‘Rebels ready to hold talks with Mali’

Traore made the remarks on Friday after meeting with French President François Hollande at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris.

“I am sure that at this moment, the MNLA is ready to enter into a sincere and meaningful dialogue with the rest of Mali,” Traore said at a press conference in the French capital.

“The MNLA is made up of Malians, compatriots whom we treat differently than the manner reserved for jihadists and we can talk and discuss with them,” he said.


The Tuaregs of National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) had earlier refused to give up its weapons or take part in the upcoming July elections until negotiations have taken place with the Mali government.

The acting president also pledged that elections would be held on July 28 to replace his interim government.

The MNLA Tuareg fighters managed to seize a chunk of the region and still take control of the key town of Kidal.

France launched a war in the resource-rich West African country in January against local fighters seeking independence for the vast northern desert.

The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

France began to withdraw some of its 4,000 troops in April. However, France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed in April that the country would keep 1,000 troops in Mali even after the arrival of more than 12,000 UN peacekeepers later this year.

JR/KA

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/304015/rebels-ready-to-hold-talks-with-mali/

Nigeria moves army against militants

The Nigerian army used fighter jets, helicopter gunships and troops in a massive operation in the three northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe on Thursday, authorities said.

The military campaign is aimed at purge the region of Boko Haram militants who have established bases there.

On May 14, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three states, a week after militants launched attacks on barracks, police stations, and a prison in the town of Bama in Borno State. Over 50 people were killed and the militants facilitated the escape of more than 100 inmates from the prison.

The Nigerian president stated that the country was facing an insurgency that poses “a serious threat to territorial integrity.” “Already, some parts of Borno have been taken over.”


A curfew has also been imposed in Adamawa State, with mobile phone services cut off in the area.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in Nigeria since 2009.

Over the past four years, violence in the northern parts of Africa’s most populous country has claimed the lives of over 3,500 people.

GMA/HSN

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303937/nigeria-moves-army-against-militants/

13 die in Pakistan twin mosque bombings

Local security officials said at least 13 people were killed and 45 others injured after bombs hit two mosques during weekly Friday Prayers in Malakand district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

They added that scores of people remained still trapped under rubbles after the deadly explosions.

The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are said to be in critical condition.

No person or a group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, but suspicion will likely fall on Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The fresh blasts also underline the challenge of militant violence faced by the government of next Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistani Army has launched several operations in the troubled northwest in a bid to flush out militants from the tribal zone.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001 when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US on the so-called war against terrorism, according to local media.

Many hundreds have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.

Since late 2009, there has been a surge in militant attacks in Pakistan.

JR/KA

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303995/twin-mosque-bombings-in-pakistan-kill-13/

Pakistanis mark Nakba Day in Islamabad

The Nakba Day, May 15, marks the anniversary of the eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

Zaheer Naqvi, with the Imamia Student Organization of Islamabad, told Press TV that the Nakba Day is the day when the Israeli regime was founded illegally on Palestinian land.

“We have gathered here to oppose the illegal creation of Israel. We also condemn the United States, which is backing the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.”

The demonstration on Thursday, May 16, in Pakistan’s capital coincided with the ‘Down with the US’ day in the country, which is held annually to protest against Israel’s acts of aggression and the US interference in the affairs of the Muslim ummah.

“The US is responsible for creating trouble in many parts of the world. We appeal to the entire Muslim world to get united against the inhumane policies of the US,” said a demonstrator.

The Israeli regime continues its occupation of the Palestinian land in grave violation of international law.

Another protester said that “when we say ‘no’ to Israel, ‘no’ to America, basically we are not opposing – we are not against the people of America. Rather, we are against the system of America, which they want to implement throughout the world. But we are Muslims. We believe that our system is the best.”

GMA/HSN

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303957/pakistanis-mark-nakba-day-in-islamabad/

Hamid Karzai to visit India: Afghan envoy

Karzai will visit India on May 20-22 and he is expected to request a fresh supply of military equipment, said Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali on Thursday.

“The partnership agreement does not distinguish between lethal and non-lethal. We have talked about security and defense cooperation… So, we would like to have both lethal and non-lethal assistance to our defense forces in Afghanistan,” Abdali stated.


It will be Karzai’s second visit to India in six months, and it signifies the “importance of the relationship between the two countries,” the Afghan ambassador said. “That means that the relationship is very strong and very, very deep.”

In October 2011, Afghanistan and India signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) that is aimed at expanding relations in multiple sectors, including security and defense.

Abdali further emphasized the importance of cooperation between neighboring states in light of the trilateral trade agreement between Afghanistan, India and Iran regarding the expansion of regional trade.

GMA/HSN

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303944/afghan-president-to-visit-india/

Bahrainis slam raid on cleric’s home

The demonstration was held in the village of Diraz, west of Manama, on Friday, hours after the Bahraini regime forces stormed the cleric’s house.

Witnesses said the regime forces broke the doors of Sheikh Qassim’s house in Diraz and damaged his property.

According to Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq, the cleric was not at home at the time of the raid, but his family members were present. The troops left after searching the house while police helicopters were hovering above for hours.

“Dozens of armed troops, accompanied by masked civilian forces, stormed the home of Ayatollah Isa Qassim at dawn on Friday … damaging property and terrorizing women and children,” al-Wefaq said in its statement.


Sheikh Qassim has repeatedly criticized Manama over its violent crackdown on protests.

Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February 2011. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the regime crackdown.

The protesters, however, say they will continue holding demonstrations against the Al Khalifa regime until their demands for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met.

HM/KA/SS

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/304014/bahrainis-slam-raid-on-top-clerics-home/

49 killed in Iraq bomb attacks

According to the Iraqi sources, two bombs exploded within minutes of each other outside a mosque in the city of Baqouba, north of Baghdad, on Friday as worshippers were leaving the weekly prayers.

A total of 41 people were killed and 57 others injured in the explosions.

Eight people were also killed after a roadside bomb exploded near a funeral procession in Madain, south of Baghdad. At least 25 others were also wounded in the attack.

The attacks come a day after at least 22 people were killed and dozens injured in bombings in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk.

Insurgents affiliated with al-Qaeda have stepped up their attacks in Iraq over the past weeks targeting both Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on May 2 that April was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008, as terrorist acts had killed over 700 people and injured more than 1,600 across the country.

The UN mission also said Baghdad was the worst affected governorate with a total of 211 killed and nearly 500 injured.

HM/KA/SS

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/304004/49-killed-in-iraq-bomb-attacks/

Russia dismisses Syria arms sale to-do

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that he did not understand the international uproar created by Moscow’s continuing weapons cooperation with the Syrian government, AFP reported.

“I do not understand why the media is trying to create a sensation out of this,” Lavrov said during a joint press appearance with the visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

“We are first and foremost supplying defense weapons related to air defense,” Lavrov said, adding, “This does not in any way alter the balance of forces in this region or give any advantage in the fight against the opposition.”


He also said that Moscow is supplying weapons to Syria “under signed contracts, without violating any international agreements, or our own legislation.”

The US, Britain and Israel are pushing Russia to stop an arms deal under which Moscow is obliged to sell Damascus an S-300 air defense system.

The top Russian diplomat and the UN chief also called for an international peace conference on Syria to be held “as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, a group of warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet has entered the Mediterranean waters for the first time in decades.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian troops and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

HM/KA/SS

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/303997/russia-dismisses-syria-arms-sale-uproar/

Angry Scots force UKIP leader to flee

Young demonstrators, including students and pro-Scottish independence activists, forced Farage to flee a press conference at the Canons’ Gait pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh as he tried to take his party’s anti-EU message to Scotland.

According to the reports, protesters blocked the path as UKIP leader attempted to make an escape by a taxi. The angry demonstrators were chanting slogans, demanding Farage to “go home to England”.

Being embarrassed in Edinburgh, Farage called on Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond to condemn the behavior and said the protesters were filled with “hatred of English”.

However, when asked if he condemned the demonstration against Farage, Salmond said, “If there’s been any law-breaking – and that’s yet to be established – then obviously we condemn that, as we always do in Scotland, but you’ve got to get things into context.”

“A student demonstration isn’t the Dreyfus trial,” he added.

Salmond also said that Scotland can do without UKIP, adding that the party dislikes everybody and knows “absolutely nothing about Scotland.”

Earlier in February, British Conservative cabinet minister Ken Clarke accused UKIP of being racist, saying that they have no positive policies and are merely “against” immigrants and foreigners.

MOS/SSM/HE

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/304019/angry-scots-force-ukip-leader-to-flee/

‘Rebels ready to hold talks with Mali’

Traore made the remarks on Friday after meeting with French President François Hollande at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris.

“I am sure that at this moment, the MNLA is ready to enter into a sincere and meaningful dialogue with the rest of Mali,” Traore said at a press conference in the French capital.

“The MNLA is made up of Malians, compatriots whom we treat differently than the manner reserved for jihadists and we can talk and discuss with them,” he said.


The Tuaregs of National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) had earlier refused to give up its weapons or take part in the upcoming July elections until negotiations have taken place with the Mali government.

The acting president also pledged that elections would be held on July 28 to replace his interim government.

The MNLA Tuareg fighters managed to seize a chunk of the region and still take control of the key town of Kidal.

France launched a war in the resource-rich West African country in January against local fighters seeking independence for the vast northern desert.

The French-led war on Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

France began to withdraw some of its 4,000 troops in April. However, France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reaffirmed in April that the country would keep 1,000 troops in Mali even after the arrival of more than 12,000 UN peacekeepers later this year.

JR/KA

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/17/304015/rebels-ready-to-hold-talks-with-mali/