Locals block DhakaCtg highway protesting accident

first_imgRoad communication on Dhaka-Chattogram highway remained suspended for four hours as local people put-up barricade on the highway following the injuries of a schoolgirl in a road accident at Kanchpur in Sonargaon upazila on Thursday.Mohammad Khorshed Alam, additional superintendent of Narayanganj police, said Sadia Akter, 15, a class IX student of Kanchpur Omar Ali High School, sustained injured when a Tarabo-bound bus hit her in the area around 7:00am.As the news spread, the students of the school along with locals put up a barricade on Dhaka-Chattogram highway, halting traffic movement on the busy road.The agitating students vandalised 10-12 vehicles and set a vehicle afire following the accident, he added.Several thousand people have been suffering since morning as a 10-12-kilometre-long tailback stretching from Meghna Bridge to Signboard point in Narayanganj was created following the incident.last_img read more

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Rockets hit Libyas only working airport

first_imgTravellers arrive at the Mitiga International Airport after its reopening on 7 September 2018, in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Photo: AFPRockets were fired at the only working airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli overnight, with no reports of casualties or damage, an airport source said early Wednesday.It came within days of Mitiga International Airport’s reopening after it was forced to close for a week because of deadly clashes between rival militias in and around Tripoli.A Libyan Airlines flight was diverted to Misrata airport, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) east of the capital, the source said, adding that preparations were also underway to move planes on the tarmac in Tripoli to Misrata.The airport had reopened on Friday after a ceasefire overseen by the UN was signed between the armed groups waging a bloody conflict mostly in Tripoli’s southern suburbs.The agreement has largely been respected but witnesses reported brief clashes in the south of the capital on Tuesday night.The fighting has killed at least 50 people and wounded 138 others — most of them civilians — since August 27, according to the health ministry.Thousands of families have fled the violence to nearby towns or have had to seek shelter in other districts of Tripoli, authorities have said.During heavy clashes last month, at least three rockets landed in the airport’s vicinity, forcing staff to reroute all flights to Misrata.Tripoli has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups since the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.Mitiga, a former military airport in the east of the city, was first opened to civil air traffic after the destruction of Tripoli’s international airport in the capital’s south during unrest in 2014.Since then only Libyan airlines have operated in the country, running internal flights and regular connections to a handful of countries, including Tunisia and Turkey.Libyan airlines are banned from European Union airspace for “security reasons”.Separately in the capital, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a suicide attack a day earlier against the headquarters of Libya’s National Oil Corporation which killed two employees.Three attackers died in the assault on the NOC’s offices, IS said in a statement published by the US-based SITE Intelligence Group which tracks extremists.That attack came four months after the headquarters of the country’s electoral commission in the capital was hit by suicide bombers, killing 14 people and also claimed by IS.The jihadist group gained ground in Libya in the chaos following Kadhafi’s ousting and despite being driven in December 2016 from its main fiefdom of Sirte, east of the capital, it continues to carry out deadly attacks.last_img read more

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IS fighter wants to return to Italy

first_imgMounsef al-Mkhayar, 22, an Islamic state fighter of Morrocan descent and Italian citizenship, gestures during an interview with Reuters, in Qamishli, Syria 9 March, 2019. Photo: ReutersAn Islamic State fighter detained in Syria urged Italy on Saturday to let him come home to start a new life, saying he had abandoned the self-styled jihadist “caliphate” after growing disillusioned with its rulers.Mounsef al-Mkhayar, a 22-year-old of Moroccan descent who grew up in Italy, spoke to Reuters in his first interview since surrendering to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) two months ago.He has been in prison since emerging from Baghouz, a tiny village in eastern Syria where the SDF is poised to wipe out the last vestige of Islamic State rule – which once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.Mkhayar gave an account of growing chaos among jihadists on the brink of defeat, and of disputes in the ranks as top commanders fled Syria.But he said Islamic State was also planning for the next phase, smuggling out hundreds of men to set up sleeper cells across Iraq and eastern Syria: “They said ‘We must get revenge.'”Mkhayar is one of thousands from all over the world who were drawn to the promise of an ultra-radical Sunni Islamist utopia overriding national borders. Kurdish security officials identified him as Italian, and he said he holds Italian citizenship.”I wish to return to Italy to my family and friends … for them to accept and help me to live a new life,” said Mkhayar, who walks on crutches after shelling injured his leg. “I just want to get out of this movie, I’m tired.”FROM MILAN TO MAYADINMkhayar was sentenced to eight years in jail by a Milan court in 2017 for spreading Islamic State propaganda and trying to recruit Italians to its cause, according to Italian media. As a result, he is likely to have to serve this sentence if he does return to Italy.Reuters interviewed him at a security office in northern Syria in the presence of an SDF official.As it nears victory, the SDF has struggled with the dilemma of holding fighters who travelled from abroad to join Islamic State along with women and children.Before the final assault on Baghouz, the Kurdish-led SDF said it had around 800 foreign militants in jails and 2,000 of their wives and children in camps. Since then, the numbers have ballooned.The SDF wants them sent back where they came from. But foreign governments generally do not want to receive citizens who may be hard to prosecute, and who pledged allegiance to a caliphate that left behind of a trail of butchery.Once an atheist with an affinity for rap music and a dream of moving to America, Mkhayar joined Islamic State at 18.He said he had spent most of his life in Milan with an aunt he calls his mother, before being placed in a home for troubled youths overseen by an Italian priest. He spent a month in prison on drugs charges.Then he began immersing himself in Islamic State videos on YouTube and speaking to recruiters on Facebook. It took him only a month to decide to move to Syria with a friend four years ago.His friend was later killed on the battlefield. After military and religious training, Mkhayar fought on various fronts. As Islamic State lost its Syrian headquarters at Raqqa, he left for Mayadin on the Euphrates river in Syria, then moved further east across the desert, towards the Iraqi border.”WE’RE GETTING OUT”Amid a string of military defeats in eastern Syria, Islamic State leaders were in disarray, killing off rival clerics and commanders known as emirs, Mkhayar said.He said he had tried to quit the fighting but had been imprisoned, and then dispatched back to the frontlines as attacks intensified.He wound up in Baghouz, where he said the jihadists were split between wanting to give up or fight to the death.Mkhayar said his wife, a Syrian Kurdish woman from Kobani whom he had married three years ago, helped convince him to leave.”‘That’s it,’ we said, ‘we’re getting out.’ I saw my little daughter turning weak. I was scared my children would die.”Mkhayar said he could not sleep thinking about his wife and two daughters in a camp for displaced people in another part of northeast Syria. His wife is due to give birth in a month.He said he still believed in the idea of a caliphate for Muslims, but accused Islamic State rulers of governing their land like “a mafia”, seeking only to make money and violating their own rules with impunity.Commanders had stolen money and fled to Turkey, Iraq or Western Europe while ordering people to stay and defend Islam, he said.”This is my belief and I won’t change it, but here in Islamic State, in reality this doesn’t exist … There is no justice,” he said.”Honestly, I came here too fast … When I arrived, I found another story.”last_img read more

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