regarding peace in the area.

A statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations confirmed 20 casualties and 30 injuries. Some of the injured will be airlifted to Kohat and Peshawar if needed, read the statement.

“There was a loud bang and a thick layer of smoke,” an eyewitness Shahid Hussain told The Express Tribune. “We had to carry most of the injured on our backs to private vehicles for them be shifted to the hospital,” he added.

Other eyewitnesses said they saw children soaked in blood after the bomb exploded. The official list of the those killed and injured displayed outside the agency headquarter hospital in Parachinar included names of two minors, who were killed in the incident.

Expressing grief over the loss of life, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed concerned authorities to provide best medical treatment to the injured. Further, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the blast and ordered for a detailed report regarding the incident.

Further, Chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed authorities for quick evacuation and best medical treatment of the injured.

Two Afghan Nationals Accused Of Raping JNU Student Arrested

From Free-Press-Journal:
A 21-year-old student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was allegedly raped by two Afghan nationals in south Delhi’s Green Park on January 12.

The accused, Twaab Ahmed, alias Saleem, 27, and Sulaiman Ahmadi, 31, have been arrested and sent to judicial custody by a court, said the police.

The victim had gone to a pub at Hauz Khas village with a female friend where she came across Saleem, who later invited the duo to his house for an after-party where the incident took place.

In her complaint, the victim said there was a bonfire party on the terrace after which her friend returned to JNU while she stayed back. She soon passed out. When she woke up, she realised that Sulaiman was trying to force himself on her.
The survivor said she later got to know that Saleem and Sulaiman had sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious.

Knifeman Goes On Rampage On Paris Metro

From Mirror:
Police are hunting a man who went on the rampage stabbing passengers on the Paris metro.

The police are looking for a man who stabbed or attempted to stab people in metro stations between the 10th and 19th arrondissements last night.

In one attack, at 9:15 pm the suspect stabbed three men with a knife, the Parisien reports.

The attacker the reportedly fled via the Riquet station. The victim was rescued by witnesses and transported to the Lariboisiere hospital by firemen.

Then at 10.45pm, at the Jacques Bonsergent station, a traveler was also assaulted by an unknown person who tried to stab him.

In a further attack at at ten minutes to one in the morning at station Gare de l'Est, two travelers were also assaulted by a man with a knife.

News of the attacks come after a young child was among at least four people killed and up to 25 injured when a crazed driver is alleged to have 'deliberately' ploughed into crowded shoppers on a street in Melbourne, Australia.

A maroon Holden Commodore brought an area of the city centre to a standstill today as the driver performed 'donut' manoeuvres outside the main train station while leaning out the window and shouting at onlookers.

Dimitrious "Jimmy" Gargasoulas, 26, has been named by local media as the man at the wheel.

As hundreds of people watched on, including police officers, the car then sped off at about 80km/hr towards the main Bourke Street Mall and mounted the pavement.

Police said he then drove 'deliberately' at pedestrians sending dozens of victims flying into the air - and hitting a pram which was later seen smashed in two with half lodged in the car bonnet.

Boko Haram Attacks Refugee Camp In Nigeria

From Fox-News:
Boko Haram extremists attack a refugee camp in Nigeria on Thursday evening, with reports suggesting the death toll could be as high as 170.

Over 100 Boko Haram fighters launched the attack as soldiers battled for hours trying to repel them, according to witnesses.

The attack comes after Nigeria’s air force bombed the camp housing Boko Haram refugees multiple times on Tuesday. Nigerian officials called the attack an accident.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders said on Friday that "around 90" people were killed in the bombing. The charity also noted that residents and community leaders said the death toll could potentially be as high as 170.

Satellite imagery from the bombing supports witness accounts saying the camp had been struck with "multiple air-dropped munitions,” Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The group has called for a compensation to be provided to the victims.

Nigeria's air force has said officials will investigate.

The Boko Haram attack Thursday occurred as aid workers were trying to help bombing victims. The Red Cross said it had evacuated nearly 90 people from Rann to Maiduguri city for medical care.

"This incident happened just an hour after a (Doctors Without Borders) rescue helicopter left the town and has a traumatizing effect on everyone in Rann," one aid worker said.

Children Killed Due To Al Shabaab's Insurgency

From CAJ:

MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – OVER 3 500 children have been killed, scores recruited as soldiers and used as spies by government forces and terror groups during the raging civil war in Somalia.
In some regions, where children are considered adults at 15, boys have been sentenced to death for alleged association with Al-Shabaab terror movement.
This contradicts the federal constitution.

The United Nations has verified over 6 000 cases of recruitment of children, some as young as nine, with 70% committed by Al-Shabaab.
Large numbers of children were abducted by the group for recruitment into their ranks, trained and used in combat.
Their detention by security forces on national security charges is another concern.

The UN verified the detention of at least 931 children over the past two years.
Detention was also used as a tactic to run intelligence and counter-terrorism operation with children used as spies. 
“The scale of children’s detention on national security charges and their use for intelligence purposes while detained, is extremely troubling and creates additional dangers for the boys and girls,” said Leila Zerrougui, UN envoy for children and armed conflict.

He called on all parties to conflict to uphold their obligations under international law and urged the UN Mission in Somalia and the African Union to investigate all reports of grave violations against children by their troops and to ensure accountability for perpetrators. 
The violations have been blamed to the breakdown in law and order and the absence of state authority in large parts of the unstable East African country.

Pakistan Won’t Free Jailed Doctor

From Jihad-Watch:
Although Pakistan pretends to want to work on counter-terrorism, even with the new Trump administration, it is a known state sponsor of terrorism. Now, Pakistan is proving its true face by not freeing a doctor who is “believed to have helped the CIA hunt down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.”

A jailed Pakistani doctor believed to have helped the CIA hunt down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will be neither released nor handed to the United States, Pakistan’s law minister has told legislators, media reported on Wednesday.

Dr. Shakil Afridi, hailed as a hero by U.S. officials, was arrested after U.S. forces killed bin Laden in May 2011 in a secret raid in a northern Pakistani town that plunged relations between the uneasy strategic partners to a new low.

Pakistan has accused the doctor of running a fake vaccination campaign in which he collected DNA samples to help the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) confirm bin Laden’s identity.

Afridi was arrested soon after the bin Laden raid and charged with having ties to militant Islamists, which he denied.

“The law is taking its course and Afridi is having full opportunity of a fair trial,” the Daily Times newspaper quoted Law Minister Zahid Hamid as telling the upper house, in response to a lawmaker’s query about reports of a possible release.

“Afridi worked against the law and our national interest, and the Pakistan government has repeatedly been telling the United States that under our law he committed a crime and was facing the law.”

In 2012, Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison after being convicted of being a member of militant group Lashkar-e-Islam.

That conviction was overturned in 2013, but Afridi was then charged with murder, relating to the death of a patient eight years earlier. He remains in jail awaiting trial.

Many Pakistanis were infuriated by the U.S. raid to grab bin Laden in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just a two-hour drive from Islamabad, the capital.

Pakistani officials describe bin Laden’s long presence in Abbottabad as a security lapse and reject any suggestion that members of the military or intelligence services were complicit in hiding him….

Female Body Builder Arrested For Un Islamic Photos

From Express:
A FEMALE bodybuilder in Iran has been arrested after publishing selfies of her muscles on social media.

The woman in jail has not been named, but it is believed that she is the Instagram queen Shirin Nobahari.

The judiciary’s news agency said: “One of the female bodybuilders who recently published nude photographs on social networks has been arrested.”

Ms Nobahari, who used the Instagram name Shirin Muscleking, is seen as a social media star in Iran.

In Iran, ‘nude’ can refer to a woman who is not wearing a headscarf or is revealing parts of her body such as arms and legs.

The woman who was arrested is being held in prison as she reportedly could not afford to pay the bail, which was £41,000.

Although Iranian woman are allowed to take part in international sporting events, they must respect Islamic rules on clothing at all times.

The bodybuilder has previously been warned about posting selfies that have been deemed “un-Islamic”.

Female swimmers have to wear full bodysuits and headscarves and women footballers and athletes have to wear tracksuits and long sleeves.

There have also been incidents where female sports fans were arrested for watching male sports events.

ISIS Fighters Bring Death To Mosul From Beyond The Grave

From Daily-Mail:
The dead bodies of ISIS fighters lying in the streets of Mosul are spreading lethal disease, after they were killed by Iraqi forces who have recaptured the eastern part of the city.

Health workers have spoken of the devastating humanitarian situation in the northern city in Iraq following more than two years of ISIS rule.

Experts in Mosul warned of the threat of disease being spread by contaminated water in the city.

Hospital worker Mahmoud told charity Save The Children and The Sun: 'The bodies of ISIS fighters are still lying in the streets and no-one has moved them. The rotting bodies could start an outbreak of disease.

'There is no power. No water. People are drinking from the wells here. This water is unsafe.

'The well water is contaminated with metals and acids. There are infectious diseases, skin diseases caused by dirty water.'

He also spoke of the psychological impact that seeing bodies lying in the streets is having on children, in addition to the 'killings and beheadings' they have already seen.

US-backed Iraqi government troops announced on Wednesday they were in 'full control' of eastern Mosul, three months since the major operation started.

Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, who commands the counter-terrorism forces, described the achievement as a 'big victory', adding that the success of the Iraqi forces was 'unprecedented.'

He said plans were now being drawn up to retake the western part of the city but did not elaborate on when that part of the operation would begin.

Mosul - Iraq's second-largest city and the Islamic State group's last urban stronghold in the country - fell to ISIS in the summer of 2014, when the militant group captures large swaths of northern and western Iraq.

The operation has also left more than 148,000 people homeless, according to the United Nations. Nearly 12,500 people have been forced to flee their homes just over the past week, the U.N. said.

More than one million people were estimated to still be living in Mosul in October, when Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the city.

Isis Carries Out Mass Executions In Palmyra's Ancient Ruins

From Independent:
Isis has carried out a new wave of executions in the ancient ruins of Palmyra after re-taking the Syrian city.

Monitors said teachers were among 12 people murdered in front of crowds of men and children, either having their throats slit or being shot by jihadis.

The Palmyra Monitor group said captives were killed in three separate locations – Free Syrian Army and regime soldiers in two groups at the Roman theatre and in an abandoned Russian military base, and civilians outside Palmyra Museum.

“There are now fears that Isis may carry out more executions of civilians who were arrested after it took control of the city,” the group said.

“There are about 75 Palmyrene civilians still under arrest by Isis and dozens of regime soldiers and militia men.”

There were differing reports of the methods of execution, with Palmyra Monitor saying the soldiers had their throats slit, while the civilians were shot.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said all the captives, including city employees and teachers, were beheaded on Wednesday.

Isis favoured Palmyra as a setting for its gory execution videos after first gaining control of the city in 2015, including footage showing the killing of 25 soldiers in its Roman theatre, formerly a famed tourist attraction.

Militants publicly beheaded the city’s 81-year-old head of antiquities, Khaled al-Assad, after he helped remove artefacts from the museum and refused to reveal the location of hidden treasures from the Unesco World Heritage Site.

Isis, which views the Roman ruins as idolatrous, destroyed countless precious structures including the Temple of Baalshamin, during its first, 10-month period of control in Palmyra.

The group was driven out of the city by Syrian government forces and militias backed by Russian air strikes in March 2016, but returned last month after troops were pulled out for Bashar al-Assad’s offensive on Aleppo.

Dr Jean-Marc Rickli, a research fellow at King's College London and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy,  said regaining the city was a symbolic victory for Isis after months of territorial losses and the killing of major figureheads..

“Everybody knows Palmyra now,” he told The Independent. “Isis has sent a signal that they’re not dead.”

Vladimir Putin’s air force is supporting a continuing Syrian army offensive to drive Isis back out of Palmyra and territory gained across Homs Governorate.

Lt-Gen Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian defence ministry official, said intelligence indicated that Isis may be planning a new wave of destruction in Palmyra.

“We have received information, confirmed by several sources, that a large amount of explosives has been brought into the Palmyra area and that the terrorists plan on destroying the city's world-class historical legacy,” he said.

The US-led coalition is also conducting regular air strikes on the region, most recently on 10 January, when an Isis tactical unit and vehicles were destroyed.

Sixteen Year Old Who Slit Policewoman's Throat From Migrant Family

From Daily-Mail:
Prosecutors have demanded six years in jail for an ISIS-obsessed Muslim schoolgirl who slit the throat of a German policewoman when she was stopped in a routine check.

The officer nearly died after being attacked by the 16-year-old, who has Moroccan parents.

The girl, identified only as Safia S, was convicted this week of attempted murder and supporting a foreign terrorist organisation.

A second suspect, identified as Mohamad Hasan K, 19, was charged with failing to report the planned assault which left the police officer fighting for her life.

Prosecutors are demanding three years behind bars for the German-Syrian national, when sentences are handed down next Friday.

Safia was 15 when she pulled a knife from her clothing in February last year when she was stopped during a routine police check at Hannover main railway station.

Police said later the teenager was 'frustrated' because she could not get to Syria to fight with her jihadist idols.

Prosecutors said at the trial - which was held behind closed doors because she is a juvenile - she was 'motivated by members of ISIS in Syria to commit this act'.

Police said at the time: 'As she was politely pulled to one side to confirm her identity a knife appeared lightning quick in her hand and our colleagues had little chance to defend themselves. This was an Islamic attack against our officers.'

One officer suffered a huge knife wound to her throat and was only saved by an emergency operation lasting several hours.

The police spokesman said: 'It is a miracle that she survived at all.

'The attacker was ice cold. Her only worry was that her headscarf was rumpled and she wanted to put it straight. It was nothing to her if the police officer lived or died.'

Police said she was radicalised into jihadism in Germany in November 2015 and admitted under questioning she wanted to travel to the Middle East to fight with ISIS.

Although she made it to Turkey, her mother brought her back to Germany.

But ISIS ordered her to carry out an 'act of martyrdom' when she arrived home.

She told Mohamad Hasan K, who was already aware of her trip to Istanbul, about her plans to kill the policewoman but he did not inform the authorities.

Germany endured four attacks within a week in July, including two assaults claimed by ISIS, provoking a furious debate about security and asylum seekers.

Prosecutors say Safia belonged to a network of young followers of ISIS in Hannover.