HARARE, August 8, 2018 (News Wires) - Zimbabwe police on Wednesday arrested former finance minister and opposition politician Tendai Biti as he tried to cross the border and seek asylum in neighbouring Zambia, his lawyer said.
Biti, whose party formed an election alliance with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s main rival Nelson Chamisa, is the first senior opposition politician to be arrested in the aftermath of last week’s disputed presidential election won by Mnangagwa.
Lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo said Biti was arrested after presenting himself to Zambian immigration officials at Chirundu border post, north of the capital Harare and police had not yet informed him of the charges.
SKOPJE, Macedonia, August 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Macedonian police say they have arrested seven people on suspicion of terrorism for allegedly participating as fighters in the wars in Syria and Iraq.
The suspects, all Macedonian nationals aged between 23 and 41, were arrested in an overnight operation Monday to Tuesday on international warrants. They will be charged for “participation in a foreign army, police and paramilitary formations.”
Under a Macedonian antiterrorism law, it is illegal to participate in any paramilitary group or armed conflicts abroad. If convicted, they face jail sentences of up to 10 years.
According to earlier Macedonian official estimates, about 130 Macedonian nationals have joined the Islamic State group and participated in wars in Syria. At least a dozen have been killed in fighting.
BASRA, Iraq, July 17, 2018 (News Wires) - Iraqi police wielded batons and rubber hoses to disperse about 250 protesters gathered at the main entrance to the Zubair oilfield near Basra on Tuesday as unrest across southern cities over poor basic services gathered pace.
Since demonstrations began nine days ago, protesters have attacked government buildings, branches of political parties and powerful Shi'ite militias and stormed the international airport in the holy city of Najaf.
Officials and industry sources said the protests have not affected output at Zubair, run by Italy's Eni, and the other major oilfields including Rumaila developed by BP and West Qurna 2 managed by Lukoil. Many Iraqis believe their leaders do not share the country's oil wealth. Some demonstrators said foreign labourers were robbing them of employment at oil companies. Three protesters have been killed, including one at West Qurna 2.
"We the people of Basra hear about the Iraqi oil and its huge revenues, but we never enjoy its benefits," said 24-year-old protester Esam Jabbar.
"Strangers have decent jobs at our oilfields and we don’t have the money to pay for a cigarette. That’s wrong and must be stopped." Jabbar said he was unemployed.
At the gate of Zubair field, police beat protesters on their backs and legs with batons and rubber hoses.
Blood ran down one policeman's face after protesters hurled stones. Policemen also threw sand to put out tyres that the protesters had set ablaze.
BASRA, Iraq, July 15, 2018 (New Wires) - Iraqi police fired in the air as hundreds of protesters tried to storm the main provincial government building in Basra, wounding four people on Sunday in the seventh day of unrest that has swept southern cities over poor services, police sources said.
"Some of the protesters tried to storm the building. We prevented them by using water cannons and tear gas," said one of the police sources.
Local officials said the protests have not affected crude production in the oil exporting city of Basra, whose crude shipments account for more than 95 per cent of OPEC producer Iraq's state revenues.
Any disruption could severely impact the country's limping economy and push up global oil prices.
Demonstrators, who are demanding jobs and better government services, have cut off access to the southern Umm Qasr commodities port.
Security forces have battled protesters in Basra and several other cities in the south. The demonstrators have taken the unusual step of attacking buildings belonging to powerful Shi'ite militias, in addition to local government headquarters.
The mounting anger comes at a sensitive time. Iraqi politicians are trying to form a government following a May 12 parliamentary election tainted by allegations of fraud.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is heading a fragile caretaker government until a new one can be formed, has announced that his government would release funds to Basra for water, electricity and health services in the suffocating summer heat.
Abadi, who also serves as commander-in-chief of Iraq's armed forces, had earlier issued a nationwide order placing security forces on high alert in the southern provinces in response to the protests.
Internet access in Iraq has been dramatically reduced.
Abadi's directive aims to stem the burgeoning protests, which spread from Basra to the cities of Amara, Nasiriya and the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf.
Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, had expressed solidarity with protesters, saying they faced an "extreme lack of public services".
Sistani, who has millions of followers, rarely intervenes in politics, but has wide sway over public opinion.
A political bloc led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won a majority in the poll on an anti-corruption platform which had appeal across Iraq's electorate.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, June 7, 2018 (News Wires) — A Pakistani police official says a roadside bomb killed a local police chief and his driver in the northwest, near the Afghan border.
Nosher Khan says Thursday’s blast in the Dir district also wounded some passers-by. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Previous attacks in the area have been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan has carried out a number of large military operations in the rugged northwest in recent years aimed at rooting out the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaida and other militant groups. Islamic militants still carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Shiites.
By Ramadan A. Kader
Giza police arrested a wallpainter on suspicion of stealing money from his brother and killing his wife, private newspaper Youm7 has reported.
The crime came to the police’s attention when they received a report that a 28-year-old housewife was found dead inside her house with her hands tied and mouth scotch-taped.
The victim’s husband said LE50,000 (2,799 dollars) had been stolen from the house.
The suspect confessed to the murder in investigations, naming two friends as his accomplices, according to the report. The two were later nabbed.
The trio said that their sole aim was to steal the money, and that they killed the woman after she found out about their attempt. They are being kept in remand pending further questioning.