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Taliban Accused Of Murdering Pregnant Afghan Policewoman In Front Of Her Family

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Taliban Accused Of Murdering Pregnant Afghan Policewoman In Front Of Her Family

The Taliban murdered a pregnant policewoman in front of her family on Saturday night, according to her son.

Her death, in the central Afghanistan province of Ghor, adds to mounting concerns about the repression of women under the Taliban’s rule.

The victim’s full name was Negar Masoomi, her sister told CNN. Her killing was also confirmed to CNN by a local journalist in Ghor, who said she worked in Ghor prison and was eight months pregnant when she died.

The Taliban told CNN they were not involved in her death, but have launched an investigation.

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Video obtained by CNN showed her son Mohammad Hanif giving his account of the murder, saying that the Taliban came inside the house where his family lives, then took himself and his brothers outside and tied them up.

“They killed our mother before our eyes. They killed her with a knife,” Hanif said.

Because she was pregnant Hanif said the Taliban carried out two murders and called upon the government to act to find the killers and bring them to justice. If nothing is done, Hanif warned “we might have to take the law into our own hands.”

Bilal Kareemi, a Taliban spokesman, denied the accusations. “She hasn’t been killed by the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, probably it is because of a personal animosity, but we haven’t received the final result of the investigation,” he said.

“Our Mujahideen are busy investigating the incident and we will share with you our final findings as soon as we receive it,” he added.

Taliban leaders have insisted publicly that women will play a prominent role in society in Afghanistan and have access to education.

They are still involved in talks over forming a government, but in recent weeks have signaled women should stay at home, and, in some instances, militants have ordered women to leave their workplaces.

These moves are at odds with the group’s attempt to seem more tolerant, and have instead stoked fears of a return to the harsh policies of Taliban rule two decades ago, when women all but disappeared from public life.

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Some Afghan women are already opting to remain indoors as fears mount over their safety, with some families purchasing full-length burqas for female relatives.

Over the weekend, a women’s protest in Kabul was met with violence after Taliban forces prevented the women from marching on to the presidential palace, according to Afghan news network TOLO news, which reported the use of tear gas on protesters.
CNN

 

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20 University Students To Die For Killing Critic Of Bangladesh Govt

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20 University Students To Die For Killing Critic Of Bangladesh Govt

Twenty university students were on Wednesday sentenced to death by a Bangladesh court for the 2019 murder of a young man who criticised the government on social media.

The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India.

He was beaten with a cricket bat and other blunt objects for six hours by 25 fellow students who were members of the ruling Awami League’s student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League.

“I am happy with the verdict,” Fahad’s father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court after the sentencing. “I hope the punishments will be served soon.”

The remaining five perpetrators were handed life imprisonment.

Chief prosecutor Mohammad Abu Abdullah Bhuiyuan told AFP that the murder was premeditated.

All those given death sentences were between 20 and 22 years old at the time of the murder and attended the elite

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology alongside Fahad.

READ ALSO: Helicopter Carrying Chief Of Defence Staff, Wife Crashes

Three of the defendants are still at large while the rest were in the courtroom.

Faruque Ahmed, a lawyer for the defendants, said the sentence would be appealed.

“I am very disappointed at the verdict. It is not fair,” he told AFP.

“They are young men and some of the best students of the country. They were sentenced to death despite no proper evidence against some of them.”

Fahad had put up a post on Facebook that went viral hours before his death.

In it, he criticised the government for signing an accord that allowed India to take water from a river that lies on the boundary the two countries share.

Fahad had been seen — in leaked CCTV footage that went viral on social media — walking into a dormitory with some BCL activists.

About six hours later, his body was carried out by the students and laid on the ground.

Protests in the days after Fahad’s murder called for the attackers to be harshly punished and for the BCL to be banned.

READ ALSO: Death Toll In Indonesia Volcano Rises To 34

Hasina vowed soon afterwards that the killers would get the “highest punishment”.

The BCL has earned notoriety in recent years after some of its members were accused of killing, violence and extortion.

In 2018, its members allegedly used violence to suppress a major anti-government student protest.

Those rallies were sparked by anger over road safety after a student was killed by a speeding bus.

Death sentences are common in Bangladesh with hundreds of people on death row. All executions are by hanging, a legacy of the British colonial era.

In August, a court sentenced six Islamist extremists to death for the murders of two gay rights activists.

Sixteen people were handed the death penalty in 2019 for burning alive a 19-year-old student who accused her seminary’s head teacher of sexual harassment.

AFP

 

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Helicopter Carrying Chief Of Defence Staff, Wife Crashes

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Helicopter Carrying Chief Of Defence Staff, Wife Crashes

A helicopter carrying India’s foremost military officer, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and his wife crashed near Ooty in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. Details of the injured and of any possible casualties are awaited.

Sources told The Indian Express that at least three injured people from the crash have been taken to a nearby hospital, but their identities are not confirmed yet.

According to sources, Rawat’s staff and some family members were also on board in a Mi-series helicopter.

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Rawat is the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff appointed on January 1, 2020. He was appointed the head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs in one of the most significant reorganization in Defence Ministry in decades.

He had served as the Chief of the Army for three years before taking over as the CDS.

 

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Death Toll In Indonesia Volcano Rises To 34

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Death Toll In Indonesia Volcano Rises To 34

Over 34 lives have been lost to the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano.

The mountain on the island of Java had thundered to life on Saturday, ejecting volcanic ash high into the sky and raining hot mud on villages as thousands of panicked people fled their homes.

The disaster swallowed entire homes and vehicles, blanketing villages such as Curah Kobokan in grey ash and leaving residents terrified of returning home.

“I’m traumatised, I asked my relatives if they were brave enough to go back to Curah Kobokan and they all said no, they’d rather sleep under a tree,” said Marzuki Suganda, a 30-year-old who works at a sand mine in the area.

“When the eruption happened, I really thought I was going to die here.”

Rescuers have been battling dangerous conditions since the deadly weekend eruption, searching for survivors and bodies in the volcanic debris, wrecked buildings and destroyed vehicles.

Search crews deployed dogs on Tuesday to aid the operation.

“The latest update from the ground… (is) 34 people died, 17 are missing,” the disaster agency spokesman Abdul Muhari told AFP.

Almost 3,700 have been evacuated from the affected area, he added.

Mt Semeru has remained active since Saturday, keeping emergency workers and area residents on edge.

There were three small eruptions on Tuesday, each spewing ash around a kilometre (3,300 ft) into the sky, authorities said.

READ ALSO: Ambassadors Want Indonesian Envoy To Return Home Over Attack On Nigerian Diplomat

The task for rescuers was made more difficult by the instability of the volcanic debris.

“What we are afraid of is the ground being cold outside but still hot inside,” said police officer Imam Mukson Rido.

“If it’s hot inside, we must get away.”

Officials have advised locals not to travel within five kilometres (3.1 miles) of Semeru’s crater, as the nearby air is highly polluted and could affect vulnerable groups.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said during a trip to the area Tuesday that the government will look into moving homes away because of the threat posed by the volcano.

“I hope after things calm down we can start both fixing infrastructures and think about the possibility of relocation from areas we believe to be dangerous,” he told Indonesia’s Metro TV.

“Earlier I got a report (that) there are around 2,000 houses that must be relocated.”

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity, and the country has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

AFP

 

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